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.

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.

3 Things You Need For Every Colorado Summer Adventure

The Sage crew is busy preparing for the summer season here in Vail, Colorado. We’ve got all-new rafting equipment coming in for our guests, we’re getting ATVs ready to ride, making improvements to our sporting clays course, and prepping our ranch facilities for horseback riding. There’s a lot to do, but summer can’t come soon enough!

As you prepare for your own summer adventures, here are three easy-to-overlook items that you’ll need for any Colorado summer adventure. Whether you’re on the water or on the trail, don’t forget to pack these critical items.

  1. Sunblock

In the Colorado high country, the sun comes full-strength. If you appreciate your skin, don’t leave home, or your hotel room without it. We’ve seen plenty of folks put a damper on their trip by getting burned on the first day. Whether you’re out for a couple hours of horseback riding or a full day of rafting, take the time to apply some sunblock, even if you don’t burn easily.

  1. Sunglasses

Again, the sun here in the Rockies runs hot. And it can be hard on your eyes if you’re not wearing UV protection. Glare from water and snow can be particularly harmful. Be sure to pack a pair of sunglasses when you set out for a day of adventuring. If you’re headed for the river, don’t forget sunglass straps!

  1. Water Bottle

The arid Rocky Mountain climate and the high altitude combine to cause quick dehydration. Headaches are the most common reaction to altitude. Fortunately, drinking plenty of water is usually the best prevention. And in an effort to limit the large amount of waste generated by plastic bottles, remember to bring your own reusable water bottle on each day’s adventure.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun! A smile and a sense of adventure will go a long way in the mountains. If you have questions about summer trips with Sage Outdoor Adventures, give us a call at 970-476-3700 or contact us online. You can also explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com for more info.

Reserve Your Summer Rafting Dates Today

Spring temperatures are arriving in Colorado and water levels are already beginning to rise! There’s still tons of snow up high and as runoff progresses, we’re looking forward to an awesome season of rafting! This year is going to be one to remember.

It’s no secret that snowpack is well above average and that an epic rafting season is just around the corner. Whitewater enthusiasts are already busy planning summer adventures. Prime dates this season will fill up fast. So if you have a trip in mind, we recommend reserving your summer rafting dates early this year!

We offer a wide range of rafting experiences to suit different ages and ability levels. Here’s an overview of our rafting adventures:

Float Series (Class II)

Our Float Series rafting adventures are perfect for all ages. These trips on the upper Colorado River travel through beautiful canyons where you’ll enjoy splashing through waves and leisurely swimming holes. We even offer a Ducky Trip, giving you the opportunity to captain your own two-person raft! For more information, check out our Float Series.

Adventure Series (Class III)

Our Adventures series whitewater rafting trips provide the excitement of rapids and spectacular Colorado canyon scenery. You won’t be able to wipe the grin off your face. These trips are widely varying depending on the season and interests of your group. They include stretches of the Colorado River, Gore Creek, the lower Eagle River and the world-renown Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River. Find more details on our Adventure Series.

Adrenaline Series (Class IV & V)

Our Adrenaline Series trips offer some of the best nonstop action on the most well known stretches of whitewater in Colorado. Experienced rafters will tell you that the Numbers and Pine Creek Sections of the Arkansas River are some of the best. But don’t overlook our local river in the Vail Valley. The Eagle River offers some of the best whitewater in the state. Check out our Adrenaline Series.

To reserve your dates for an incredible rafting trip, call us now at 970-476-3700 or contact us online. Let’s plan your adventure!