Legacy Ranches and Fine Sporting Properties

Dallenbach on the Fryingpan

Basalt, Colorado (Eagle County)
137 +/- Deeded Acres

With downtown Basalt only 2 miles away and world-class Aspen/Snowmass just a thirty-minute drive.

Anchored in the heart of the Gold Medal trout-fishing waters of the famous Fryingpan River
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  • One of the most beloved, well-known properties in the greater Roaring Fork Valley as a result of the Dallenbach family’s longtime hospitality and stewardship. Many locals and visitors have attended events large and small hosted at the ranch, including the Colorado 500, weddings, and the numerous non-profit fundraisers that often take place on the emerald lawn beside the beautiful Fryingpan River.
  • Approximately 2,800 linear feet of both sides of this gold medal stream, one of the largest private holdings on “The Pan,” one of the great wading, trout streams of Colorado.
  • Several wells, a spring, and a surface water right irrigate roughly twenty acres and supply water to the numerous cabins and home.
  • Bordered on three sides by a Colorado state wildlife area and BLM land, making the property “play” even larger and adding to fishing and hunting opportunities.
  • Five minutes to downtown Basalt, fifteen to Willits and Whole Foods, and thirty to the other Roaring Fork Valley communities, including world-class Aspen and its ski areas and airport (upvalley), and Carbondale and Glenwood Springs (downvalley), meaning everything one needs is nearby.
  • The property is located at a comfortable all-season elevation of 6,500 feet.
  • Ruedi Reservoir is located fifteen minutes away in the upper Fryingpan Valley, where boating, camping, and more fishing can be enjoyed.
  • Historically called the Wood’n’Handle Ranch, the property was originally homesteaded in the 1880s, but acquired by Indy Car race driver, Wally Dallenbach in 1973.  The family has since run it as a gentlemen guest ranch, grossing a six-figure income from cabin and event rental.
  • This property is co-listed with Michael Latousek of Douglas Elliman Aspen.
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Anchored in the heart of the redstone-flanked, Gold Medal trout-fishing waters of the famous Fryingpan River, the legacy Wood’n Handle Ranch has been carefully stewarded by the Dallenbach family for a generation. With approximately 137 acres and a half-mile stretch of rare, totally private river, this ranch has the best of the rural Wild West with the convenience of quaint downtown Basalt only 2 miles away and world-class Aspen/Snowmass just a thirty-minute drive. Historic cabins date back to the days of the Basalt-Leadville railroad, sites for a new, custom residence sit up above with awesome views of the valley. No conservation easement and abundant water resources give this expansive rural acreage that is virtually surrounded by a state wildlife area a myriad of opportunities, including continued use of rental income (14 short- and long-term rental cabins and a popular event tent) or, with its Eagle County entitlements, potentially a unique luxury, sporting compound for a stunning family getaway.

Lay of the Land
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This property is one of the closest-to-town, large acreage rural properties in the Roaring Fork Valley market. Located just outside the quaint downtown of Basalt, where seeing wader-clad fishermen strolling down the sidewalks is commonplace, the ranch essentially sits in the middle of the greater Roaring Fork Valley and all of its amenities and resources. The property itself straddles Fryingpan Road, with the half-mile of the stream flowing through its southern portion where the steep red rock cliffs rise upward on one side, and the other side sloping gently upward from the lower irrigated meadows where the residences and ranch operations lie, continuing to where the rolling landscape forms the foothills of Basalt Mountain, a landmark in the midvalley that oversees the Fryingpan Canyon and the ranch. The lower elevations of the ranch consist of mainly cottonwoods and willows, and the upper, ponderosa pine, spruce, gambel oak, and piñon. An on-property road accesses the upper reaches of the property.

At this comfortable 6,500-foot elevation, summertime temperatures are typically in the 70s and 80s. Fall temperatures range in the 60s and 70s during the day and drop in to the 40s and 50s overnight. Wintertime temps range from highs in the 30s and 40s during daytime to the teens at night. Average annual precipitation at this elevation consists of approximately 16 inches of rain and 60 inches of snow (the ski areas upvalley, on the other hand, average 250-300’). One of the advantages of the Dallenbach property topography is that being at the bottom of the valley with all of its streamside vegetation and rocky escarpments means that the residences are often shaded from the hot summer sun, while the upper ground is more open and south-facing with big views of the valley, offering a lot of alternatives to a property owner and guests depending on the time of year.

