November - March: Fridays, 9am-5pm.
2001 Hooks Spur Rd, Basalt, CO 81621
Tours are on Fridays from 11am-12pm from October - March (reservation required). See how livestock, hoop houses, and gardens produce through the summer while learning the science behind our vegetable production and livestock rotational grazing system. Tours are appropriate for all ages and provide opportunities to interact with our livestock and learn where your food comes from.
*Due to public health orders and in an effort to keep our ACES summer camp students safe, we are unable to accommodate having other organized groups of students at Rock Bottom Ranch. If you are interested in bringing a group of students to the ranch, please contact Derek Ferguson at [email protected] or call us at (970) 927-6760. We will note your request and get back to you once we are able to accommodate a visit for your group.
About Rock Bottom Ranch
Rock Bottom Ranch serves as ACES' mid-valley hub for environmental education, wildlands preservation, and sustainable agriculture. The 113-acre wildlife preserve and educational Ranch sits between the Roaring Fork River and the Crown of Mount Sopris and is conveniently located midway between Basalt and Carbondale on the Rio Grande Trail. Its acreage includes wetlands, spring-fed ponds, a braid of the Roaring Fork River, cottonwood bottomlands, a view of piñon-juniper woodlands on adjacent BLM land, teaching farmyards, pasturelands, and gardens.
At ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch we are guided by nature, balancing the wild and the agricultural, enriching lives and land. The Ranch is western Colorado’s “school” for teaching people of all ages how to grow healthy, local, sustainable food. This means farming using principles of ecology and natural biological cycles to satisfy human food needs while enhancing and protecting water, land, and climate resources. The Ranch is also home to our mid-valley ACES Ed programming, which features in-school environmental science education for Aspen, Basalt, and Carbondale Elementary Schools as well as field programs for over 50 regional schools.
Originally settled and worked by the Glassier family in the early 1900’s, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies purchased the ranch from Charlie Cole in 1999 with an agreement to protect the property’s important riparian habitat, to broaden ACES’ educational outreach programs throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, and to explore the complex interaction between agriculture and natural ecosystems along the Roaring Fork River. A conservation easement on the property ensures that it will always offer winter range and unobstructed river access for resident herds of elk and mule deer. Heron, hawk and owl nesting grounds exist at the Ranch, and its wild lands provide habitat to wildlife including bear, coyote, bobcat, weasel, and beaver.
Please come and visit us at to learn about our sustainable agriculture practices and purchase delicious local food. Visitors will enjoy exploring the gardens and animal paddocks on guided farm tours, seasonal programming for kids and adults, a trail system and outdoor classrooms, a cook book library, and myriad picnic spots including Cole Island, and myriad of picnic spots.
During the summer months our Farm to Table dinners feature local foods from the Ranch and other regional producers.
Rock Bottom Ranch products, including eggs, pork, lamb, chicken, and vegetables can be purchased at the Ranch during open hours, and at the Aspen Saturday Market and Carbondale Farmers' Market.
Call for availability of produce, meat, poutry and eggs: 970-927-6760
Rock Bottom Ranch can be rented for private events, weddings, retreats, and meetings. View Gallery