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!

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.

Spring Break in the Rockies: Big Storms and Plenty of Sunshine

Spring Break in the Rockies

As we’ve mentioned in recent weeks, snow conditions are incredible right now in Colorado, with snowpack well above average. For those of you looking forward to Spring Break vacations later this month, there’s a lot to get excited about!

Spring in Colorado usually means two things: giant storms and abundant sunshine. Many folks are surprised to learn that historically, March brings more snowfall than any other month in Colorado. Here in the Rockies, spring storms tend to be measured in feet, not inches.

In between each big dump of snow, there’s rarely an overcast day. Sunshine is the norm. As the days get longer, the sun is getting stronger. So do not forget sunscreen on your spring break snowmobile rides! Sun protection for spring vacationers to Colorado is no joke. In addition to sunscreen, a good pair of goggles is essential to protect your eyes in the bright, snowy conditions.

Our guests will enjoy awesome conditions this year all the way through April. While we close our winter business on April 16, backcountry skiers and snowmobilers will be kept busy well into June this year. This year’s snow conditions are setting up for a fun season of backcountry skiing in Colorado. Those great 50-degree slopes usually become available in May after the spring slide cycle. This year, the amount of snow will provide an even longer season than normal.

This year’s conditions are also setting up perfectly for a great climbing season on Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. Some fun snow routes will be available this year for the 14er enthusiasts, plus the opportunities to glissade down. There’s a lot of adventure to look forward to over the next few months!

Finally, if you’re getting as excited as we are about summer activities like rafting, be sure to check out the Summer Pages on our website. Or give us a call at 970-476-3700 for trip booking info. We look forward to seeing you here at Sage Outdoor Adventures!

The Importance of Suspension for Serious Snowmobile Riders

Snowmobile

By Cole Bangert

Suspension is a crucial part of the setup for more aggressive and advanced snowmobile riders. It changes the entire feel of the machine. Over the past several years, I’ve been spoiled by Fox Racing Shocks and have learned why great suspension makes a world of difference.

Correct suspension settings allow a rider to approach any terrain far more aggressively. With proper suspension, the sled becomes more predictable. This affects the proper ride height, weight distribution, and rebound and compression rates.

Stock suspension on most snowmobiles tends to be soft. Soft suspension creates an unsettled feeling in the sled. It can feel somewhat unstable at high speeds and unpredictable in changing snow densities. When encountering unforeseen obstacles or firm snow layers, a rider will “slap” the bottom of the suspension. This is an awful feeling. It’s a resounding slapping noise that can be heard over the motor. The result is not good. It hurts your wrists, ankles, sled, and confidence.

Aftermarket suspension, especially Fox, will not increase the amount of suspension travel you get on a snowmobile, but is infinitely more tunable. You can set it up correctly for your particular ride weight, style and terrain.

The “spring rate” is what holds you and the sled off the ground. Traditional springs are steel or titanium. Most vehicles on the road have same thing, steel springs holding the weight of the car. Most Fox Shocks for snowmobiles have an air spring. There is a pressurized air chamber holding the weight up. This offers a different feel from steel and is also highly adjustable. With nothing more than a pocket size pump, changes can easily be made on the fly.

The next point of consideration is damping. To understand damping, picture a pogo stick. When compressed, it rebounds and flings you right back up in the air. Not something you want to happen in suspension. Damping is what slows the compression and rebound so the reaction of the shock is manageable.

Damping is also adjustable. It can be as easy as using a clicker knob on the outside of the shock. There are typically high and low speed adjusters for compression and rebound. This is often confusing for riders, so here is a simple way to decipher high speed versus low speed damping:

Low speed damping is your body weight. This includes anything you are doing to the shock by pushing down with your body weight, like compressions on the face of a jump. The speed of your shock compressing and rebounding is quite slow on these.

High-speed damping comes from the ground up. This might be a square edge bump that you hit at a fast rate of speed. Your shock compression and rebound speed are very fast and abrupt. You need faster rebound on this type of obstacle because there may be multiple obstacles right after one another. If your rebound is too slow, your shock will not recover to full length before the next hit. This causes the suspension to “pack up” and operate on the bottom of the stroke, which is not a good feeling.

Good suspension is a must for any semi serious to serious snowmobile rider. It changes the game, changes how and where you will ride. It’s a major confidence booster, and confidence is everything in a rider.

For more information on snowmobile rides and the other adventures we offer near Vail, Colorado, please explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or call us at 970-476-3700.