The Upper Eagle River: Colorado’s Ultimate Whitewater Trip

Whitewater Rafting the Upper Eagle

When it comes to whitewater rafting in Colorado, many folks immediately think of the Arkansas River – and for good reasons. The Ark is Colorado’s most well known rafting destination because it offers consistent conditions all summer long.

But what if we told you that some of the best whitewater rafting in Colorado was on the upper Eagle River? Would you be surprised? It’s true. When it’s in season, the upper Eagle is not only some of the best whitewater in the state – it’s among the best in the world.

The only reason the Eagle River can’t compete with the Arkansas in terms of popularity, is because the season is short. But in part, that’s what makes it special. If you can catch the upper Eagle River during its prime time in May and June, you’re in for an unforgettable rafting adventure.

The upper Eagle River takes rafters down a 10-mile roller coaster of nearly continuous rapids. The steep gradient and steady drop makes this river a fire hose experience. Minimum age on this trip is 16 years old and we recommend it for those who are strong swimmers and ready for adventure.

Whitewater Rafting in Colorado on the Eagle River

This world-class stretch of whitewater is located right here locally, between Vail and Beaver Creek. This makes it an easy half-day trip for those staying here in the Vail Valley. You certainly can’t beat having rafting like this, just minutes from Vail’s hotels and restaurants.

Again, the season is short. But if you find yourself in the Vail Valley in May or June, put a rafting trip on the Upper Eagle River at the top of your to-do list. It’ll be one of the most memorable whitewater trips you ever experience.

To learn more about our rafting trips and pricing, please visit the Rafting Page. You can also call us with any questions at 970-476-3700.

Whitewater Rafting the Upper Eagle

A Look at Our Early Season Favorite, Gore Creek

Rafting Gore Creek in Vail

As we look forward to summer rafting, we’d like to introduce you to one of our favorite early season trips, Gore Creek. Gore Creek is our local favorite here in the Vail Valley. If you’ve never had the opportunity to raft Gore Creek, you need to make time!

Gore Creek is special for a couple of reasons. First, it flows right through the heart of Vail Village, and the scenery is spectacular. Second, the rafting season on Gore Creek is relatively short. You have to catch it during its brief window each year.

Gore Creek is fed only on snowmelt. The season gets underway as soon as the snowmelt and runoff begins. May and June are the ideal times to experience the incredible whitewater on Gore Creek.

Gore Creek features awesome Class III rafting from East Vail to Lionshead Village. This river epitomizes what we refer to as, “play boating”. In addition to the fun rapids, this stretch features holes and waves along the way, including the well-known International Wave in Vail Village. These areas provide opportunities to “surf” the raft and swing in and out of rapids. It would be difficult to have more fun in a raft than you’ll have right here in the heart of Vail.

The scenery all the way through the upper Vail Valley along Gore Creek is what really makes this trip memorable. The towering cliffs, waterfalls, aspens, and wildlife along this stretch are incredible.

Finally, one of the nice things about rafting Gore Creek is the quick transfer times. If you’re staying in Vail, you’re already on the river and just minutes from the put in. At the takeout in Lionshead, you can easily walk right back into town. If you’re staying in Beaver Creek, you can expect a quick, 15-minute drive to and from the river.

With such easy access and world-class rafting right here in Vail, it’s no wonder we love this short but sweet season on Gore Creek!

To learn more about our whitewater rafting adventures, please check out the Rafting Page .

Start planning your trip now! You can call us at 970-476-3700 or you can contact us online.

An Overview of Our Rafting Trip Options at Sage

Rafting with Sage Outdoor Adventures

Cabin fever yet? Tell us about it. We’re looking forward to getting out and doing some rafting this summer!

The mountains here in central Colorado have a healthy snowpack, and that means we have a great season of rafting to look forward to. From whitewater adventures to scenic family float trips, we can’t wait for warmer weather and to be out on the water with our guests.

As you think about getting out for summer adventures, here’s an overview of the rafting trip options that we have available here at Sage:

Take a look at our rafting trip options and pricing here. From early summer through September, we have a great variety of trips for any family or group.

