Advanced Snowmobile Tours with Sage

Winter was slow to arrive here in Colorado, but snowmobile season is now well underway. Snowmobile tours have been great so far, and even more snow is on the way.

Most of our snowmobile tours are 2-hour beginner and intermediate tours that really teach our guests how to ride and get the most out of their snowmobile experience. However, we frequently receive questions about our advanced snowmobile tours.

Our advanced tour uses 120-horsepower Ski-Doo mountain snowmobiles. These sleds are designed specifically for off-trail riding.

These are incredible machines and on our advanced tours, we teach our guests how to ride in deep powder, climb steep hills and navigate thru trees. This is guaranteed to be the most exciting snowmobile ride you can do!

Just like our beginner and intermediate snowmobile tours, this is not a “follow the guide and keep up” kind of experience. We operate with very small guide-to-guest ratios. Each tour is personalized, and we take the time to make sure our guests are learning, having fun and really experiencing the thrill of the Colorado backcountry.

In addition to some exciting advanced snowmobiling terrain, we have 10  free-ride meadows scattered throughout the 6000-acre ranch. These wide-open spaces allow everyone to get their throttle therapy. With our high-end grooming equipment, these free-ride areas are groomed on a regular basis.

The snowmobiling experience here is different. On a 6,000-acre ranch that’s bigger than Vail ski area, there are no other tour operators. You’ll have the place to yourself with more than 100 miles of custom-designed trails! Our three snowcats keep trails in prime condition, so that you can enjoy the thrill of the ride. From the ranch, you’ll enjoy views of seven mountain ranges, the continental divide and the 2,400-foot chasm into the Eagle River Canyon.

For more information on snowmobile tours with Sage Outdoor Adventures, please explore the rest of our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com or call us now 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!

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.