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Colorado Scenery - Monarch and Independence Pass

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Larry and I decided to take a drive one Sunday afternoon, this was not our destination, we originally planned to take a drive on the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. When we got near the turn off to take that route the South Rim was covered with clouds, we decided to keep going East, on past Gunnison and over Monarch Pass. We'd taken this trip a few years ago, but didn't have a camera with us and thought we'd get some photographs this time. Mother Nature didn't cooperate with us much.

If you're afraid of heights and riding on the cliff side of a pass then I would recommend taking Monarch the opposite direction we did, go from the East to the West rather than West to East because we were on the outside going up, and it's a long, long ways down. The road is nice and wide and there are plenty of trees, that did help. We noticed the "flatlanders" behind us had Texas license plates and they were riding the center line most of the way, and at times were almost all the way in the westbound lane.

After going over Monarch Pass we decided to go north to Highway 82 over Independence Pass into Aspen. Between Salida and the turn off we were unable to photograph the beautiful scenery because of the high winds, rain and traffic. We passed several of Colorado's highest mountains in this portion of the road.

Again, if you're afraid of heights take Independence from the East to the West like we did, you're on the inside going up and going down the other side, with the exception of a small section, but it's not too bad and it is very short. Independence Pass road is very narrow in places and you have to beware of the "Mountain Pests" (bicycles). When we were near Aspen we were on a narrow portion of the road, rock wall on our side, cliff on the side of the lane going up. There was a mountain bike coming up, in the center of the lane, we were nearing a curve and an SUV came around and swerved into our lane to avoid hitting the bicyclist, saw us and swerved back, it was close, I closed my eyes, Larry said the SUV swerved back about 8 feet in front of our vehicle.

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Monarch gift shop
Gift shop on the top of Monarch Pass. This is really a nice gift shop, highly recommend you stop here - nice stuff and good prices.

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View from Monarch
View from the top of Monarch Pass

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Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes, Colorado

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Twin Lakes
Mountains around Twin Lakes.

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Mountains past Twin Lakes
Going past Twin Lakes towards Independence Pass.

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Going towards Independence Pass
Some place between Twin Lakes and Independence Pass.

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Independence Pass
View going up Independence Pass.

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Yule Marble Quarry Area - Garden of the Gods - Monarch and Independence Pass - Telluride Page One - Telluride Page Two - Yankee Boy Basin Page One - Yankee Boy Basin Page Two - Yankee Boy Basin Page Three - Crystal - San Juan Loop - San Juan Loop Page Two - San Juan Loop Page Three - San Juan Loop Page Four - Owl Creek Pass - Slate Road - Rocky Mountain National Park - Rocky Mountain National Park Page Two - Miscellaneous Scenery

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Steve's Independence Pass Pages

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