At 12,095', Independence Pass is the fourth highest paved road in Colorado. The west side from Aspen and the east side from Twin Lakes are very different in character. This ride is from Twin Lakes to the summit and back; a 35-mile round trip with 3,100' of climb (including 500' on the return) that consists of about 13 miles of rolling climbs through a valley and then 4 miles of steeper climb and switchbacks to a summit well above the tree line. Expect snow on the ground in June and maybe July!.
For a true challenge, continue over the summit and ride 18 miles down the west side to Aspen and back up; adding 36 miles and a whopping 4,400' of climb back up from Aspen for a total of 73 miles & 7,600' of climbing.
Be aware that the road on the west side is narrow, sometimes less than 2 full lanes, with a number of sharp blind corners. Pro riders train here when in Aspen and it has been featured annually in the US Pro Challenge, but don't hesitate. We've seen a fellow do it on a unicycle!
Drive south of Leadville on US 24 and turn right (west) on CO 82. Go 6 miles to Twin Lakes where there is ample parking on the south side of the highway in the middle of town.