Adventure Blog

Adventure Blog

More than a lesson on how to SUP – Being an Effective Educator

More than a lesson on how to SUP – Being an Effective Educator As an outdoor educator and mountain guide who specializes in rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry splitboarding, I recently decided to diversify my scope of practice by leveling up my stand-up paddleboard (SUP) skills by taking an American Canoe Association (ACA) SUP Instructor […]

The perception of Outdoor Recreation: A Not So Free Commodity

The perception of Outdoor Recreation: A Not So Free Commodity Running a section of the river, scaling a rock face, and riding fresh powder are freeing experiences that connect us to the environment and the natural places we live. Therefore, these services must be Free! Unfortunately, this is not true. There is a common belief […]

Time for Big Mountain Lines and Spring Ski Season

Skinning above treeline on a quest to ride a big mountain line is an experience like no other due to the alpine glow of the rising sun, the crisp thin air, and the pristine nature of the backcountry snow. However, there are a lot of considerations and preparations that go into riding a high alpine […]

Old Man Winter Keeps the Stoke Alive

As Colorado’s temps continue to drop, so comes the shift from warm Rocky Mountain adventure to enchanted winter wonderland exploration.  Our expert guides have access to a wide range of zones within the Sawatch mountain range, where you can experience a number of memorable challenges and winter thrills.  The backcountry of Colorado offers a stillness […]

Gratitude for You and Year-Round Rocky Mountain Adventure

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us, we’d like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has supported RMOC over the years and continues to make it possible for us to share our passion for playing outside. We are humbled by the opportunity to provide our clients with unforgettable, inspiring adventures year-round. Living […]

Top Crags in the Ark Valley

The Arkansas River Valley is a highly sought-after rock climbing destination with welcoming temps and nearby camping, lodging, and good times. RMOC provides access to a wide range of staggeringly beautiful locations, offering exceptional guided rock climbing experiences for all ages and skill levels. On any of our climbing trips, you’ll have professional guides trained […]

Our Top Five Bike Trails in the Arkansas River Valley

Biking season is back in the ARK, and we couldn’t be more stoked. Not only does our region offer a diverse network of inspiring trails with something for every skill level, but our unreal scenery and fall foliage elevate the experience to something almost otherworldly. Read on for our top five trails.  Cottonwood Loop Rating: […]

The Rafting Season That Wouldn’t Quit

Just when we thought we’d seen it all, the Ark Basin pulls another rabbit out of its ever-generous hat with a rafting season that simply won’t quit. Our winter snowpack was ideal, laying the groundwork for an unreal season on the iconic Arkansas River, but we had no idea it’d be this epic. For months […]

Arkansas River Water Levels Perfect for Rafting and Kayaking

A few months ago, we told you how the snowpack here in the Ark Basin was ideal, leading us to predict a first-rate rafting and kayaking season on the Arkansas River. No one is more thrilled than us that this prediction came true. In fact, our expert river guides report that water levels are the […]

Three Exciting Days in Buena Vista, CO, with RMOC

Located in the heart of the Arkansas River Valley with the Collegiate Peaks serving as a larger-than-life backdrop, Buena Vista, CO, is the place for year-round outdoor adventure. This summer, experience unreal rafting, rock climbing, biking, camping, and more with RMOC. Our professionally trained staff stand ready to keep you safe, share their knowledge of […]

Ark Basin Snowpack Just Right for an Action-Packed Season

Indeed, California and Utah saw heavy snowfall this winter, leading to record-shattering snowpacks. While the majority of Colorado experienced an above-normal snowpack, here in the Ark Basin, our snowpack was ideal, setting the stage for a top-shelf season of rafting and kayaking on the spellbinding Arkansas River. How Snowpack Affects River Conditions As we enter […]

Partnerships with the Community

Here at RMOC, we’re proud to partner with a variety of organizations around the community. Our passion is the outdoors, and sustaining the environment we work and play in is our number one priority. Here’s a look at how we contribute to causes we believe in.  In our partnership with GARNA, we provide free rent […]

