Featured River: The Arkansas River

Rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado

Whitewater rafting has always 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 rivers, go back and check out our profile on the Shoshone rapids through Glenwood canyon. Also check out the upper Eagle River and Gore Creek, which offer some of Colorado’s best early-season rafting from Vail, down through Avon and Beaver Creek.

Arkansas River: Colorado’s Ultimate Rafting River

This time, let’s talk about the Arkansas River. The ‘Ark’ is well-known in Colorado for its 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 snowmelt periods, like you see on the Eagle River or Clear Creek.”

Colorado's Arkansas River is perfect for rafting

Enjoy Stunning Views while Rafting

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. Raft the Arkansas River as a group!Brave Arkansas River's whitewater rapids

Tackle Arkansas River’s Powerful Rapids

“The upper stretches of the Arkansas River 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.

Float through a National Monument

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.

A Driver’s Side Look at Our Side-By-Side ATV Tours

ATV tour near Vail, Colorado

Your summer adventure isn’t complete until you experience a side-by-side ATV tour. This is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. When you feel the open air and the excitement of these 4×4 vehicles, riding on wild trails throughout our 6,000-acre private mountain, it will leave you speechless.

Tour a Private Mountain

Right here in the Vail Valley and close to Beaver Creek, we offer side-by-side ATV adventures on an area that’s larger than the Vail ski area – and it’s exclusively for Sage guests. We have the entire place to ourselves, to explore and to take in this wild, Colorado mountain experience.

Enjoy Custom-Built Side-by-Side Trails

Our side-by-side trails are custom-built, specifically for this purpose. Unlike some tours out there, these aren’t just old borrowed Forest Service trails. We’ve designed a trail system to maximize your experience on this epic mountain. We’ll cruise through open meadows full of wildflowers. We will twist and turn through aspen and spruce forests. And we’ll take in jaw-dropping views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Side-by-side ATVs

Catch a Glimpse of the Wildlife

The mountain is home to elk, deer, and a variety of wildlife. From here we can enjoy views of seven different mountain ranges, including the continental divide. We can even hike out to the rim of the Eagle River Canyon, and look off into the 2,400-foot gorge. It’s a special place, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

If you’d like to learn more about our side-by-side ATV tours, please click here where you’ll find pricing and the ability to book online. If you’d like to speak with someone here at Sage, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 970-476-3700.

See you on the mountain this summer!

ATV Tours in Colorado

3 Things You Need For Every Colorado Summer Adventure

Colorado Summer Adventure

The summer season is flying by and we’re having a blast on rafting trips, horseback rides, side-by-side ATV rides and fly fishing trips with all of our guests. It has been a beautiful summer so far here in the Colorado high country.

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. 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 of hours of horseback riding or a full day of rafting, take the time to apply some sunblock, even if you don’t burn easily. Don’t underestimate the power of the summer sun here at altitude.

Summer Season

  1. 2. Sunglasses

Again, the sun at high elevations in the Rockies runs hot. It can be hard on your eyes if you’re not wearing UV protection. Glare from water and snow can be especially 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!

Colorado Summer Adventure

  1. 3. Water Bottle

The arid Colorado 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, come with a flexible attitude and ready to have fun! Our crew will take care of the controllable factors – but on any mountain adventure, weather and conditions can vary. A smile and a sense of adventure will go a long way toward making any situation a fun one. If you have questions about summer trips with Sage Outdoor Adventures, give us a call at 970-476-3700. Explore the rest of our website for trip information, booking and more.

Guided Fly Fishing Trips

Ready For Summer? Experience a Side-by-Side ATV Adventure

ATV tour near Vail, Colorado

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. You may be asking yourself: what makes these trips so special? Why take time to explore the Vail area in an ATV?

It’s a valid question. While many regular Vail and Beaver Creek vacationers can lay claim to at least one previous horseback ride or rafting trip, 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’s so special about the Sage ATV Experience?

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 side-by-side ATV tours, you are the driver of your own adventure.

Next, we are fortunate to operate on a 6,000-acre private mountain base area. To put it in perspective, that’s larger than Vail ski area. Plus, we enjoy exploring an additional 14,000 acres of adjoining public land. We have a ton of country to explore, and it’s only accessible to Sage guests.

In addition to the exclusivity, what’s the biggest benefit of having access to this historic private mountain? We’re driving on trails that are specifically designed for side-by-side ATV adventures. These aren’t your average Forest Service roads. On private land, we custom design our ATV trails 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!

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.

Side-by-side ATVs overlooking Vail, Colorado's Mountain Range

Update From Our 2021 White Water Raft Guide Training

Raft Guide Training

We’ve had a blast at our annual Raft Guide Training Program and we’re excited to have a new class rookie river guides this spring. With rain and even some late-season snow, it has been an eventful start to the rafting season here in Colorado!

Our River Guide Training is a premier program that prepares our trainees with the skills they’ll need to guide commercial whitewater and fishing trips. Plus, it’s just a ton of fun!

White Water Rafting Guide Training Requirements

As a part of our raft guide training, rookies must complete a minimum of 50 hours of training. This 10-day program will focus on rescue techniques, rowing, paddle guiding, river features, hydrology, boat terminology, rigging, customer service and more. Prospective guides must also receive training in leave no trace ethics.

Colorado River Guide ClassThese state requirements are mandatory for all river guides in Colorado. We not only adhere to the mandated state requirements for river guide training, we surpass them in most areas. We begin by approaching all training exercises with a deep respect for the river. All our guides are trained specifically for the demands of commercial rafting.

During this exciting training program, our rookies will be challenged daily, having the opportunity to swim through intense whitewater, practice rescue situations, and maneuver boats with and without a paddle crew…and have a blast while doing it all.

What Makes our Training Different

What makes our program truly special is the group of instructors that are some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable river experts in the business. Instructors must have 1,500 miles of commercial and private experience. This year, we have eight instructors teaching our spring classes.

Colorado Rafting Guide Class

Our raft guide training is always exciting because these classes coincide with the start of spring runoff and high water conditions. Every day is a new day for our rookie guides. Every day come new skills, as the water levels get progressively higher.

Our crew here at Sage works tirelessly to make these adventures possible, and that’s exactly what sets us apart. We love the mountains and these rivers, and we are passionate about sharing that with our guests. We are proud to maintain a drug and alcohol-free workplace. And with this team, you won’t find a more fun, genuine, professional, and skilled group of guides anywhere else.

If you’d like to learn more about our annual River Guide Training Program or other career opportunities at Sage Outdoor Adventures, please check out our Careers Page.

To learn more about rafting with us, take a look at our Rafting Page. We’d love to see you on the river with us in Colorado this summer!