Colorado Rafting Trips That Must be On Your Radar

Take it from your favorite paddle junkies. We’ve had the opportunity to explore rivers all over our home state. Colorado is home to some incredible rafting adventures. If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore many of them, let us fill you in.

Here are the Colorado rafting trips that must be on your radar:

Northwest Colorado:

Our state’s namesake river, the Colorado River offers a number of great stretches that can be done in a day. From the mouth of Gore Canyon, all the way down into Glenwood canyon, there are a number of day-trip sections suitable for a wide range of abilities.

The Eagle River also offers some outstanding day-trip stretches. Check out the upper Eagle from Minturn to Edwards and the lower Eagle River from Wolcott to the town of Eagle.

Another Norwest Colorado favorite of ours is the Roaring Fork, particularly the Slaughterhouse section.

The Yampa River offers visitors the chance to experience a 5-day wilderness trip. The scenery will leave you dumbfounded, and then you add in the class III and IV whitewater, and this one is a winner.

Southwest Colorado:

The Animas River is a great one near Durango that offers excellent day trips. The Animas has everything from family friendly trips to difficult whitewater.

The San Juan River is unique in that visitors can experience an extended, 7-day wilderness adventure. With no difficult rapids, it’s great for families with young children. You will feel like you are the first person to ever be there.

The Dolores River also offers overnighters, from 3-day to 7-day wilderness trips. The Dolores travels through different micro-climates, starting in the mountains with tall ponderosa pines, and then turning into a classic desert canyon trip near the Utah border.

Southeast Colorado:

The Arkansas River is the undisputed Jewel of southeast Colorado and perhaps some of the most famous whitewater in the state. Well known sections of the Arkansas include Pine Creek, Numbers, Browns Canyon, Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge. With great day trips that are easy to reach from the front range, it’s easy to see why rafting trips on the Ark are so popular.

Northeast Colorado:

The Poudre Canyon is a Front Range favorite. This Wild & Scenic river is home to day trips just outside Fort Collins, Colorado on class III sections of the lower Poudre.

The North Platte River is a hidden gem in Colorado. But don’t let its sleepy status fool you.  The Wild & Scenic North Platte offers some awesome multi-day wilderness trips that cross from Colorado up into Wyoming.

Clear Creek is a popular paddling playground that’s close to Denver and the Front Range metro area. Visitors here can enjoy day trips on several different sections of Clear Creek.

adventure raft

If you’d like to learn more about the awesome Colorado rafting trips that we offer here at Sage Outdoor Adventures, please check out our Rafting Page. You can also contact us online or simply give us a call at 970-476-3700.

Horseback Rides Are Back – The Midwinter Mountain Experience

The warm weather and the lack of snow around the Vail Valley isn’t getting us down. In fact, we’ve decided to offer some incredible, winter horseback rides!

Normally a summer activity here at Sage Outdoor Adventures, we are bringing back our horseback rides for some awesome midwinter mountain adventures. We’ve been getting daily requests for winter horseback rides, so we have decided to do it.

Like our summer horseback rides, these trips will be on our beautiful trail system along streams, lakes, sage flats, through snow-covered aspen groves and stands of old-growth timber.

If you enjoy horseback riding in the summer, you will be enthralled with a winter exploration of the Colorado backcountry on horseback. With snow on the ground, the cottonwood creek bottoms and aspen groves are stunning. The low snow level has allowed wildlife like elk, deer and coyotes to remain on the ranch in abundance where they are highly visible to our guests.

Guests should dress warmly in their ski clothing, just like you would be going skiing for the day. We will offer small, intimate groups of six horses or fewer. The rides are 1.5 hours long and we provide transportation to and from Vail and Beaver creek, included in the cost of the trip.

If you love mountains and you love horses, this trip is for you!

To reserve your midwinter mountain horseback ride please call us at 970-476-3700 or send us a message. See you on the mountain soon!

December Wildlife Adventures in the Vail Valley

If you’re visiting or soon to visit the Vail Valley this holiday season, you may already be aware that the weather here has provided some unusual circumstances. Rather than snowmobiling this time of year, we are still enjoying some awesome side-by-side ATV tours and December wildlife adventures.

We finally received a little snow on the ranch this week. But it’s not enough yet for snowmobiling. But there is one neat benefit to this shallow snow cover through the woods and on our trails…it’s perfect conditions for studying wildlife tracks.

The mild weather this month means that deer and other wildlife have not yet migrated further down the valley floor. Wildlife is still on the ranch in abundance. And the light snowpack has proven to be a fun discovery for our guests.

