Experience a September Adventure in Colorado

September in Colorado

It has been a beautiful summer here in the Vail Valley. We’ve had a blast on rafting trips on the Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. The fishing on the Piney River has been excellent. And at our mountain base, we’re having a blast on horseback rides and side-by-side ATV rides with all of our guests.

As we welcome September, we’re thrilled for one of the best months of the year here in Colorado. The temperatures are still warm, and the September weather is idyllic. Cool mornings lead to warm, sunny afternoons. Soon, the aspens will be turning a bright gold. And wildflowers are still growing throughout the mountain meadows. This is where summer meets fall, and it is spectacular!

September Horseback Rides

Horseback riding here at our private mountain base is an awesome experience in September. You’ll ride through old-growth aspen stands and witness incredible scenery. And in typical Sage fashion, these are not your average nose-to-tail horseback rides. Being on a 6,000-acre private mountain means that we aren’t restricted to designated Forest Service trails. We can explore the entire place, and ride freely through this historic ranch that’s larger than the Vail ski area!

September Horseback RidingSide-By-Side ATV Adventures

Side-by-side rides are also a great way to see Colorado in September. These rides also take place on this expansive private mountain, where you’ll have incredible views of the entire Vail Valley.  In addition to the adjoining public land, we have more than 20,000 acres of wild country to explore!

September ATV trips through Colorado's backcountry

Scenic September Rafting in Colorado

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the incredible rafting opportunities here in Colorado in September. River conditions are perfect on many of our favorite stretches of the river. There are a number of fun and incredibly scenic river trips to experience in September around Vail and Beaver Creek.

Fall rafting in ColoradoSeptember Fly Fishing on the Piney River

And finally, this is one of the best times of year to experience fly fishing in Colorado. In September, big brown trout begin moving in advance of their fall spawn. And rainbow and cutthroat trout take advantage of grasshoppers and big hatches of late summer insects as they prepare for the lean winter.

Fly Fishing in ColoradoIf you find yourself in Vail or Beaver Creek this September, consider yourself one of the lucky ones! Not only is it one of the most beautiful months of the year in Colorado. But it’s also usually a little bit quieter after the peak summer season. Take advantage of it, and find some adventure!

For information on our trips, please explore our website at SageOutdoorAdventures.com. For details and booking you can contact us online or give us a call at 970-476-3700.

Something Completely Different: Horseback Rides through Eagle River Canyon

When was your last horseback ride? Was it a nose-to-tail, hardly thrilling experience? Well, you can forget it. We’ll show you a horseback riding experience the way it was meant to be. Come explore a wild, wide-open country here in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, riding along the Eagle River and beyond.

Explore Stunning Scenery on Horseback

At Sage Outdoor Adventures, we explore big, wide-open spaces. You can expect to ride through open meadows, aspen groves, stands of old-growth spruce forest, and along mountain lakes. Our horses are trained to ride side-by-side rather than in single-file formation. Here, you’re free to break from that routine and explore. This isn’t your typical trail ride.

Where most outfitters are limited to single-track Forest Service trails, we offer something completely different. Operating on a historic, private mountain ranch near Vail, Colorado, we get to explore 6,000 acres of spectacular Colorado scenery. The Ranch is the size of Vail Ski area, and it’s exclusive to our guests. Not only will you be able to break formation, but you’ll also have the place to yourself!

Eagle River Horseback Riding

Our Base of Operations

Our base of operations on this incredible mountain provides the perfect summer home for our horses. There’s nothing quite like experiencing a beautiful new place on horseback, and our excellent wranglers will help make sure you feel comfortable and ready to enjoy it. We can accommodate riders of any ability level.

Perched above the Vail Valley and overlooking the Eagle River Canyon, this mountain retreat is a quick drive from Vail and Beaver Creek. We offer free hotel pickup and two-hour rides that will have you back in time to enjoy the rest of your day.

To learn more about horseback rides with Sage Outdoor Adventures, please visit our Horseback Riding Page. For availability and reservations, please give us a call at 970-476-3700 or contact us online.

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

What You Need to Know About Fly Fishing the Piney River

Piney River Fly Fishing

The state of Colorado is often known for its towering mountains and graded river canyons. But there are portions of Colorado that lend to its defining features far more than others. Sitting around 12,000 feet in elevation, the Gore Range is one of those places. One of the rivers born from this textbook Colorado landscape is the Piney River near Vail, Colorado.

Tumbling 28 miles from its headwaters, the Piney River is a long tributary of the Colorado River. The headwaters begin at Piney Lake before stretching through a rugged wilderness canyon until it ultimately feeds into the Colorado River.

Often overshadowed in name by nearby well-known rivers like the Eagle River and Colorado River, the Piney is an absolute gem. And not just for its majestic exposure to the Gore Range’s towering beauty. The Piney River offers some of the best freestone fly-fishing in the state of Colorado.

The Piney River near Vail, Colorado

Fly Fishing the Piney Valley Ranch

Located just above its confluence with the Colorado River, the Piney River flows through the spectacular, Pine Valley Ranch. This stretch is the crème de la crème of the Piney River. And access to this private stretch of water is only available to guests of ​Sage Outdoor Adventures.

