Welcome to the Independence Pass Foundation

Independence Pass is now OPEN for the season
and will close again on November 7 or earlier
depending on road conditions.
For the latest information on road closures and conditions,
go to http://www.cotrip.org/

Or contact Karin Teague,
Executive Director, 970.274.9690

IPF Places Interpretive Signs
At Summit
of Pass

Members of the Board of Directors and staff of the Independence Pass Foundation and staff of the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District and Leadville Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service gathered at the summit of the Pass July 29 for the unveiling of four interpretive signs.

The Independence Pass Foundation placed four interpretative signs at the summit of Independence Pass on July 29. Redevelopment of the summit of the Pass has long been an IPF priority. The new signs are a first step towards making the summit more accessible, safe, and informative for thousands of annual visitors.

The signs will be great addition to the amenities for travelers, and will foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the human and natural history of the Pass. The sign titled "The Environment of Independence Pass" describes the flora and fauna of the Pass as well its recreational opportunities. A second sign educates about the Continental Divide and water diversions. The "Early Travel Over the Pass" sign features historical photos showing the original road, travel by horse and buggy, early cars, and modern snowplowing. The “Peak and Attribute Locator" sign near the east side overlook provides 360-degree views of the surrounding Elk Mountains

The new signs were designed by Julie Kolar of Esse Design. Julie also designed the signs at the Alpine Garden that IPF installed two years ago. We appreciate the cooperation and input of staff of the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District and Leadville Ranger District U.S. Forest Service and others into the sign development process.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”   —  John Muir


The steep slopes along the “Top Cut” of Independence Pass are healthier and more beautiful every year thanks to the efforts of the Independence Pass Foundation and the generosity of its donors. The Top Cut is the one- and one-half mile stretch of roadway just below the summit on the western side. IPF began installing compost blankets to revegetate the steep hillsides below the Top Cut in 2004, and completed the last of these massive projects in 2013. The results are evident in the green and grassy slopes that have transformed what was formerly bare rock and eroding soil.

Meet Some Independence Pass Wildflowers!

Over 300 species of wildflowers call Independence Pass home, but some can only be found on the east or the west side of the Pass, and some in only a few special spots. Here are a couple of rare beauties found on the east side this summer—a shooting star (Dodecatheon pullchellum) and clustered broomrape (Orobanche fasciculata).

Fun fact for wildflower nerds: These two flowers are the same species, Erysimum capitatum, and while yellow grows on both sides of the Pass, we have only ever seen the lavender variety on the east side. Any different information anyone?

About the Independence Pass Foundation

The Independence Pass Foundation (IPF) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3)] foundation based in Aspen, Colorado. Working with local, state and federal agencies, IPF develops and implements projects that maintain and enhance the ecology and beauty of the Pass and improve the recreational opportunities that are available to people of all ages. The Foundation is led by a 14-member volunteer Board of Directors and an executive director.

Since its founding in 1989, IPF's many donors, volunteers and contractors have continued to support us with their time, their expertise and their dollars. IPF is truly the beneficiary of the community's caring for Independence Pass. We are honored to represent all who love the Pass in our everyday work.

A copy of our federal tax return form 990 is available for public inspection at www.guidestar.org.


Click here to view the IPF video 2013 Ride for the Pass Results Download Our 2014 Annual Report Download Our 2013 Annual Report