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Old 04-23-2008, 03:40 PM   #15
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Jus, glad to hear you've decided to avoid towing on this pass. I think, however, it might be better to do at night (if you change your mind) when you can see the headlights coming before the car or truck or, another guy with a trailer, comes the other way—and then what? It's not the road for trailers or wide vehicles. I agree also it's better to go west to east, but you'd spend so much time making sure you weren't too close to the edge, you'd not be looking where you were going.

There's a wide parking area at the top where some people stop and spend the night—Barb and I did in a Microbus many years ago—and, of course, someone came along after dark and parked right next to us when they could have been 100' away. So, if you came from the east, you could boondock and then leave the Airstream up there and make a day trip into Aspen and see how the super-rich live and play.

If you have acrophobia you might want to avoid this pass for on the east side going downhill there are some amazing drop offs, no berm, and the last time I was there, no guardrails (I don't think there's enough ground to attach them to anything). And, people react differently to altitude and spending some time "down" in Denver may help you acclimate.

Depending on the maps you use, there are many old mining roads that may not be properly marked as 4WD roads and watch for that. Many are wonderful day trips for the Toureg (though some are too narrow for an SUV that big), but watch were you go with the trailer—you could end up on some really bad roads and have to back out a long way. Check with locals and FS.

In the last decade or two there have been so many people exploring the mining roads that there are traffic jams, too much dust, and little ability to enjoy the peace and beauty that used to characterize the high country. I'm glad we did a lot of that before it got so crowded that we didn't want to do it anymore.

You can check the CDOT website for road openings on the passes that are closed in winter (and spring).

Gene
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:21 PM   #16
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Leave the trailer in Leadville or Glenwood Springs and do a day trip loop
(CO 82,I-70/US6,US24) There's a really good cafe in Minturn called the Turntable Cafe (?) that has excellent Mexican food, and across the street is a steakhouse where you pick your own steak from the cooler and cook it yourself or they cook it for you. I don't remember the name of that place because I wasn't particularly impressed by it......I actually thought it was overpriced and over rated. Tennessee Pass on US 24 is a fun drive, especially in an 18 wheeler in a snowstorm.
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:34 PM   #17
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Pulling a tailer over Independence Pass is a good way to ruin a great day. Back when we had a slide-in we did it and the narrow roads were a killer. We did meet an RV coming from the other direction and had to back up to let him pass. He couldn't back up for me because he had the trailer.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:52 AM   #18
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Truck Driving Skills At Trollstigen, Norway! - VeeframeSpeaking of driving on curvy passes, think twice before touring Norway with the trailer!
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #19
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:54 AM   #20
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Any chance they've improved the road since then?
Not that I'd be taking it any time soon (OR later!).

P
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:58 PM   #21
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Any chance they've improved the road since then?
Not that I'd be taking it any time soon (OR later!).

P
Doubtful. First time I went that way was in 1976 and it was pretty scary. I don't think there were any guardrails then, but they're just an excuse to go off the road. I think they've added some by now. The narrowest part had low walls that looked like they were built in the 1930's by WPA or CCC. With a narrow road and blind curves that part is an adventure for anyone and especially difficult for a trailer. Several years ago they put RV restrictions on the road. Check the Colorado Dept. of Transportation website for information on Colorado passes for when they are open, construction and restrictions. They have a lot of cameras on the passes along with weather stations, so you can see what the pass summit looks like before you travel.

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Old 09-03-2014, 08:27 PM   #22
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I rode my Harley over Independence pass a few years ago on a trip to and from Utah.
I was squeezed over a little too close to the edge of the road by several travel trailers that really had no business on a road like that.
I can't imagine what its like when two of them meet.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:46 PM   #23
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I towed over Independence pass east to west with a 1987 25' and a 1987 Olds 88 with a 3.8 Litre V/6. Though the pass is high it is well graded rarely more than 6% so not difficult at all. The Treg and 19' would do it easily. Just remember if you are using brakes to control speed on a down grade you are in the wrong gear.

I hope this helps.

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Old 12-05-2014, 04:06 PM   #24
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I drove that in '76 and the run down to Leadville from Vail was even scarier.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #25
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:09 PM   #26
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I drove that in '76 and the run down to Leadville from Vail was even scarier.
I think you mean you came from Aspen, not Vail. My first trip over Independence Pass was in 1976 too. No guardrails much of the way and little or no shoulder coming down to Twin Lakes and Leadville in many places.

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Old 12-07-2014, 11:41 AM   #27
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Gene I got it right. We went from Vail to Leadville, to Twin Lakes, then Aspen and Glenwood Springs. The run south along the ridge, Vail - Leadville scared the hell out of my girlfriend. Independence pass, not so much.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #28
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Gene I got it right. We went from Vail to Leadville, to Twin Lakes, then Aspen and Glenwood Springs. The run south along the ridge, Vail - Leadville scared the hell out of my girlfriend. Independence pass, not so much.
OK, you went around that way via Tennessee Pass. I think Independence Pass is a lot scarier, or was in 1976 as it is imprinted in my mind. I recall coming down a long, long grade without guardrails and that was the last long descent on the outside coming from Aspen. When going from Aspen you also go on the outside on the west side of the Pass along the narrow part with the low rock walls probably constructed by the WPA or CCC. That area has blind curves and is narrow and that's where RV's get in trouble and RV traffic is now restricted there. If you'd done west to east, your girlfriend may have been more concerned than on Tenn. Pass.

In the mid-'80's we camped in the parking lot at the summit one evening in a Microbus. We were the only ones there until rather late in the evening another vehicle pulled up alongside and also camped. It is a big lot and was empty except for us. I guess they felt safer being a few feet away from us.

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