“A backcountry ridgeline route above the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan river valleys - a classic!”
— Leslie Kehmeier
The Arbaney-Kittle Trail follows a historic ranching road turned pack trail that climbs 2,000 feet from Basalt to the ridgeline separating the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan river valleys.
From Basalt, it's a stiff climb to get up to about 9,000 feet. From there, the route is still climbing but the grades aren't as intense. For the most part, you'll be running through a mixed forest of pine, spruce, and aspen.
At times, the trail will be right along the ridge, making for some great (sometimes brief) views. You'll also be treated to large stands of solid aspen that are beautiful any time of year.
Expect another grunt of a climb as you traverse towards Sloan Peak. This will be the most difficult part of the route. On the east side of the peak, the trail follows the ridge above the Frying Pan River and Ruedi Reservoir.
Red Canyon Trail (FS 1993) might be a steep downhill option if you decide against going all the way to the far end of the trail. Otherwise continue all the way to Kobey Park Rd.