Mountain Boy Ridge Trail at the Summit of Independence Pass is a must-do if prepared. Absolutely stunning as you hike past the Summit along Mountain Boy Ridge across the Continental Divide and see views like no other.
Bring your boots and hiking essentials, and wander far beyond the lookout. You won’t be disappointed!
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Just to the right of the walkway to the Lookout at the Summit, we found an old jeep trail leading southwest. This is Mountian Boy Ridge Trail. No signage but a well-traveled trail. However, not everyone knows it will lead you far beyond the Summit. We are thrilled to hike it!
We found it a gentle hike through a wildflower haven in the beginning. The Lookout is a nice spot for those new to high altitude. But, we are prepared to go further. Luckily our day is warm, with no wind, and sunny, and it could not be more perfect. (we have been on top of the pass several times, and it has been as low as minus 11 degrees). Yikes!
At high altitudes, dehydration plus fickle weather is always something to consider. > CLICK HERE for a look at Practical gear that we love at Crazy About Colorado and have in our backpacks on every hike.
It’s smoky in the air from wildfires in California. Nonetheless, our views were still unsurpassed, looking down as we headed towards the single-track trail ahead. It’s gorgeous.
Once on the single track, it’s a steady uphill climb along the Continental Divide, but the views are so breathtaking that I don’t even notice. Even thru the smoky haze, you can see forever across Colorado’s highest peaks.
We hike up, and we hike down along a narrow, well-defined trail that, on a couple of occasions, seems a bit near the edge for me. However, it was not as intimidating as it looked.
END OF TRAIL
We ended at the most unusual black rocks, which signified the end of the trail. I can’t express in words how incredible it is up here. Looking west, east, and south it’s a one-of-a-kind hike.
Whether going up or heading back, we are surrounded by nothing but views.
The views continue to follow us as we head back onto the old jeep trail. The tundra gets greener, our breathing gets easier, and our wonder never ceases.
If weather conditions are favorable and you’ve acclimated to high altitude, take a wander and see Colorado at its highest! I stress being acclimated to the altitude because it is real and can make you sick. Read here for more info >High Altitude Warning Signs.
Know the weather forecast – before hiking above the treeline – a good source is to search Independence Pass on mountainweather.com.
6 miles out & back
Nearest towns; Aspen, Leadville
Highest elevation: Near 13,000′
Restrooms at Summit
Note: Many of the links are affiliate links which means I receive a very small commission (at no added cost to you).