Photograph the Milky Way on Independence Pass

Summit Park Drive - Search Nearby - Added by Gustavo Quiros

Photograph the Milky Way under the clear skies of the continental divide in Colorado. This is a great spot to drive to hang out and enjoy the night skies. At 12,000 feet the stars and Milky Way could not look any more magnificent! 

From Aspen CO, drive up highway 82 towards Twin Lakes and stop at the top of the pass.

Once you reach the continental divide there will be a sign that says Independence Pass with an elevation of 12,095 feet. Here you can park the car for free and use the bathroom area.

To photograph the milky way you will want to check any lunar calendar and make sure it is as close to a new moon as possible, that way about an hour after sunset you should begin to see those stars pop and the Milky Way right in front of you.

Take your time to find a spot where car headlights will not affect you long exposures, as you will most likely be shooting at an exposure of 30 seconds or longer. Use a flashlight to compose you shots and maybe a little light painting as well. 



Easy Parking

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!


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