View Of Mount Elbert And La Plata Peak - Independence Pass Sawatch Range Of Rocky Mountains Colorado
Photograph - Photograph
I made my way up the mountain while driving from Boulder to Aspen through Independence Pass. My heart was racing, grasping for the little oxygen at the elevation of 12,095 ft. That quarter mile walk from the parking lot to the scenic overlook was quite a challenge with the roaring winds and the cold! Despite all that, it was a beautiful sight to behold. Mount Elbert, tallest peak in the Rocky Mountains at 14,400 ft. can be seen to the left of the image. Thanks for looking. FAA watermark WILL NOT show on fine art print.
Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in central Colorado, United States. It is at elevation 12,095 ft (3,687 m) on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. The pass is midway between Aspen and Twin Lakes, on the border between Pitkin and Lake counties.
State Highway 82 traverses it, and after Cottonwood Pass to the south, is the second highest elevation of a paved Colorado state highway on a through road.[Note 1] It is also the second-highest pass with an improved road in the state, the fourth-highest paved road in the state and the second highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the U.S. Because of the heavy snowfall at its elevation, it is closed in wintertime, isolating Aspen from direct access from the east during the ski season.
When the pass is open in warmer weather, it is a popular destination. A scenic overlook near the pass allows visitors to take in the alpine tundra environment above treeline, and offers excellent views to the east of Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak and the second-highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Rock climbers are drawn to nearby bouldering opportunities, and informal paths lead to nearby mountain summits of even higher elevation. Backcountry skiers make use of the slopes during the late spring and early summer. Since 2011 the pass has been on the route of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
The pass was formed by glacial action and erosion in the region, and its first recorded sighting was by Zebulon Pike in 1806. Ferdinand Hayden surveyed it in 1873. As part of the Continental Divide, it was the limit of European settlement in the region at the time, with the land to the west reserved for the Ute people. Prospectors who defied governor Frederick Walker Pitkin's order crossed the pass on July 4, 1879, giving it its current name and setting up a similarly named village (now a ghost town) to its west. A toll road built across the pass was abandoned and neglected after a railroad connection was made to Aspen. A new road replaced it in the 1920s; portions of the old route can still be seen along the western approach. The Independence Pass Foundation, based in Aspen, works to repair damage to the pass's environment caused by both roads since 1984.
October 20th, 2019
Viewed 43 Times - Last Visitor from Houston, TX on 12/02/2019 at 7:53 PM