Independence Pass (Colorado) – Cycling Inspiration & Education

Independence Pass (Colorado) – Cycling Inspiration & Education

As the highest paved crossing of the Continental Divide in the U.S. Independence Pass is constantly going to have a particular place in the heart of cyclists living or visiting Colorado.

Very best known for its silver and skiing, from Aspen (in the west) the climb is 19.5 miles / 31.4 km and despite the fact that long it really is the altitude that you genuinely need to have to watch out for in this neck of the woods. Beginning the day at an elevation that rivals some of the most prominent peaks in Europe, unless you’re nicely acclimatised you are absolutely going to really feel the lack of air appropriate from the gun. Thankfully the gradient is never ever too steep, generally hanging around 4-6% all the way, allowing you to appreciate endless landscapes alongside the Roaring Fork River on your journey to 12,095ft (3,687m).

With three miles (five km) to go you pass the Independence ghost town, these days a extremely various location to what it would’ve been in its heyday in the late 1800’s. It really is from this town that the pass took its name, prior to this it was recognized as Hunters Pass. With no road markings or indicators at the side of the road indicating how far you have to go it really is a welcome landmark, and from right here you can just about trace the road in the distance all the way to the top.

I’d wanted to ride Independence Pass for such a extended time, considerably like the well-known climbs in Europe it had a specific lure that I wanted to see for myself. I think the initial time I got a good appear at it was when the pros were racing up it in the (now defunct) USA Pro Challenge and I keep in mind becoming in awe at the road as it climbed through the forest and out into the vast expanse of the Rocky Mountains. Such a lovely climb and one that I am very glad to have now experienced.

Start off: Aspen
Length: 19.five miles (31.four km)
Highest Point: 12,095ft (3,687m)
Commence Elevation: 7,951ft (2,423m)
Elevation achieve: four,144ft (1,263m)
Max gradient: 7.five%
Typical gradient: four.two%
Ridden in September

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Mike Cotty
The Col Collective

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