Colorado Rafting Trips That Must be On Your Radar

Take it from your favorite paddle junkies. We’ve had the opportunity to explore rivers all over our home state. Colorado is home to some incredible rafting adventures. If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore many of them, let us fill you in.

Here are the Colorado rafting trips that must be on your radar:

Northwest Colorado:

Our state’s namesake river, the Colorado River offers a number of great stretches that can be done in a day. From the mouth of Gore Canyon, all the way down into Glenwood canyon, there are a number of day-trip sections suitable for a wide range of abilities.

The Eagle River also offers some outstanding day-trip stretches. Check out the upper Eagle from Minturn to Edwards and the lower Eagle River from Wolcott to the town of Eagle.

Another Norwest Colorado favorite of ours is the Roaring Fork, particularly the Slaughterhouse section.

The Yampa River offers visitors the chance to experience a 5-day wilderness trip. The scenery will leave you dumbfounded, and then you add in the class III and IV whitewater, and this one is a winner.

Southwest Colorado:

The Animas River is a great one near Durango that offers excellent day trips. The Animas has everything from family friendly trips to difficult whitewater.

The San Juan River is unique in that visitors can experience an extended, 7-day wilderness adventure. With no difficult rapids, it’s great for families with young children. You will feel like you are the first person to ever be there.

The Dolores River also offers overnighters, from 3-day to 7-day wilderness trips. The Dolores travels through different micro-climates, starting in the mountains with tall ponderosa pines, and then turning into a classic desert canyon trip near the Utah border.

Southeast Colorado:

The Arkansas River is the undisputed Jewel of southeast Colorado and perhaps some of the most famous whitewater in the state. Well known sections of the Arkansas include Pine Creek, Numbers, Browns Canyon, Bighorn Sheep Canyon and the Royal Gorge. With great day trips that are easy to reach from the front range, it’s easy to see why rafting trips on the Ark are so popular.

Northeast Colorado:

The Poudre Canyon is a Front Range favorite. This Wild & Scenic river is home to day trips just outside Fort Collins, Colorado on class III sections of the lower Poudre.

The North Platte River is a hidden gem in Colorado. But don’t let its sleepy status fool you.  The Wild & Scenic North Platte offers some awesome multi-day wilderness trips that cross from Colorado up into Wyoming.

Clear Creek is a popular paddling playground that’s close to Denver and the Front Range metro area. Visitors here can enjoy day trips on several different sections of Clear Creek.

adventure raft

If you’d like to learn more about the awesome Colorado rafting trips that we offer here at Sage Outdoor Adventures, please check out our Rafting Page. You can also contact us online or simply give us a call at 970-476-3700.

Featured River Profile: The Eagle River

Rafting in the Vail Valley

It’s time to get to know some of the incredible stretches of whitewater here in Colorado! This state has incredible rafting opportunities, and we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorites. In case you’re not already familiar, here’s a look at the Eagle River.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to raft the Eagle River, you need to make time!

“Right now is prime season for the Eagle River and when it flows, it’s some of the best whitewater in the nation, no joke,” said Sage Outdoor Adventures owner and river guide, Cole Bangert. “All the river enthusiasts in the state flock here during peak season. If the prime season on the Eagle ran longer into the summer, it would rival the Arkansas River in use numbers.”

While the Arkansas’ long rafting season makes it the most famous river in the state by a long stretch, the Eagle is perhaps the most underrated. Because during its peak-rafting season, there is nothing else like it. It’s long, steady gradient drops with awesome class 3 and 4 rapids the entire way, including a continuous, mile-long class 4 rapid!

“The Eagle River is unique in the sense that it has a very steady gradient,” Bangert said. “Specifically, the upper section from Minturn to Avon has a very steady drop. As the water rises with snowmelt, the fun increases. It’s pretty much a 10 mile wave train.”

Perhaps the Eagle River’s most famous stretch is Dowd Chute.

“This is a fire hose of a rapid,” Bangert commented. “It’s class 4-plus and it’s fast and steep with big pushy waves. The last wave is named Tyson’s, as it delivers a very heavy hit. Paddlers in the front of the boat generally end up in the laps of the people in the back of the boat on this hit.”

After Dowd chute, the fun isn’t over. In fact, the rest of the upper Eagle River features 10 miles of outstanding class 4 whitewater, culminating in the “Edwards Mile”, a mile-long class 4 rapid with continuous huge waves.

For more information on rafting the Eagle River or any of our other rafting trips throughout the summer, check out the Rafting Page on our website or give us a call at 970-476-3700. Don’t miss your chance to raft one of the best rivers in Colorado this season!

The Spring Melt is Underway

Another late blast of snow across the Rockies last week dumped more than a foot of wet spring snow in some locations. This week, temperatures are back up into the 70s in many places across Colorado. The smaller creeks are filling up and water is starting to rise. The spring melt is underway!

Even this late in the year, the state’s snowpack currently stands at about 105% of normal. Runoff is just beginning and there’s still a ton of snow up high. Depending on how rapidly summer temperatures arrive, runoff this year could last weeks longer than normal. At its peak, this season will bring some epic whitewater rafting conditions!

In fact, much of the Arkansas River and the Colorado River are already at the low end of their runnable levels. It won’t be long before we’re entering prime rafting season! This will be a rafting season not to be missed. Give us a call at 970-476-3700 to reserve your spot. Or check out our rafting trips.

While the rafting community is celebrating an outstanding year of whitewater conditions, fly fishing enthusiasts might be less enthralled with the prospect of an extended high-water season. However, many veteran anglers will tell you that runoff is not the time of year to sit on the sidelines.

Among many in the fly fishing world, runoff gets a bad rap. Water is high, often muddy and many of your favorite holes might be unrecognizable. But that doesn’t mean the fishing isn’t great. I just means you have to fish it differently.

In some ways, runoff provides advantages that help offset the challenges. During high water, fish concentrate in predictable locations. They tend to get pushed out toward the banks and into any slack water where they can find reprieve. You may not be able to wade during runoff, but you probably don’t need to. With fish in these more reachable locations, they can be easily targeted from shore. Check out our fly fishing page for more information.

No matter what you find yourself doing this spring, whether you’ve got a paddle or a fly rod in your hand, have fun and enjoy all that Colorado has to offer! If you have questions about trips with Sage Outdoor Adventures, call us at 970-476-3700 or send us a message.

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.

In Case We Didn’t Have Enough Snowmelt Yet…

All winter long we’ve been anticipating a great summer season of whitewater rafting here in Colorado. With snowpack reaching as high as 150% of normal earlier in the winter, we knew all along it was going to be a killer year for rafting. But even as the spring melt is underway, we’ve received a series of new storms over the past couple of weeks that have dumped even more snow in the high country.

Just in case you thought there wasn’t enough snowmelt yet, we’ve got more! The serious melting began with a stretch of warm weather in March. But even after the melting trend began, spring storms have continued to add on. In fact, now that we’re into April, snowpack in the Colorado River basin is still about 110% of normal. In the Arkansas basin, it’s closer to 120% of normal.

Over the next few months, we’re going to see a serious runoff! This could be one of our best rafting seasons in several years. From exciting class IV to V whitewater trips, to more leisurely class II adventures, it’s going to be a long summer of fun here in Colorado. Our rafting trips include the Colorado River, Eagle River, Gore Creek and the Arkansas River.

The rafting season here gets underway in May and on some rivers will last into October. If you’re planning a summer trip to Colorado, be sure to give us a call to plan your epic whitewater rafting trip. Call us at 970-476-3700.

If you’d like to learn more about our rafting trips, please check out our Rafting Page. You can also contact us online for more information. See you this summer!