September in Colorado is as Good as it Gets

It has been a wonderful rafting and summer season here in the Vail Valley. Thanks to all the wonderful folks who have joined Sage Outdoor Adventures this summer – it has been a blast!

As the nights get a little cooler, it’s beginning to feel a little bit more like fall here in the Colorado high country. Soon, the aspens will be turning a bright golden color. And for many of us here in Colorado, September is one of the best months of the year!

With bright blue skies and the shimmering of the yellow aspen leaves, this is a spectacular time to experience a mountain adventure. In fact, it’s a very popular season for both horseback riding and side-by-side ATV tours.

Horseback riding here on the ranch in September is an awesome experience. You’ll ride through old growth aspen stands and witness incredible scenery. And in typical Sage fashion, these are not your average nose-to-tail horseback rides. Being on a 6,000 acre private ranch means that we aren’t restricted to designated Forest Service trails. We can explore the entire place, and ride freely through this historic ranch that’s larger than the Vail ski area!

Side-by-side rides are also a great way to see Colorado in September. These rides also take place on this expansive private ranch, where you’ll have incredible view of the entire Vail valley.  In addition to the adjoining public land, we’ve got more than 20,000 acres of wild country to explore!

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the incredible rafting opportunities here in Colorado in September. While high water season may have passed, there are still some fun and wonderfully scenic river trips to experience in September around Vail and Beaver Creek.

And finally, this is one of the best times of year to experience fly fishing in Colorado. In September, big brown trout begin moving in advance of their fall spawn. And rainbow and cutthroat trout take advantage of grasshoppers and big hatches of late summer insects as they prepare for the lean winter.

If you find yourself in Vail or Beaver Creek this September, consider yourself one of the lucky ones! Because it’s between the peak summer and ski seasons, things are usually a little bit quieter. Take advantage of it, and find some adventure!

For information on our trips, please explore our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com. For details and booking you can contact us online or give us a call at 970-476-3700.

What’s the Difference on a Private Ranch Horseback Ride?

Horseback riding here in the Vail valley is a popular activity. But not all horseback rides are the same. We believe that the best possible experience is only found on a private ranch horseback ride. That’s what makes all the difference. And here’s why.

Most horseback riding operations are limited to US Forest Service trails and regulations. Forest Service permits limit exactly where horses can ride and stop. Taking groups of horseback riders off trail and cross-country is not allowed in many of the high-use areas like the trails around Vail and Beaver Creek.

Here at Sage Outdoor Adventures we do things differently. We operate on a 6,000-acre private ranch. That’s larger than the Vail ski area! This extraordinary ranch is home to expansive meadows filled with wildflowers, creeks and ponds, old-growth stands of aspen trees and historic cabins. The ranch is teeming with wildlife like elk and deer.

Our private ranch horseback rides are not limited by Forest Service permit regulations. Our riders are free to explore the entire ranch, follow game trails through the woods and trot through the sunny meadows. On a horseback ride with us, you won’t be riding single-file down a narrow dirt track. You’ll be able to explore the beautiful country that Colorado has to offer.

So next time you think of going on a horseback ride when you’re visiting the Vail area, break away from the pack and the standard nose-to-tail rides. Join us as we set off across a vast and historic ranch. Experience what a horseback riding experience should be!

Tag Us With #SageOutdoors in Your Summer Adventure Photos!

This summer we’ve had so much fun with visitors to the Vail Valley from all over the U.S. and the world! Most of our guides will tell you that the best part of their job is having the opportunity to meet so many awesome folks and to show them this beautiful Colorado mountain country.

We love seeing and sharing all the great photos that our guests share on social media. We count ourselves very fortunate to be a part of your vacation memories. Being able to look back and see some of those photos makes it that much more special.

If you’re visiting the Vail or Beaver Creek area this summer and enjoy an adventure with us, we would encourage you to tag us with #sageoutdoors on Instagram. Whether you are getting ready to hit the river, on a side-by-side ATV tour, a horseback ride, fly fishing or shooting sporting clays, we would love to see it and share it with the rest of the Sage Outdoor Adventures family!

You can also tag us with our full business name at #sageoutdooradventures but the shorter version, #sageoutdoors will work just fine. Be sure and search those hashtags to see all of the other fun shenanigans going on around here!