Spring Certification Courses

In addition to our guided trips and various adventure packages, we also offer certification courses. As an ACA (American Canoe Association) Pro School, we offer several courses that will increase your knowledge and skills in becoming an instructor or expert in paddle sports.  ACA L4 Swiftwater Rescue Skills Course/Assessment This class teaches how to identify […]

Monarch Ridge Classic

Monarch Ridge Classic When a run is as popular with the staff as it is with the guests, you know it will be good. The Monarch Ridge Classic delivers in a way you must experience to fully understand. Join us on this group or privately led tour through the backcountry of Monarch Ridge. To begin, […]

Make Time for Play

Make Time for Play Sometimes, we have to carve out a little time for what we enjoy the most. If you live in or near the mountains, chances are you are driven by the outdoors. In winter, especially, it’s easy to put aside that early skin up the mountain for the warm refuge of your […]

Winter, Summer, and Everything in Between

The Adventures are Year-Round at RMOC  Let the seasons determine your stoke with our help at Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center. When winter rolls in, our guides look up to the mountains, trading their rafts and kayaks for snowboards and skis. Passionate about our craft, guided tours from RMOC offer expert knowledge to guests with a […]

Pow Surfing or Backcountry Adventure?

Winter is gearing up in Colorado, and we’re excited to announce two new products to our lineup—Pow Surfing and the Monarch Ridge Classic.  Pow surfing is the next step in your backcountry adventure. With a guide, glide through powdery snow that surfs like frozen waves. Bring only your stoke, warm clothing, and standard snowboard boots, […]

Get an After-Ride Beer at Brown’s Canyon Brewing Company

Is beer better for you than a sports drink after a workout? There’s some talk about the carbs in beer reportedly replacing lost calories after intense exercise and the alcohol calming a tired body. We’re no scientists, but we can confirm that a beer after some technical climbs and flowy downhills is nothing short of […]

Guided Mountain Bike Tours

Looking to improve your mountain biking skill set? A guided bike tour is a great option for riders at any level. Take advantage of the cooler fall days and spend either a half or full day on a guided bike tour. Private instruction from the guides at RMOC will give you the confidence and strength […]

This Winter, Kayak in Pucon, Chile

Kayak Chile Rivers with RMOC (JAN – FEB) For Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Kayakers keen to improve and explore.  Now, RMOC beginner, intermediate, and even advanced kayakers can kayak Chilean rivers with RMOC’s best instructors. The week of kayaking Chile rivers promises to improve your kayak skills to the next level.  Did you know that […]

Learn to Rock Climb and Experience its Incredible Health Benefits

Disclaimer: Though many of RMOC’s staff members are avid rock climbers, we are not biased about the following opinion.  Rock climbing is the absolute best sport for your body and mind. There, we said it. Bold, perhaps, but we can’t deny it. Rock climbing offers a long list of amazing physical and mental benefits—a list […]

RMOC is so Much More Than Raft Trips

You may know RMOC as a rafting outfitter, which isn’t surprising given our location along the Arkansas River just outside Buena Vista, Colorado. You might even be aware that we host rock climbing, mountain biking, and mountaineering trips, as well as certification courses, avalanche courses, and a whole lot more.  But, what might surprise you […]

We Welcome Everyone

At RMOC, the outdoors is our happy place. It’s where we challenge ourselves physically and mentally and where we seek joy and peace. And while we believe the outdoors—of all places—should be open and accessible to everyone, we recognize barriers still exist in the industry, making many communities feel as though outdoor recreation is out […]

The RMOC Adventure Pass: Colorado’s Best Deal in Outdoor Recreation

With the current inflation rate, almost everything feels more expensive than ever before. No doubt, we’re all tired of paying too much for everyday items.  So, how would you like to pay less for something? ie. get a screaming deal? If your answer is a resounding YES, we’d love for you to consider an RMOC […]

High-Pressure System? No Problem. There’s Still a Lot to do in (and out of) the Backcountry.

