ATVs & OFFROADING
There are two main types of ATVs you can rent—there’s the old school all-terrain vehicles with the throttle, where the passengers ride front to back, and the newer Side by Sides (also known as Razrs, etc) where passengers ride, well, side by side. Both have their perks, and I must say, I kind of prefer the old school throttle, probably because it reminds me of my grandma and grandpa’s lake house in central Florida…
Anywho, regardless of which type of vehicle you choose, I would highly suggest a tour over an unguided rental. Even if you’ve been riding forever. Even if you came out of the womb pulling a throttle. Even if you have ATVs at home. Why? Because you don’t know the trails. There are trails in our area which connect all the way to Aspen or all the way to Steamboat. You don’t want to spend your entire 2 hours trying to figure out where the heck to go at every turn, and how the heck to get back to home base at the end, and how long it’ll take. Trust me, go with a guide. They know all the trails like the back of their hand, will take you to super cool places with amazing vantage points, and you probably won’t be able to keep up with them because they run these trails like, every day. Swallow your pride and get a guide!
Offroading is super fun and allows you to see different views than you’d see from the interstate. Plus, it’s bumpy and dirty and adventurous! Out of all the activities in the summer and fall, its one of my favorites.
Here’s a fun story I learned about Nova Guides. The owner started in the 80’s with snowmobiling and he took out this super cute gal. She thought he was cute back, they got married, and now in 2020 their son is the 2nd gen in the family business. How cool is that? Anywho, they have tours along the gorgeous Camp Hale area with 3 times a day for both Side by Sides and ATVs.
Sage has different activities, however I think they are best for Side by Side Tours. They don’t have the old school ATVs. Their Ranch is located on private property just outside of Wolcott, with trails which can overlook the Red Mountains. It’s a super pretty part of our state! If you book Sage, remember not to use Google Maps or Waze to get there and to use their written directions because for some reason maps apps try and take you to Vail instead and that’s 30 minutes in the opposite direction!
As with most activities outside in the summertime, the weather is typically better in the morning, and has a higher chance of showers in the afternoon. This is never the gospel in Colorado, because Mother Nature is an independent woman, however it’s a good rule of thumb. In the fall, there’s usually less precipitation in general.
Offroading season is typically May – October (sometimes November, depending on the snow)!
Each company has their own cancellation policy. Please keep this in mind when booking. It’s always better to book in advance to ensure you are able to do the activity you want when it works best for your schedule so pay attention to the cancellation.
Don’t forget to tip your guide if you had a great time! I suggest 18-25%, or you can do $15-30 per person. Your guides will be very appreciative!
WHAT DO I WEAR?
Don’t wear your favorite clothing when offroading. If it has been dry for the few days prior, you’ll probably get dusty. If it has been rainy, you’ll get muddy. Both are fun! Both are dirty! White is a bad idea! I typically wear my hiking shoes with tall socks, leggings I don’t care about (long pants are a must!), and a flannel to keep myself clean. I also like to bring a change of clothing with me in the car to change into afterwards, and a bag for the dirty clothing.
As always, leave your valuables at home/in the hotel. No reason to have fancy jewelry getting all dirty!
If you have any questions not answered here, shoot me a line at eatdrinksmilevail(at)gmail(dot)com!