Sage is fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with the owners of Piney Valley Ranch and the exclusive lease to guide trips on these waters. When you book a fishing trip with Sage, you’ll have this historic ranch, this beautiful river canyon, and this world-class trout fishery all to yourself.

The Piney Valley Ranch encompasses seven river miles of private water. And the guide service at Sage Outdoor Adventures checks all of the boxes.

Piney River Guided Fly Fishing

Tips for Fly Fishing the Piney River

Peak fishing conditions on the Piney River begin immediately after runoff subsides, usually in late June and will continue through the early fall. These summer and fall months bring consistent water levels and prolific hatches of mayflies and caddis. Mid-summer and early fall is also an excellent time to fish terrestrials like hoppers, beetles and ants. Whether you prefer to throw dry flies, nymphs, or swing streamers through the deeper runs, all of it is available here on the Piney.

Because these fish see very little pressure, they tend to be aggressive and not very selective. But the guides at Sage will help you pick the best patterns for the conditions and the time of year. While these trout can usually be fooled by a variety of fly patterns, the low, clear water conditions later in the summer often require a stealthy approach. Prepare to approach from downstream and make upstream casts to avoid being seen.

No matter the time of year you decide to take on the Piney, it’s important to keep in mind that the higher altitude provides less protection from the sun, so wear and reapply sunscreen throughout the day for the duration of your trip. Anglers will want to bring a hat and long sleeves. And we’d recommend a buff to cover your neck. As far as the weather is concerned, there is a common saying in Colorado that, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” From cold temperatures in the morning to the intense midday sun, to afternoon thunderstorms, be prepared to experience it all. Dress in layers so that you can quickly adjust to the changing conditions.

Guided Fly Fishing Trips give you access to local tips and tricks

Piney River: A Gore Range Freestone Tributary

It would be difficult to overstate the quality of the fishing on the Piney River as it runs through Piney Valley Ranch, or the beauty of this canyon and the surrounding scenery. The only way to truly understand it is to come experience it for yourself.

Learn more about guided fly fishing trips with Sage Outdoor Adventures and reserve dates for your adventure today! Or, give the folks at Sage a call at 970-476-3700. Come experience the Piney River this summer with Sage!

Find tips to fly fishing the Piney River

Written by the Staff at Riversmith

Colorado Snow Update & White Water Rafting Forecast

Summer Season Rafting

Well, it has been an awesome winter season here in the Vail Valley. Even a global pandemic can’t stop all these smiles! Sage owner Darryl Bangert said it best, “COVID has led to a huge demand to get outside and reconnect with nature,” he said. “Seeing our guests come alive during these trips is very rewarding for our staff.”

An outdoor snowmobile adventure is the ultimate socially distanced activity and we have excellent safety protocols in place. Snowmobiling throughout this season has been a ton of fun. Recent storms have led to great snow conditions. And now, we’re excited that spring is around the corner. Before we know it, we will be making the transition from snowmobiling to rafting season!

Snowmobile Tour in Vail, Colorado

Colorado’s White Water Rafting Season

As we look forward to spring and the summer rafting season, we can’t help but get excited. This winter was unique with big early-season storms during the late fall – followed by a relatively dry period around the holidays. Fortunately, we’ve had a snowy February and early March. Snowpack across the state is catching up. Lots of snow on the mountains means great rafting conditions ahead!

Gore Creek and Eagle River Rafting Conditions

Right here in the Colorado River basin, the current snowpack is about 85% of normal with more spring storms in the forecast. With a near-average snowpack in the high country, we can expect good early season rafting on Gore Creek and the Eagle River, which are some of Colorado’s best early summer trips.

In fact, when the Eagle River is at its peak, it’s some of the best whitewater in the country. But what makes the Eagle River is unique, is the steady downward gradient. The upper section from Minturn to Avon features a consistent elevation drop, essentially creating a 10-mile long wave train.

If you’ve never experienced Gore Creek or the Eagle River, don’t wait – come experience it this year!

Colorado White Water Rafting Trip in March

Arkansas River Rafting Conditions

Meanwhile, over in the Arkansas River basin, the snowpack currently sits about 90% of normal. This is the most famous stretch of whitewater in Colorado for good reason. Once the spring thaw begins, we’re in for a memorable summer of whitewater rafting on the Ark.

The world-famous Pine Creek and Numbers sections of the Arkansas River boast some of the best class IV and V whitewater rafting in the country. Further downstream, Browns Canyon National Monument offers a trip through an incredibly scenic gorge with 10 miles of class III rapids. Add to this a backdrop of 14,000-foot peaks and rocky desert landscapes, and it’s easy to see why the Ark is a popular rafting destination.

The 2020 rafting season in Colorado is shaping up to be a great one. If you’re planning a trip to Colorado this year, be sure and reserve dates early for your whitewater adventure.

To learn more, visit our Rafting Page. If you have questions or to book a trip, please call us at 970-476-3700 or contact us online.