Quite a few high-pressure systems have come through Colorado this year, making for clear blue and sunny skies. But what about the wonderful powder we all crave for epic backcountry runs? For those of us who dream of deep snow, what is there to do in the meantime? While you may not be getting your […]

It’s Never Too Early to Book Your Summer Group Vacation

Though it’s only February, the time to plan your group summer holiday is now! If you have several people to bring together, there’s no time like the present to have them secure dates in their calendar, book flights, settle on lodging, and most importantly, reserve ultra-fun, outdoor bonding activities, like those offered by RMOC.

Don’t Skip Avalanche Training. It Could Save Your Life.

It’s a crisp bluebird day. The sun is shining and there are several inches of new powder. Backcountry enthusiasts have flocked to their favorite run and are about to drop in. What they may not realize is the very real danger that lurks beneath the snowpack.  It’s a sad reality that in Colorado, avalanche deaths […]

Weston: Not Just Another Snowboard Company

RMOC offers several trips and certification courses that take advantage of everything Colorado’s winter months have to offer. With access to a variety of zones within the massive Sawatch mountain range, we cater to a variety of abilities and interests.  In addition to its incredible location and access to backcountry terrain, RMOC has also partnered […]

Why Non-Refundable Deposits Are a Good Thing

In a recent call with a customer, we had to explain why our deposit is non-refundable. It’s not that we’re being greedy. Rather, it’s to protect and pay our guides who work extremely hard at advancing in their profession and who take their work with us very seriously.  Profession, you say? Yes! In today’s world, […]

Learn to STAY in the Saddle, on your Bike!

Ask anyone if they can ride a bike, and most people will say, “yes.” Ask them if they can mountain bike, the answer might also be, “sure.” But, when you ask if they stay ON their bike through the whole ride or if they wind up walking or even carrying their bike through technical sections, […]

Bike to new Vistas for Fall Foliage

Get off the main road and peddle deep into the Arkansas River Valley for spectacular views reserved for adventurous spirits! The valley is renowned for its huge (and growing) trail systems and boasts hundreds of miles of singletrack and 4-wheel-drive roads perfect for all levels of mountain bikers. “What’s great about biking with RMOC is […]

Above Average August on the Arkansas

The monsoons have arrived, extending the “peak” of rafting season! The headwaters of the Arkansas River have been getting pounded with heavy rain the past few weeks, and that has made for some incredible late-summer flows! The river’s flow pulses each day with the cycle of rain, which keeps guides and paddlers challenged and excited. […]

Why is a Smaller Outfitter Better?

RMOC offers employee ownership, and you can tell. This unique owner-run dynamic permeates all of our operations. You can trust you will be greeted, guided, and surrounded by staff that truly cares about making sure you are happy with your experience—like their own livelihood depends on it! We know you have your choice of outdoor […]

Three Days of Adventures in Buena Vista, Colorado with RMOC

Centrally located in the Arkansas River Valley and set against the Collegiate Peaks Mountain Range, Buena Vista is Colorado’s hub for adventure. What better way to dive deep into that adventure than with RMOC? Equipped with everything ready to take you rafting, climbing, biking, and more, we’ll show you what it’s like to play hard […]

Choose Your River Adventure with RMOC

If you want to get on the river this summer, do you know there are many different ways to ride the rapids or float calm waters? At RMOC, we give guests many options for how they want to experience the river. Whether it be solo in a kayak or with a guide in a raft, […]

Get Outdoors Like Never Before With RMOC’s Adventure Pass

Want to participate in a variety of awesome outdoor adventures year-round? Well, it’s easy with RMOC’s Adventure Pass, an affordable pass offering access to 10 awesome RMOC adventures of your choice.  If you stayed close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be more eager than ever to get outdoors and learn new skills. […]

Whitewater Certification Courses with RMOC

Do you dream of working on the river this summer? It’s not a bad gig. With added benefits like sunshine, exercise, and loads of fun on the water and off, it’s no wonder being a raft guide is high a so many bucket lists.  However, if you want to pursue this dream or want to […]

Why Book a Private Tour?