Class II Trips

Our rafting trips on the upper Colorado River are perfect for families of all ages. You’ll raft through incredible canyon scenery, experience small rapids and have plenty of time to play and slash in the River. Participants as young as 3 years old can get in on the fun.

Learn more here.

Class III Trips

We have a wide variety of Class III trips available on the Colorado River, Gore Creek, the lower Eagle River and the Arkansas River. These whitewater trips are a ton of fun! Some of our class III trips are available to rafters as young as 6-years-old, while others can be more challenging. Depending on the age of participants, how much time you have, and what you’d like to experience, we can help plan the perfect rafting adventure.

Learn more here.

Class IV+ Trips

For the adventure seekers, we have incredible class IV and V trips available on the upper Eagle River and the Arkasnas River. For rafters ages 16 and up, these are some memorable trips on some of the best whitewater in the country!

Learn more here.

If you have questions or if you’d like to begin planning your summer trip, please give us a call at 970-476-3700. We’d love to help you plan the ultimate summer rafting getaway!

Vail Colorado: A Summer Playground

Summer Rafting near Vail, Colorado

Feeling a tinge of cabin fever? We are too. But we’re hopeful that this summer, we will be back to enjoying our favorite summer activities here in Vail, Colorado. Just minutes from both Vail and Beaver Creek, we’re ready for whitewater rafting, fly fishing on the Piney River, side-by-side ATV rides, horseback rides and sporting clays. As soon as we’re all able to get back to normal life, we’ll be here – your Colorado summer playground!

Rafting Trips

We have 40 years of experience here in the Vail Valley and we operate from three great locations for each river destination. Our guests enjoy brand new equipment and outstanding river guides that will make your trip both safe and a ton of fun.

Learn more about our rafting trips here.

Whitewater Rafting Trip

Side-by-Side ATV Trips

Come drive your own ATV as we explore a 6,000-acre private mountain with an adjoining 14,000 acres of public land near the Castle Peak Wilderness Study Area. We’re talking about an expansive chunk of wild country where you can feel the wind in your hair.

Learn more about the ATV trips here.

Side-by-Side ATV Trips near Vail

Guided Fly Fishing Trips

When you fish with us, you get exclusive access to some of the best water in Colorado. The Piney River begins high in the Rugged Gore range and flows through a wilderness canyon to the Piney Valley Ranch. Here’s we have private access to seven miles of incredible trout water. Sage Fly Fishing guests are the only anglers on this sprawling 30,000-acre ranch. The experience here is simply unbeatable.

Learn more about our fly fishing trips here.

Fly Fishing on the Piney River near Vail

Horseback Riding

Here at Sage, we rarely stick to trails and we avoid riding nose-to-tail. Come explore this 6,000-acre private mountain with breathtaking views of Castle Peak and the Vail Valley.  Ride through fragrant Sage meadows, towering aspen groves and dense pine forests. This is like no other horseback ride you’ve ever experienced!

Learn more about our horseback rides.

Snowpack Update & Summer Rafting Forecast

Summer Season Rafting

Well, it was an awesome winter season here in the Vail Valley…at least until a certain global pandemic put a halt to everyone’s plans. We’re sharing in the disappointment of so many, who’s vacations were cut short or didn’t happen at all. But much more importantly, we are concerned about the safety of those in our community and around the world. As we all work together to confront it, we will remain optimistic that in a few months, we will again be enjoying the great summer outdoor activities here in Colorado.

Snowmobiling throughout the 2019/2020 season has been a ton of fun. We had excellent snow conditions, from very early on in the season. But now, we’re excited that spring is around the corner. The abundance of snow means that we will have an incredible whitewater rafting season!

Snowmobile Tour

As we look forward to spring and the summer rafting season, we can’t help but get excited. After a snowy start to the season and then a particularly stormy February, the Snowpack in the Colorado high country is in great shape. That means great rafting conditions ahead!

Right here in the Colorado River basin, the current snowpack is nearly 110% of normal with more storms on the way. With the above-average snow level in the high country, we can expect a particularly good season for Gore Creek and the Eagle River, which are some of Colorado’s best early summer rafting.

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, this will be a great year to do it!

Colorado Rafting trip

Meanwhile, over in the Arkansas River basin, snowpack is right at normal levels. 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 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.