Hike Mountain Boy Ridge from the Top of Independence Pass

Summit Park Drive - Search Nearby - Added by Mike Fennell

Enjoy a beautiful drive to the top of Independence pass either via Aspen or Leadville, then get out and enjoy stunning views in every direction as you wonder amongst the giants on the high alpine tundra of the Continental Divide.

The trailhead is to the Independence Pass viewing deck is located at the Summit parking area, which is about 20 miles from Aspen and 24 miles west of Highway 24 on the Leadville side. At the parking area you will notice a paved walkway that takes you to the viewdeck, which is a easy five minute walk and worth checking out. The tundra around the area is easy to navigate about and fun to explore different views as you're on top of the Continental Divide.

If you're up for a longer adventure, you can do a moderate hike among the tundra along the section named Mountain Boy Ridge. You'll want to find the old jeep trail heading to the south west. It begins approximately half way between the view deck and the parking lot. This is not an official trail, and you will find no trailhead signs or name, but some have referred to it as Independence Pass Summit Trail and is clearly visible going up up the ridge. As it ascends along Mountain Boy Ridge, which is still part of the continental divide, it will gently curve towards the south as it wraps around Mountain Boy Gulch. The old Jeep trail eventually reaches two unnamed peaks that are close to 13,000 feet high. The trail ends just before the second peak once the tundra has turned into rock. Once on top of this tame peak along the Continental divide, enjoy beautiful views of the Collegiate Peaks to the East and Grizzly Peak to the West. If hiking in the summer, it is recommended to do this trail in the morning and avoid and scares of lighting storms. If doing the hike in the spring, bring your snowboard/skis and enjoy some spring alpine skiing on top of Independence Pass! With epic views the entire way, most will be satisfied turning around at any point, but to reach the second peak is about a 6 mile out-and-back trip.

Distance

6 Miles RT

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Snowboarding, Chillin, Photography, Running, Skiing, Hiking

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

Buena Vista KOA

Buena Vista, Colorado

From $125/night

The Cache

Frisco, Colorado

From $184/night

The Mill Club

Frisco, Colorado

From $145/night

Tucker Mountain Lodge

Frisco, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Epic Views

Beautiful hike that starts easy and gradually inclined and declined as I followed the ridge. Trail isn’t marked, but is easy to follow. Bring layers, as it gets SUPER windy the higher you get. Great to trail run, too, once your lungs get used to the altitude. Enjoy!

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