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Old 12-09-2014, 01:25 PM   #29
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6 year old thread notwithstanding, I was entertaining thoughts of revisiting that scene as summer of '15 will see me in the area. Those thoughts have now been laid to rest. The information here and from other sources convinced me to stay on I70.

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Old 12-21-2014, 02:11 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Airstream25 View Post
My thought is don't do it. The narrow road bed is more of an issue than steepness.

Here is the info from the "Mountain Directory West for Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers";

(on Colorado Highway 82 east of Aspen, CO)
This pass is closed in winter. Vehicles over 35 are prohibited. On the west side of this pass there are 15 mph hairpin turns that are much less than 2 lanes wide. There is little room to negotiate these turns because of vertical rock walls on one side and vertical drop offs on the other There is also very little visibility ahead to see if someone is coming from the opposite direction. This is certainly a spectacular pass to travel but not in a large vehicle.
The descent westbound begins with a sign that says--"Steep grade next 6 miles." There are sharp curves, including 15 mph hairpin turns but this upper part is much better road than farther down. The grade is about 6%. About 10 miles down from the summit the road narrows and the next 5 miles are steep and winding with the narrow hairpins described above. The Colorado Dept. of Highways lists this pass at 6%.
The eastbound descent begins with a sign--"Steep grade next 5 miles--sharp curves." There are 25 mph curves and 10 mph hairpins and parts of the grade during the first 4 1/2 miles seem much steeper than 6%. After the first 4 1/2 miles the speed limit increases but the grade remains about 5-6% for another 5 to 6 miles, finally leveling off about 15 miles down from the summit.
X2, I have driven the road many times with a car. There are some curvy narrow places without guardrails where it is impossible not to cross the center line or put a trailer wheel off the pavement. Additionally, at times the traffic is really heavy
I have driven my 25 foot Safari nearly everywhere including some places where I shouldn't have. Independence Pass is a shouldn't have place.

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Old 12-21-2014, 03:23 PM   #31
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We did Independence Pass going from Aspen and heading East in 2012 with a Toyota Tundra double cab 5.7L pulling a 23 foot Safari. Nice large parking area on top. Once you are on top... and heading EAST you are doing just FINE.

As you drive through Aspen you will see many restaurants. We stopped, had lunch in town and proceeded towards Independence Pass with trailer in tow. As you begin to leave town, as it seems to end where the entrance to Independence Pass begins... there is a very large sign. You cannot miss it warning that NO trailers are allowed.

Just great... as there is also NO WAY to exit. You are going to make it to Independence Pass and over... if it KILLS YOU. And, it sure can. You are on the guard rail side of the road, which is paved and well maintained. The drop is... well it is there and it goes down as you go UP. The road is wide enough for East and West traffic at the beginning, but obviously those blasting into the hard rock to create this road quit to let two narrow Ford Model A's to pass without incident.

It gets not only narrow about mid way, but if another wide vehicle is coming down... you cannot back up because of traffic behind you, and they cannot back up as the traffic is coming down. The only cure would be to pull your vehicle and trailer as close to the OUTSIDE EDGE so traffic heading WEST can pass. Then someone would have to proceed ahead when it widens... and widen is maybe gaining an extra three feet to "share". But if you get backed up here... it is a time to use some serious traffic control to remove yourself from this jam.

Lucky for me... we had breakfast early and once we were STUCK on this narrow highway for the first, and I will say last time... we made it up to the top without incident. The narrow curves are enough, barely, for two pickup trucks pass without locking... mirrors. Pulling a wide trailer... and not comfortable with a narrow mountain road, a dramatic drop that would crush the truck, the trailer and... well, not a pretty sight at all could develop.

NEVER even attempt this during any hour of the day going from Aspen and up to the Pass. Unless there is someone to stop traffic, totally, the risk is so severe of serious damage to your trailer, tow vehicle even if you are on the INSIDE heading to Aspen. IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

This section of Highway is not on my "bucket list" of things to repeat. I drive narrow blasted out roads in more remote locations and dread oncoming jeep or other traffic not spotted higher up throwing up a dust cloud on their way, up or down.

Pulling a wider and longer trailer around a curve... is pure suicide.

Other than that... we found it pleasant on top, took a walk around the observation area, took a photo of the trailer and sign, a photo of use posing next to the sign and... think of ourselves as the luckiest Airstream owners in the entire world!
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:56 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
As you begin to leave town, ... there is a very large sign. You cannot miss it warning that NO trailers are allowed.

Just great... as there is also NO WAY to exit. You are going to make it to Independence Pass and over... if it KILLS YOU. And, it sure can.
Reminds me of when we started up the coast highway in Marin Co. This road had just a warning about RV's, but also no place to turn around. Not as narrow as Independence Pass, but hairy anyway.


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