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.

Shifting Gears and Looking Ahead to Summer Adventures

Summer Adventures

Spring snowmobile conditions have been outstanding here at Sage Outdoor Adventures! We’ve enjoyed a great season of snowmobile tours and we’d like to thank everyone who has visited us this season! We’ve enjoyed meeting many of you and we hope to see you back here next year!

We have decided to wrap up our snowmobile tours for the season so that we can give our staff a break before we jump into summer activities like rafting, horseback riding, ATV tours and more. It’s always sad to put the snowmobiles away for the year, but we have a lot of great summer fun to look forward to.

It’s currently snowing here in the Vail Valley and the snowpack continues to pile up! Rafting season is going to be awesome in Colorado this year and we are already busy preparing for our whitewater trips.

Even amid the warm weather that we’re starting to enjoy, snowpack is still at about 110% of normal here in central Colorado. As weather continues to warm up, we will start to see water levels rising in local rivers. If you’re planning a trip to Colorado this spring or summer, be sure and call us for details.

You won’t find a more fun, dedicated and experienced group of rafting guides anywhere in the state. Sage owner Darryl Bangert has been guiding commercially here since the 1970s and we work extremely hard to carry on that incredible legacy of quality rafting adventures.

If you have questions about summer tours or availability over the coming months, please give us a call at 970-476-3700. Or you can find more information on our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com.

Snow Update: What it means for Snowmobiling and Summer Rafting

This winter, the Vail Valley and the rest of Colorado has experienced some of the best early season snow conditions that we’ve seen in years. With snowpack reaching nearly 150% of normal, our snowmobile tours this season have been incredible! If you haven’t been paying attention, be sure to follow us on Instagram, @sageoutdoors or like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/SageOutdoors.

All this snow came before the middle of February and that means there’s more in store! Another series of storms is predicted over the next week that will provide our snowmobile tours with a nice “reset” for powder conditions. Then consider that March is typically the wettest month in Colorado. We can expect to see great spring break snowmobiling conditions. And with a hefty snowpack, visitors to the Vail and Beaver Creek area could have great spring snowmobiling opportunities all the way through April.

For many of us here at Sage, snowmobiling is only one of the perks of a healthy snowpack. Our rafting guides are already drooling at the prospect of an epic runoff season. With this much snow in the high country, we could be looking at a great summer of whitewater rafting adventures.

Currently, snowpack in the Colorado River basin and statewide is at about 145% of normal. Here’s to hoping that we see a few more big storms before the winter is out!

For more information on our guided snowmobile tours, please check out our Snowmobiling Page. If you’re planning a summer trip to Colorado or interested in the upcoming rafting season, be sure to visit our Rafting Page. Other activities include horseback riding, ATV tours, sporting clays and fly fishing.

Explore the entire site and all these great adventures at SageOutdoorAdventures.com. Or give us a call at 970-476-3700.

Snowpack Rising and Perfect Powder Conditions

winter playground

Storms have continued to bring more snow to the north-central mountains of Colorado and our 6,000-acre private ranch in the Vail Valley has transformed into an endless winter playground! Our snowmobile riders have powder conditions! We’ve received nearly two feet of snow in the past week and with another winter storm warning in effect, we could easily have a couple more feet before the week is out.

The Colorado snowpack has exceeded 130% of normal and these above-average snow levels mean “WAHOO!” conditions for snowmobiling here on the ranch. Cornices have formed and hill-climbs are in. The land has naturally transformed into an incredible snowmobile playground. Think of it like a giant skate park on steroids, as far as the eye can see.

What’s the best part? Endless powder turns without ever riding a ski lift. With no lift lines and incredible powder conditions, our two-hour snowmobile tours give you as much time on the snow as a day of skiing. Experience the thrill of a snowmobile ride on one of the most beautiful ranches in the Vail Valley with incredible views. The hardest part might be wiping the giant grin off your face.

We are on track to have one of our best winters in the past few years. Snow conditions are perfect and it’s time to experience it! For more information, check out the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or give us a call at 970-476-3700. We would love to host you for an incredible snowmobiling experience.

Sage Raft Race Team Preparing for National Championships

Sage Raft Race Team Preparing for National Championships

It’s the dead of winter and it might seem like a long time until rafting season here in Colorado, but the Sage race team is hard at work, preparing for the Rafting National Championships in May!

The 2017 championship will be held in Oklahoma City from May 18-20 as part of the Oklahoma City Whitewater Festival, an event that will also include canoe and kayaking competitions.

Throughout the winter months, the Sage raft race team is training hard in the pool. With a bungee strap anchored to the side of the pool, the team is able to paddle in place, which provides great resistance training.

Our team is serious, and we are fired up for National Championships in May!

No matter the time of year, we’re always working hard to plan our next rafting season here at Sage Outdoor Adventures. And 2017 looks like it could be an outstanding year in Colorado. It’s still early in the season, but snowpack levels are already well above average. Statewide, current snowpack levels are 116% of normal. If that trend continues, we’ll be on pace for a memorable summer of rafting!

But no matter what the weather brings in 2017, we look forward to having a great time with many of you out on the water. For more information on whitewater rafting and our other summer activities here in the Vail Valley and surrounding areas, please visit our Summer Home Page.

In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the snowmobiling here in this winter paradise!