The Aspen Airport which is less than thirty minutes away offers daily jet service to several cities year-round and has a busy FBO offering full services to private aircraft. Eagle Airport is an hour away in the other direction near Vail, Colo. Grand Junction is two hours away, and Denver is a four-hour drive.


The Dallenbach property consists of numerous residential structures in its operations area alongside and above Fryingpan River Road. The main residence is a pleasant log cabin of 2,300 square feet. Ten small, western-themed 1-bedroom cabins are clustered at the west end of the operations area, and three larger cabins are perched directly over the river, across the road to the south; this is unique, as residences cannot be located so near a stream, mere steps away, any longer. There is also a large garage/shop with an apartment above it, and an equipment shed. The opportunity likely exists to build a large new residence on the property of an unrestricted size, as well as more cabins. Contact the listing agent for more info on the additional developability of the ranch.

Sporting Features
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As described, the Dallenbach property possesses over a half-mile of both sides of the gold medal Fryingpan River.  Gold medal-designated water means such fishing areas have been assessed by the Colorado Parks & Wildlife as providing great spots to catch large trout. These waters are defined as being able to produce 60 pounds of trout per acre, and at least twelve 14″ or larger trout per acre. Only 322 miles of Colorado’s 9,000 miles of trout streams carry the “Gold Medal” signature.

The Dallenbach stretch, with its various riffles, shallows, eddies, and deep, slow pools with overhanging red rock, is home mainly to healthy populations of 12-20 inch rainbows and browns.  State record-sized trout are caught now and then on the Pan upstream of the property below the Ruedi Dam.  Several miles of additional, accessible gold medal water sits adjacent to the ranch both upstream and down. Being a tailwater fishery, hatches can be experienced year-round on the Fryingpan.


The Dallenbach property is also home to terrific hunting. Being surrounded by state and federal public lands, the ranch is a virtual inholding sitting at the bottom of a wild, unspoiled drainage stretching from the top of Basalt Mountain down to the ranch and the Fryingpan. The property is located in an over the counter, general draw area, CPW Units 444 and 447, where tags for elk, bear, mule deer, and mountain lion can be procured. The famous Fryingpan Canyon Bighorn Sheep herd is also common in the property’s vicinity (this species can only be hunted by a special drawing).


Ruedi Reservoir, about fifteen minutes upstream, is home to summer recreation such as fishing, sailing, boating, and camping.

The Upper Roaring Fork Valley, of course, is home to world-class recreation at the Aspen-Snowmass resorts located thirty minutes away, where the activities list includes downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting. For golfers, Basalt’s private, Jack Nicklaus-designed Roaring Fork Club is just ten minutes away.

The water resources likely exist to have a small equestrian operation on-property as well.

Ranch Attributes
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Ranch Operations

This property was originally a homestead along the historic Leadville to Basalt route in the late 1800s that included Hagerman Pass over the Continental Divide. Initially named the Wood’n’Handle Ranch, this former potato farm was acquired by Indy Car race driver, Wally Dallenbach, in 1973. The family has since run it as a gentlemen guest ranch, having added a lot of cabins and improved the water resource production. The family now grosses a healthy six-figure income from cabin and event rental that showcases the beautiful Fryingpan River setting and its top-notch fishing.

Conservation Value

No conservation easement currently encumbers this property, presenting a potentially lucrative opportunity for a new owner to protect the property from further development. Contact the agent or the local Aspen Valley Land Trust for more on this.

Water Rights

The Dallenbach property possesses an adjudicated spring, five permitted wells (with the upland well being permitted, but not yet drilled), and one surface water right, producing more than adequate supplies for irrigating approximately twenty acres and domestic water to all of the residences. The 1 cfs Mizer surface water right from the river dates back to 1882. A pond with a fountain serves as yet another one of the well sources. These water resources mainly feed various water lines and sprinkler hook-ups around the lower expanses of the ranch, keeping the large lawns green all summer and fall. There are also nine septic systems on the property.

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