Independence Mountain  
Maps/GPS:                    
USGS 7.5' Map: Independence Mtn, Pearl, Lake John
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 2 BLM 2504, CR35 16.78 8,275 to 9,600 ft. NA 1-2 hours
County: Jackson
Adopted by:      
Managed by: BLM NW District, Kremmling Field Office
Jackson County
2103 E. Park Ave., Kremmling, CO 80459
404 4th Street Walden, CO 80480
(970)724-3000
(970) 723-4660
Summary: Independence Mountain 4WD road climbs up and over Independence Mountain northwest of Cowdrey Colorado.
Attractions: Scenic views
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: May - Possible snow drifts
June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Early snows possible
Trail Heads
Accessed:
 
Camping: There are campsites along the upper forests.
Base Camp: This would be a good area to base camp and explore other 4WD roads in the area.
Fall Colors: Average - The southern end of the 4WD road has lots of aspen groves. The center and northern end are pine forest and were burnt in a 2016 forest fire.
Navigation: South end start
From Walden, Colorado head north on CO-125 N/Main Street toward Van Horn Ave and continue to follow CO-125 N for 9.4 miles. Turn left onto JCRD 6w and go 5.3 miles. Turn right onto County Road 35, Independence Mountain 4WD road.

North end start
From Walden, Colorado head north on CO-125 N/Main Street toward Van Horn Ave and continue to follow CO-125 N for 9.4 miles. Turn left onto JCRD 6w and go 17.1 miles. Turn right onto County Road 35B, Independence Mountain 4WD road.
History:  
Description:
Starting from the south end you will head across open land toward Independence Mountain. The two lane graded road is managed as Jackson County CR35 and BLM2504 and will head over the rolling hills as it climbs toward the mountain.
South end start

photo by:
Adam M

After winding through the hills and gullies you will come up onto a long straight section of road that runs on the ridge between Placer Creek to the north and California Gulch to the south.
Climbing up

photo by:
Adam M

The road will continue to climb toward Independence Mountain. You will come to an intersection with a road on the right, BLM 2514. Continue left heading towards a stand of trees.
More climbing

photo by:
Adam M

The road will run along the aspens and loop around a small ridge bringing you to the final climb up to the more flat slopes of Independence Mountain. There will be more vegetation and aspens now that your up on the top of the mountain. From here you can look back at the North Park valley.
Looking back south

photo by:
Adam M

There will be an intersection as you come onto the flat area. The road to the right is another branch of BLM2514. Stay to the left running along the edge of the bench. You will come to another spur road to the left which goes to a campsite with nice views to the west.
Looking west

photo by:
Adam M

Stay to the right to continue on BLM2504. There will be another spur road on the left to a campsite. You will head in and out of the aspens and then come to another intersection. The road to the right is BLM2513. Stay to the left and you will come out of the aspens into an open area with a campsite on the right side of the road.
Between the trees and the edge

photo by:
Adam M

The road will head around aspens and come to a large four way intersection. The road to the left is County Road 7B, which heads back down the mountain to JCRD 6w. The road to the right is BLM2510. Continue straight ahead through the intersection as the road will narrow a bit becoming a two track. You will pass a spur road on the right that goes to another campsite. The road will head back into the aspen trees for a short distance and then come to a small opening with a dispersed campsite on the right and a 0.39 mile spur, BLM25048, on the left. Continue ahead back into the trees. You will come to an area were the trees on the right side of the road had been burned in the Beaver Creek Fire. You will come to another spur road on the left, BLM25047, which is 0.19 miles long and goes to a dispersed campsite. Continuing on you will come to another spur road on the right, BLM25046, which is 0.65 miles long going into the burned area. There was a campsite here before the fire.

Continue to the left and you will head through the the forest with some areas revegitating after the fire. You will come to a left curve in the road with a spur on the left, BLM25045, which is 0.28 miles long. Continue right around the curve and head to the west through the same burned and revegitating forest. You will come to another campsite on the right. The main road will head northwest through some low rolling hills that makeup the north arm of Independence Mountain.
Heading northwest

photo by:
Adam M

The road will continue along through the remains of the forest coming to an intersection in an open area. The road on the left is BLM2503, which heads to the northwest down off of Independence Mountain. Just past the intersection you will pass another spur road on the right, BLM25044, which is 0.48 miles long. From here the road will continue north through burned and spared sections of the forest for over two miles.
Continuing north

photo by:
Adam M

Finally you will pass a spur road on the right and then one on the left, both going to campsites. After going over a half mile you will come to another short spur road on the right, BLM25043, that only goes 0.16 miles. The main road will continue through more open burned forest with patches that did not burn, finally coming to a sharp left curve. At the curve there is a two track road on the right, Wills Reservoir Connector BLM25122, that heads north. Stay on the main road which will head west and then north in a large curve. You will pass another spur road on the left, BLM25042, which goes just over a half mile. The main road will continue north for a short distance and then head west down a small creek coming to an intersection with Wills Reservoir, BLM2512, on your right. You are now crossing private property as the road gets a bit wider and maintained. You will go over a small rise and then down a short hill to cross Wheeler Creek and then pass a road on the left that goes to a private home. Staying right you will head through some aspen groves and then cross an open area that expands out toward Wheeler Creek. You will come to another intersection with the other end of BLM2503 on your left. Turn right and cross Troutman Draw then climb a short hill to connect with JCRD 6w. Left here takes you back to Cowdrey, right will take you to Pearl.

Data updated - January 5, 2024     4WD Road driven - September 3, 2023     Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2024