Near Aspen in Pitkin County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Restoring the "Top Cut"
The "Top Cut” of Independence Pass refers to the section of road directly across the valley from this viewpoint. During the 1920s, highway construction and subsequent erosion heavily damaged the slopes above and below the road. Stabilizing these slopes and restoring native vegetation have been and continue to be primary goals of the Independence Pass Foundation.
The native rock retaining walls between this site and the Pass summit were constructed between 1996 and 2008 by IPF in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation. The Foundation's work also supports safety improvements for travelers and recreationists and helps protect the pristine headwaters of the Roaring Fork River.
For more information on IPF and to donate to projects on the Pass, visit www.independencepass.org.
Photos, top row, left to right: The restoration of the Top Cut began in 1994, and continues today. Work on the Big Cut included building the stabilizing wall, rebuilding the slope above the wall, and revegetation with native plants.
Photos courtesy of Independence Pass Foundation
Erected by Independence Pass Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas • Roads & Vehicles.
Location. 39° 7.316′ N, 106° 34.88′ W. Marker is near Aspen, Colorado, in Pitkin County. Marker is on Colorado 82, on the left when traveling west. Marker is approximately 14 miles east of Aspen, in the White River National Forest. The road is closed October-May. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aspen CO 81611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Independence Pass Foundation (a few steps from this marker); Early Travel Over the Pass (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Continental Divide (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Environment (approx. 1.3 miles away); Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 1.6 miles away); Independence Townsite (approx. 1.6 miles away); Tent City (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aspen.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 47 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.