This stunning drive leads over the Continental Divide from Leadville to the “back door” of Aspen. The photographic opportunities along the drive are as inspiring as the 12,095 foot summit.
Making our way from Leadville we will have a chance to capture the blue waters of Twin Lakes which can sometimes offer great mountain reflections (when the water is still). Also in the area are some amazing cascades which bounce their way down the rocky shores of a fast flowing creek. Leave your neutral density filter on, as we can make our way upstream to find some dramatic waterfalls. All this and we have not even started up the pass yet.
As we continue to rise in elevation and break free from the forest trees, we will pass through meadows and farmland. Some of these old farm establishments can offer great “rural living” photography like barns, fences and tractors.
Once we hit the switchbacks we will start gaining elevation very quickly. The views from some of these switchbacks are amazing, especially if the light is good to us and makes the distant peaks shine with a warm glow. We will be able to pull over and photograph Lake Creek as it winds like a sidewalk crack through the canyon floor below.
At the top of Independence Pass we will find numerous pools of water, little alpine tundra ponds which remain throughout the year. Use these water sources to capture reflections of the surrounding peaks or the alpenglow of the clouds during sunset.
During the winter this pass can be an amazing world of perfect white mountains. The summertime is no slouch either, with wildflowers holding their own in the harsh tundra environment. No matter what time of year, the views are amazing and you will find plenty to point your camera at.