Independence Pass, Opening Early for Summer Recreation!

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“This has been an extraordinarily wild swing in snowpack amounts compared to last year,” CAIC Forecaster Rob Hunker said. “We’ve had two extreme years in a row—last year, the snowpack melted around June 23, this year it happened by May 1.”

There you have it: we're in luck! Normally, the gates are pried open on Memorial Day Weekend but this year, locals and visitors will get a head start on climbing, hiking, biking and general high alpine enjoyment, as Independence Pass opens for the season on May 11.

This also means a scenic short-cut to Aspen from the Front Range, Buena Vista and all points east of Aspen; so hop in the car, roll down the windows and take in the panoramic beauty of the drive to Aspen over Independence Pass.