Ranch on the Roaring Fork
Aspen, CO - 282 Acres - $7,750,000
Located at the western mouth of the picturesque Snowmass Canyon on approximately 1 mile of private Roaring Fork River frontage, the ranch enjoys both the intimate seclusion of a private retreat coupled with opportune access to numerous recreational and social endeavors. Fifteen minutes up the valley are the resort communities of Aspen and Snowmass - both heavenly escapes for winter sports enthusiasts, with four world famous ski areas, and for those who prefer the summer seasons, the area abounds with recreational pursuits such as hiking, fishing and horseback riding.
The Ranch on the Roaring Fork is comprised of approximately 282 acres of variable terrain, ranging from rich riparian habitat featuring +/- 1 mile frontage on the Roaring Fork River and three spring-fed trout ponds, to the vibrant pinion and juniper covered red hills on the elevated northern boundary. This unspoiled land spans the second largest privately held river frontage between Old Snowmass and Aspen. The property features irrigated pastures that allow up to 12 horses, as well as owner controlled direct access to National Forest and BLM lands, which the ranch borders all along its northern boundary. The property is home to clusters of dark pine, thick Gambol oak and old growth cottonwood trees, all providing excellent cover and habitat for the extensive wildlife that frequents the ranch.
Owning this 1891 homestead is preserving the bounty of the past, embracing authentic land stewardship and establishing a sanctuary for you and your family. Since John Wheatley settled the ranch in 1882 and claimed homestead in 1891, there have been just two other families who have held this handsome land. The original log structures, red brick Wheatley schoolhouse and other historic structures still stand today. In 1997 the Dart Family, together with Pitkin County and the Aspen Valley Land Trust in association with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, created one of the single most important and largest conservation easements in the county.
While the easement preserves the property’s natural aesthetics and insures against significant future development, the owners have reserved two building sites for the construction of future residential homes of up to 8,250 sq ft. These two home sites are pre-approved for residential dwellings of up to 5,250 sq. ft through secured entitlements with the county that are valid for 20 years. The purchase of additional Transferable Development Rights (TDR), gives an incoming buyer the ability to increase the maximum allowed square footage to 8,250 sq. ft. The 20-year entitlement is valuable in its own right as Pitkin County entitlements are approved for periods of 3 years. (TDRs are not included in the sale.)
The ranch is platted as two 141-acres tracts each with one home site, but the present owners have decided to sell the property in its entirety, 282 acres. An incoming owner may elect to sell a portion of the ranch at a later date or donate one of the home sites in the form of a conservation easement and receive the associated tax benefits.
The ranch features several historic improvements that add tremendous character to the property while providing guest housing and temporary residence to incoming buyers while their new home is being built.
Ranch on the Roaring Fork controls nearly 1 mile of the Gold Medal designated Roaring Fork River flowing through the property and three spring-fed trout ponds onsite, the Schoolhouse Ranch is a haven for both the seasoned angling enthusiast and the occasional fisherman alike. The Roaring Fork is one of Colorado’s premier rivers for trout fishing. Running from the top of 12,095 ft Independence Pass, the river flows unobstructed throughout its 70-mile journey to the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs. This private section of the Roaring Fork (the second largest privately held river frontage on the river) is a classic freestone fishery with prime pocket water, riffle-run structures and typical pool drops. The resident brown and rainbow population through this stretch is staggering, with consistent midge presence year round and a strong caddis population in the warmer months.
The three ponds offer excellent stillwater fishing for subtly rising trout and the hefty resident fish that dwell in the depths. Additionally, these tranquil waters are home to a host of seasonal birds and waterfowl and are a valuable resource to the extensive local wildlife.
There is an abundance of fish-filled waters in the famed Roaring Fork Valley to keep anglers happily casting to a variety of trout species. The Frying Pan River is known for its oversized trout and the buffet of consistent bug life that fatten these trophy fish. Flowing through a picturesque valley lined with sandstone and shale, the “Pan” offers the serious angler the chance to land the lunker that we’re all casting for each day on the water.
Common residents on the ranch include Mule deer, elk, fox, coyote, beaver, eagles, a variety of raptors, ducks, geese, grouse and seasonal song birds to name a few.