Photograph the Milky Way on Independence Pass

Rate this Adventure

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. 

Read More


Easy Parking


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Twin Lakes, Colorado

White Star

Overview Picturesque White Star Campground lies at the foot of Mt. Elbert, Colorado's highest peak, among fragrant ponderosa pines. The campground provides convenient access to Twin Lakes Reservoir...

Twin Lakes, Colorado

Lakeview Campground

Overview Lakeview Campground, with wonderful views of the Twin Lakes Reservoir, offers a large space with options for tent, RV and group camping. Located about 29 miles north of Buena Vista, Colora...

Turquoise Lake Road

Molly Brown

Overview Named after the "unsinkable" Molly Brown on the Titanic, Molly Brown Campground, on the eastern shore of Turquoise Lake, sits in a shaded lodgepole pine forest. The campground is ideal for...

Turquoise Lake Road

Baby Doe

Overview Baby Doe Campground is situated on the eastern shore of Turquoise Lake in the shade of a lodgepole pine and subalpine fir forest. The family-friendly campground is a popular summer destina...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Lost Man Pass via Independence Lake

    Park at the pull out just west of independence pass. From there, begin on the Linkin's Lake Trail. The trail is generally easy to follow (although it can be muddy as it is a wet area) and climbs 900 feet in the 1.8 miles to independence lake. From...

    4.5 miles 1200 ft gain

  • Hike Mountain Boy Ridge from the Top of Independence Pass

    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 ...

    6 miles

  • Watch the Sunset from Independence Pass

    Start in the town of either Aspen or Twin Lakes and continue on Interstate 82 to the top of Independence Pass. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for the Ghost Town of Independence, fields of wildflowers and the occasional moose, elk or deer. Co...

  • Drive Independence Pass

    Whether you are driving or biking, the elevation gain is significant, it's over 4,000 ft. The road is fairly narrow so being cautious is important. The highway itself is seasonal; it's closed for winter due to icy conditions. We stopped along the ...

    32 miles