Historic Snowmass Canyon Ranch
After ten months on the market, Live Water Properties was engaged to re-price this exceptional river property down 14% to a well-supported price that represents a rare buying opportunity in the Aspen, CO real estate market. We are pleased to bring our clients this important sporting ranch.
In the most prestigious resort valley in the scenic Rocky Mountains, the 282-acre Historic Snowmass Canyon Ranch spans the second largest privately held river frontage on the Gold Medal designated Roaring Fork River.
With one full mile of river running through the ranch lined with a mature cottonwood forest, spring creek, three spring fed trout ponds and a mile of shared boundary with forested Federal lands, this Aspen Valley property represents a rare ownership opportunity for the serious outdoor enthusiast. Located just 12 miles north of the world-class resort in downtown Aspen, 10 miles from the Aspen commercial airport, and 12 miles from Snowmass Village, resort amenities are quite convenient. The present owners have protected the ranch with a conservation easement but have retained the right to build on two additional homesites and have secured generous entitlements with a rare 20-year timeframe from Pitkin County. The entitlements are in addition to the original Wheatley log cabin, the red brick schoolhouse and other historic structures that still stand today. In addition to the trophy rainbow and brown trout, owners will share this land with elk, deer, waterfowl, grouse, fox, and both Bald and Golden eagles. Offering price is $12,500,000.
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 Snowmass Canyon Ranch 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.
With approximately 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.
- Acreage: 282 Acres
- Live Water: 1 mile of Roaring Fork River
- Nearby Town: Aspen, CO
- Features: Ranch house, Schoolhouse, Hay barn, Gazebo, and Outbuildings