Our summer rafting season is still going full-force, and the ATV rides have been a blast this summer. And all that spring snowmelt didn’t just benefit the rafting. Our horseback riding guests have enjoyed a wonderful year for wildflowers. No matter what you snap a picture of, be sure and hashtag it with #sageoutdoors so that we can share it with everyone!

instagram (@deviesurb)

instagram (@timviv)

 

If you have questions about our trips, or if you’d like to learn more about any of the adventures we offer, you can contact us online or call us at 970-476-3700. Please also explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com.

Update On Summer Rafting Conditions

The whitewater-rafting season in Colorado is in full swing and we’ve enjoyed an awesome summer so far. With heavy spring snowpack across the state, we’ve experienced fun high water conditions throughout June and now well into July. Even as the summer moves along, most rivers are still running at normal or above normal levels.

Whitewater Rafting

Right here in the Vail valley we experienced outstanding rafting conditions on Gore Creek and the Eagle River. Now the Arkansas River and the Colorado River are also running at perfect levels. And with the warm summer weather that we’ve had, conditions have been ideal to be out playing in the water.

While our headquarters are here in Vail and most of our business comes from the Vail and Beaver Creek area, we offer a wide range of rafting options. From class II family floats to class IV and V adventures, it’s all available. In addition to our ‘home waters’ on Gore Creek, the Eagle River and the Colorado River, we also offer trips along the Arkansas, including the famed, “Numbers” section and Browns Canyon National Monument.

In case you didn’t see it, be sure and check out our blog post from last week, highlighting the Arkansas River and some of its highlights.

Rafting TripWith warm weather and great water levels, we expect rafting conditions this year to be excellent well into the fall. If you’re planning a summer trip to the Vail or Beaver Creek area, be sure and give us a call. While the summertime rafting is awesome, there’s also something very special about those early fall trips. After all, there’s nothing quite like September in Colorado!

If you have questions or would like more information on our trips, please call us at 970-476-3700 or send us a message. You can also find information on our other activities by exploring the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com.

See you on the river!

Featured River: The Arkansas River

The whitewater rafting season has been outstanding here in the Vail valley and across Colorado, and we’d like to introduce you to another one of our favorite rivers.

In case you missed our previous featured river, go back and check out our profile on the Eagle River, which offers some of Colorado’s best seasonal rafting from Vail, down through Avon and Beaver Creek.

This time, let’s talk about the Arkansas River. The ‘Ark’ is well-known in Colorado for it’s incredible whitewater all summer long. But there’s more than just rapids that make the Arkansas special.

“The Arkansas River brings to mind crystal clear, relatively warm water, in a semi-arid desert with warm air temps that create a perfect rafting environment,” Commented Cole Bangert, owner and guide here at Sage.  “It’s totally unique in the west. The flows on the Ark are augmented by reservoirs upstream, so rafting is phenomenal all summer; not just during early snow melt periods, like you see on the Eagle River or Clear Creek.”

According to Cole, the backdrop on the Arkansas River also makes it unique. The entire corridor is lined with towering 14,000-foot peaks, the highest concentration of “14-ers” in the state. With snow-capped peaks above and desert granite boulders below, the banks of the Arkansas River are scattered ponderosa pine, and the vanilla aroma from their bark fills the air.

If all that isn’t enough, the whitewater is top quality. 

“The upper stretches of the Arkansas boast big class V rapids, with the steepest commercially run rapid in the U.S.,” Cole added. “The Pine Creek section drops at a gradient of over 200 feet per mile. This is a mile-long class V rapid with tricky moves, fast water, big waves, and big hydraulics that must be run with precision and power.”

Just below Pine Creek is the popular, “Numbers” stretch, where rafters will find some of the most fun class IV drops anywhere in Colorado.

And finally, below the town of Buena Vista is the most popular stretch on the Arkansas River, Browns Canyon National Monument. This spectacular canyon was designated a National Monument in 2015, and for good reason.

“Here, you have the opportunity to float through a jaw-dropping gorge,” Cole concluded. “It consists of ten miles of class III rapids, where groups and families can enjoy an incredible experience amid these impressive natural surroundings.”

For more information on our rafting trips, or on any of the great outdoor adventures that we offer from Sage headquarters in Vail, explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or call us at 970-476-3700.