Over the past 50 years, thousands of students have unplugged from technology and connected to nature and one another at Aspen Valley Land Trust’s mountaintop outdoor education property, Chapin Wright Marble Basecamp.
This remote yet accessible property provides a safe and equitable outdoor learning space for local schools and organizations. Just two miles from the Town of Marble, nestled at 9,000 feet amidst a sparkling aspen grove between the Raggeds and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness areas, this 47-acre homestead remains pristine. For fifty years, Aspen Middle School had an informal agreement with the previous property owners allowing use for outdoor education. When listed for sale, AVLT purchased the property in 2016 with generous community support and grants from Great Outdoors Colorado and the Flatirons Foundation. As the owners, AVLT granted a conservation easement to Crested Butte Land Trust. Basecamp was named after Chapin Wright, an Aspen High School graduate who embodied the spirit of a naturalist, but whose life was tragically cut short. This year, AVLT completed a permitting process with Gunnison County in order to welcome more student groups to this backcountry experience while balancing the healthy and vibrant wildlife and plant habitat and sensitive springtime elk calving grounds.
Schools, nonprofits, and youth groups interested in utilizing Marble Basecamp are encouraged to reach out to learn more about trip planning and to facilitate use. An overview of what you can expect:
Property is open and available to schools and youth groups free of charge from July to mid-October.
Participants are required to sign liability waivers and schools are required to add AVLT to your insurance policy.
Typical stay is one to three nights.
Total group size is limited to 50 people (including students and adult support staff).
Access to property by students requires an approximately two mile hike from school bus drop at Beaver Lake (alternative arrangements can be made as needed).
Support vehicles are permitted on property to transport supplies, for emergency situations, etc.
Group gear on site provided by AVLT includes outdoor kitchen, food storage, hand washing stations, backcountry toilets, and two large (16 ft. by 20 ft.) wall tents. There is also a large area on the property for tent camping.
Groups are required to bring all supplies needed including potable water, food, and personal gear for inclement weather.
Connect your school with AVLT
If you represent a local school, nonprofit, or youth group and are interested in using the property for outdoor education, please use this form to contact Brian Hightower, AVLT's Outdoor Education Coordinator, for more information.
Support community outdoor education
You can help forever maintain and improve the Chapin Wright Marble Basecamp facility and welcome more students to experience this unique wilderness. AVLT's Community Education Fund will expand outdoor education to more protected places so more kids can connect to nature and one another. For more information about this fund, please contact Jeff Davlyn.
Aspen Valley Land Trust is dedicated to protecting land forever in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. For 55 years, AVLT has been a trusted community-supported conservation partner helping to ensure the natural and community health of our region.