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!

Spring Photo Journal From the Yampa River

Members of the Sage Raft Race Team recently had the opportunity to raft Colorado’s Yampa River canyon in preparation for the U.S. Rafting Association National Championships this weekend in Oklahoma City.

The Yampa River, before its confluence with the Green, is one of Colorado’s iconic rivers with sweeping desert landscapes and sheer rock walls. Here are a few shots from the recent raft trip.

Now, the Sage team heads to the National Championships! Stay tuned for updates. When they return, it will be time to kick off the rafting season here in Colorado! The water is getting high, and this season is going to be epic! If you have any questions about rafting trips, call us at 970-476-3700 or send us a message.

Get Western on a Horseback Ride With Sage

Get western

Have mediocre memories of a nose-to-tail horseback ride? You can forget those. Here at Sage, we ride a beautiful mountain ranch the size of Vail ski area. Not bound by Forest Service trails, we make our own. Experience the wide-open feel of Colorado’s backcountry on a horseback ride through aspen groves, wildflowers and along mountain lakes.

What makes a horseback ride different with Sage Stables? It’s the 6,000-acre historic ranch near Vail and Beaver Creek. Not bound by Forest Service permits or trail restrictions, our rides allow you to freely explore. Our horses are trained to ride side-by-side rather than following the leader. Meander through meadows and through stands of old-growth forest.

You won’t find us at a temporary corral on the side of a Forest Service Road. Here on the ranch, Sage Stables is an idyllic summer home for our horses. Our experienced staff and wranglers will make sure you feel comfortable and safe, ready to explore beautiful new country on horseback.

Check out this video of our horseback riding experience:

For more information on horseback rides with Sage, please visit our Horseback Riding Page. To make a reservation for your Colorado adventure, please give us a call at 970-476-3700 or contact us online.

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.

Sage Raft Race Team Preparing for National Championships

Sage Raft Race Team Preparing for National Championships

It’s the dead of winter and it might seem like a long time until rafting season here in Colorado, but the Sage race team is hard at work, preparing for the Rafting National Championships in May!

The 2017 championship will be held in Oklahoma City from May 18-20 as part of the Oklahoma City Whitewater Festival, an event that will also include canoe and kayaking competitions.

Throughout the winter months, the Sage raft race team is training hard in the pool. With a bungee strap anchored to the side of the pool, the team is able to paddle in place, which provides great resistance training.

Our team is serious, and we are fired up for National Championships in May!

No matter the time of year, we’re always working hard to plan our next rafting season here at Sage Outdoor Adventures. And 2017 looks like it could be an outstanding year in Colorado. It’s still early in the season, but snowpack levels are already well above average. Statewide, current snowpack levels are 116% of normal. If that trend continues, we’ll be on pace for a memorable summer of rafting!

But no matter what the weather brings in 2017, we look forward to having a great time with many of you out on the water. For more information on whitewater rafting and our other summer activities here in the Vail Valley and surrounding areas, please visit our Summer Home Page.

In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying the snowmobiling here in this winter paradise!