Wildlife near Beaver Creek“To us, it is an open book of what’s going on, 24 hours a day,” said Sage founder Darryl Bangert. “We’ve been able to clearly see deer, does and their fawns meandering as they feed then bed down for day or night. We’ve followed the tracks of big bull elk traveling through the area. And we’ve even found mountain lion tracks as they stalk, chase, and capture deer.

“We’ve had a great time stopping to study the tracks and to teach our guests what they are, and how to read these stories in the snow,” Darryl continued. “We’ve found tracks from wild turkeys, coyotes, ermine, rabbits and squirrels. We’ve seen big golden eagles almost daily, many times sitting on their prey.”

At first glance, December in a ski town without much snow might seem like a drag. But these last few weeks have provided a rare opportunity to enjoy the mountains in a different way. While we’re looking forward to getting on those snowmobiles, these unusual wildlife adventures have certainly been a pleasure.

And as is typically the case, when one month is more dry than normal, another month will usually make up for it. Last winter also began with little snowfall, but ended with the highest snowpack in several years. The snow will come. In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the mountains on four wheels!

For more information on side-by-side ATV tours or (upcoming) snowmobile tours with Sage Outdoor Adventures, please contact us or give us a call at 970-478-3700. We look forward to helping you plan your next Colorado backcountry adventure.

The Sage Outdoors Side-by-Side ATV Experience

While rafting trips need no explanation and horseback riding is always a popular mountain activity, we often receive questions about our side-by-side ATV tours. What makes these trips so special? Why explore the Vail area in a side-by-side?

It’s a valid question. While many of our Vail and Beaver Creek vacationers can lay claim to at least one previous horseback ride or rafting adventure, we get a lot of first-timers on our ATV trips. But after their first time, we can almost guarantee – it won’t be the last!

What makes these trips so special? First and probably most obviously, it’s the wind on your face and the fast-paced, driver’s seat view of Colorado’s spectacular mountain country. On our ATV tours, you are the driver of your own adventure.

Next, we are fortunate to operate on a 6,000-acre private ranch, an area larger than Vail ski area. Plus, there’s an adjoining 14,000 acres of public land to explore. In addition to the exclusivity, what’s the biggest benefit of having access to this historic private ranch? We’re riding purpose-built, side-by-side ATV trails. These aren’t your run of the mill forest service roads. On private land, our trails can be manipulated to be extremely entertaining. And that’s exactly what they are!

Finally, the Sage experience is special because we run new, top of the line machines. Our Maverick’s offer outstanding handling and performance that makes the entire experience that much more fun!

Here’s a quick look at our ATV touring experience:

For more information about our ATV tours here at Sage Outdoor Adventures, check out our Side-by-Side ATV Page. For booking and availability contact us or call us now at 970-476-3700.

Featured River Profile: The Eagle River

It’s time to get to know some of the incredible stretches of whitewater here in Colorado! This state has incredible rafting opportunities, and we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorites. In case you’re not already familiar, here’s a look at the Eagle River.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to raft the Eagle River, you need to make time!

“Right now is prime season for the Eagle River and when it flows, it’s some of the best whitewater in the nation, no joke,” said Sage Outdoor Adventures owner and river guide, Cole Bangert. “All the river enthusiasts in the state flock here during peak season. If the prime season on the Eagle ran longer into the summer, it would rival the Arkansas River in use numbers.”

While the Arkansas’ long rafting season makes it the most famous river in the state by a long stretch, the Eagle is perhaps the most underrated. Because during its peak-rafting season, there is nothing else like it. It’s long, steady gradient drops with awesome class 3 and 4 rapids the entire way, including a continuous, mile-long class 4 rapid!

“The Eagle River is unique in the sense that it has a very steady gradient,” Bangert said. “Specifically, the upper section from Minturn to Avon has a very steady drop. As the water rises with snowmelt, the fun increases. It’s pretty much a 10 mile wave train.”

Perhaps the Eagle River’s most famous stretch is Dowd Chute.

“This is a fire hose of a rapid,” Bangert commented. “It’s class 4-plus and it’s fast and steep with big pushy waves. The last wave is named Tyson’s, as it delivers a very heavy hit. Paddlers in the front of the boat generally end up in the laps of the people in the back of the boat on this hit.”

After Dowd chute, the fun isn’t over. In fact, the rest of the upper Eagle River features 10 miles of outstanding class 4 whitewater, culminating in the “Edwards Mile”, a mile-long class 4 rapid with continuous huge waves.

For more information on rafting the Eagle River or any of our other rafting trips throughout the summer, check out the Rafting Page on our website or give us a call at 970-476-3700. Don’t miss your chance to raft one of the best rivers in Colorado this season!