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.

Take on Colorado's white water rivers

Here are the Colorado whitewater 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 River 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 Whitewater Rafting in Colorado

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.

Epic Colorado Combo Trips: Snowmobile and ATV Adventures

ATV and Snowmobile Combo Trip

What’s better than one kind of adventure? Two, of course! We’re now offering some awesome Colorado combo adventures. It’s a unique opportunity for combination side-by-side ATV and Snowmobile trips.

An epic tour of Colorado's backcountry

Epic Winter Activities No Matter the Weather

It continues to be a bizarre winter in the Vail Valley, with unseasonably warm temperatures and low snowpack. But that doesn’t mean we’re not having fun around here! In fact, we’re having an absolute blast here at Sage.

Our visitors will find there’s no shortage of awesome things to do. We are still offering beautiful winter horseback rides. And we’ve now added something even more unique.

For a very limited time, we are offering side-by-side ATV and snowmobile trips! These adventures allow guests to explore this 6,000-acre private ranch with more than 100 miles of custom trails. That’s an area larger than Vail ski area.

What to Expect on a Snowmobile & ATV Combo Trip

These trips take guests through big open meadows, old-growth timber, stunning aspen groves, and jaw-dropping views over the 2,400-foot deep Eagle River Canyon. From up here, we’ve got views of seven different mountain ranges. It’s simply a spectacular experience.

Epic deep powder snowmobilingTrips start at our base of operations, just a short ride from Vail or Beaver Creek, where we offer free hotel pickup. From the base, guests get to drive our high-end, side-by-side Maverick UTVs up the mountain and through one of the most historic ranches in the valley.

When the snow starts getting deep, guests then hop onto one of our new Ski-Doo snowmobiles and continue the tour through this magical winter wonderland.

Our side-by-side UTV tours are usually a higher cost than the snowmobile trips. But because we have to improvise this winter, we’re allowing guests to drive these $20,000 machines for the same price as a regular snowmobile tour!

Wildlife near Beaver Creek

Spot Colorado’s Unique Wildlife

Not only is the ranch beautiful right now, but also it’s loaded with wildlife. Our guests are seeing deer and coyotes daily, including some rare predator/prey interactions. Because of the low snowpack this season, the deer herds have not needed to migrate further down the Vail valley floor. They’ve stayed here on the ranch, and that’s keeping coyotes and other wildlife around too. In fact, some of our guests have been lucky enough to see mountain lion tracks.

These wildlife interactions have been a daily treat for our guests. While the weather certainly hasn’t been what we expected this season, it has been a memorable one. If you’re visiting the Vail or Beaver Creek area, be sure to give us a call and join us on one of these Colorado backcountry adventures!

For more information, check out our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com. You can call us at 970-476-3700 or contact us online.

Our Advanced Deep Powder Snowmobile Tours

Winter in Vail, Colorado, brings with it subzero temperatures and chilled winds – but it also means it’s finally time to rev up the snowmobile engines and hit the snow. Vail averages at 108 inches of snowfall per year, making it the perfect area to plow through deep powder and carve up Sage’s private mountain!

Our Snowmobiling Tours

Most of our snowmobile tours are 2-hour beginner and intermediate tours where we teach our guests how to ride their machines and get the most out of their experience.

With over 100 miles of custom-designed trails on a private mountain that is larger than Vail’s Ski Mountain, these are the ideal trips for families and anyone that wants to have a passenger on the snowmobile with them. They also make great tours for those looking to see the sights and get a feel for what snowmobiling is like!

However, if you’re ready to take things up a notch, you may want to consider our advanced snowmobile tours.

Deep Powder Snowmobiling

Our advanced tour  uses 120-horsepower Ski-Doo mountain snowmobiles. These sleds are designed specifically for off-trail riding, with powerful engines and agility that allow you to carve up snow like never before!

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

Just like our beginner and intermediate 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.

Sage’s Snowmobiling Terrain

In addition to the advanced snowmobiling terrain across our mountain, we have 10 free-ride meadows scattered throughout the 6000-acre ranch. These wide-open spaces allow everyone to get their full-throttle therapy and test the abilities of their machine and themselves! With our high-end grooming equipment, these free-ride areas are groomed on a regular basis.

That’s one of the things that makes snowmobiling here different. Since our 6,000-acre ranch is a private area, there are no other tour operators. You’ll have the place to yourself, with the only other people out in the snow being other Sage guests! That means you’re more likely to enjoy untouched deep powder snow and pristine trails.

Our three snowcats regularly crawl the terrain to keep it 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. In short, snowmobiling at Sage is bound to be on of the best rides of your life!

For more information on snowmobile tours with Sage Outdoor Adventures, please explore our snowmobiling activities page  or call us now at 970-476-3700.

Sage Outdoor Adventures Boasts Major Snowmobile Area Improvements

The team at Sage Outdoor Adventures is thrilled to announce broad new improvements to an already highly rated snowmobile program; in fact, it’s the top-rated outdoor activity in Vail, according to TripAdvisor.

How Sage Improved our Snowmobile Trail System

New improvements this year at Sage Outdoor Adventures include a totally redesigned trail system and a new state-of-the-art snowcat for improved trail grooming and maintenance.

Over the past several months, the guides and designers of Sage’s snowmobile trail system have been hard at work. The team recently completed the redesign and building of a new network of trails.

“We considered the area’s geology, vegetation, wind patterns, and snow deposition zones,” said head trail designer Darryl Bangert. “Other major factors that went into this trail redesign included trail flow, view corridors, and some of our guides’ favorite places to discover with guests.”

Sage’s Private Snowmobiling Mountain

Sage operates on a private ranch near Vail, a property that covers more than 6,000 acres. The area has proven to be an ideal base of operations for snowmobile tours, with 2,500 feet of vertical relief on a north-facing mountain. Sage’s base area sits at 8,100 feet above sea level, the same as Vail and Beaver Creek.

The terrain here lends itself to incredible riding trails, and the area is actually larger than the Vail ski area.

“Imagine being able to design the ski runs on Vail Mountain, and then consider that we get to design snowmobile trails on an even bigger area,” Bangert commented. “We are all passionate about riding and discovering the most fun routes. Our extensive background in hiking and cross country skiing gives us great insight into the intimate feel of the land.”

What to Expect when Snowmobiling with Sage

Sage Outdoor Adventures has over 100 miles of marked trails and 25 different loop routes. Sage also has more open meadow riding than the combined bowl area of Vail Mountain.

Also, new this year, Sage has purchased a 2018 Prinoth Husky Snowcat. This state-of-the-art cat will be added to Sage’s grooming fleet and will allow the team at Sage to maintain the best possible trail quality.

Guests in Vail and Beaver Creek expect a high-level product, and Sage’s grooming efforts are second-to-none.

“We want our guests to learn the machines and to enjoy the views, not fight with poorly groomed terrain,” Bangert concluded.

To experience the trails yourself, check out our Snowmobiling page or contact us directly at 970.476.3700!

About Sage Outdoor Adventures: Headquartered in Vail, Colorado, Sage is a client-focused organization, whose goal is to facilitate creating memories, connecting with family and friends, and most of all, just plain having fun. Offering whitewater rafting, ATV tours, horseback riding, fishing, sporting clays, and snowmobiling, everything is planned and executed with one goal in mind: the guest experience. Learn more on our homepage.

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.

Why Eagle River’s Rapids are a Must-Try

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.”

Arkansas River vs Eagle River

While the Arkansas River’s 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!

Enjoy the Eagle River rapids

“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.”

Brave Eagle River’s Dowd Chute

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.

Eagle River has plenty of rapids to raft through

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!