Head north 19 miles from Buena Vista (or south from Leadville) on Hwy 24. Turn west at Twin Lakes onto CO 82. Continue 23 miles to Independence Pass. Colorado 82 is a paved road all the way to Aspen, but is closed during winter months.
Aspen is 20 miles beyond Independence Pass. We spent an hour in Aspen and discovered that gas was $1/gallon higher than the rest of the state. Need to go back when we have more time to stay there all day.
Here is our 3-part video of the drive up Independence Pass:
Leadville & Colorado Southern Railroad
Sit back and enjoy the scenery while somebody else does the driving