The 58-mile drive between Leadville and Aspen, Colorado is one of the finest scenic byways in the state. Highlights include the rushing waters of the Roaring Fork River, a stop at the mysterious Grottos, and stunning panoramas from Independence Pass, which—at 12,095 feet—is one of the highest points in the country reachable by paved road. Highway 82 also provides access to dozens of hiking trails, including strenuous climbs to a pair of fourteeners—Mount Elbert (14,433’) and La Plata Peak (14,361’). A short, wheelchair-accessible (though steep) trail leads to a nice viewpoint atop Independence Pass.
See below for a sprinkling of photos from this wonderful drive, ordered roughly from east to west.