Colorado’s snowpack is growing, making for great backcountry conditions. All zones are open and the powder is soft. So, what are you waiting for?  There’s no better—and safer—way to experience Colorado’s backcountry than with a Private RMOC tour. Why book a private tour and not just jump on an existing tour? We’ll tell you.  Choose […]

Pledge to be Backcountry Safe

As predicted, Colorado’s backcountry is more popular than ever this winter. Free from the restrictions currently imposed upon Colorado’s ski resorts, the backcountry offers acres upon acres of powder for anyone willing to work for it.  The industry as a whole is flourishing. According to Snowsports Industries America and The NDP Group, August and September […]

This Winter, Run to the Hills

Not the Ski Resort Kind… the Backcountry Kind with RMOC Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are a true winter wonderland. With plenty of powder to enjoy a backcountry ski or a splitboard tour, the cold mountain temperatures and diverse landscapes also make ice climbing and fat biking trips possible for a variety of abilities.  We offer several trips […]

Give the Gift of Adventure

The holiday season is upon us, and so too is the task of finding the perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives. And for those adventurers to whom you’ve gifted headlamps, water bottles, tents, and more, what else is there to get them that won’t weigh their pack down?  How about an incredible […]

Spread the Love

I am a teacher and an avid outdoorsman, having always filled my bucket by playing outdoors with others. So when COVID hit, and more people began recreating outside, I was stoked because so many of them were discovering the joy that comes from spending time outdoors.   Spread the love, I say. The more people invested […]

Care for Colorado

September in Colorado has traditionally been a time when tourism seasons wanes and Coloradans become the majority of people on the trails. However, 2020 is unlike any other year. And now, with remote working and learning officially a thing, visitors have extended their mountain stays far into the fall.  We’re just fine with that at […]

Good Tidings from the Mountains of Colorado

We’ve all heard John Muir’s famous quote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” And as often as it’s repeated, there’s something to it. The mountains are more than something to see from afar, they are to be experienced for the benefit of the mind, body, and soul. At RMOC, we are mountain people, […]

Enjoy Great Rafting All Summer Long Thanks to the Voluntary Flow Management Program

There may have been a lot of snow on the mountains this winter, but with hot temperatures and fast snowmelt, you may find yourself asking, “Is there still enough water to go rafting?” If you plan on boating the Arkansas River in central Colorado, the answer is YES! Thanks to the Voluntary Flow Management Program […]

Safely Cure the COVID Blues with an RMOC Whitewater Raft Trip

A healthy winter snowpack has set Colorado up for perfect rafting conditions. After a slow start to the white water rafting season, RMOC is now open to all guests under strict guidelines from the state. To keep guests safe, we require masks on buses, limit the number of people on each boat, sanitize gear, and […]

For Chaffee County Residents, It’s Time to Get Your Adventure on With RMOC.

Governor Polis instituted safer-at-home measures at the end of April, which forbid Colorado’s many outfitters to operate at full capacity. However, per Chaffee County’s Public Health Order, RMOC is allowed to offer guided trips and professional instruction to people living within the county.  This means we are STOKED to be OPEN to Chaffee County residents!  […]

Where There is Light

On March 25, Gov. Jared Polis instituted a stay-at-home order for all 5.7 million Colorado residents, urging everyone to only venture out for essential reasons. This period of extreme social distancing is all for good reason—but you’re not alone if you’re already feeling COVID-induced cabin fever. At RMOC, we believe that getting outdoors is not […]

Reaching New Heights

RMOC welcomes merger with Leadville-based Sawatch Guides Climbing and other land-based activities recently got a whole lot cooler at the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center. As of January 2020, Leadville-based Sawatch Guides has merged with RMOC, meaning new permit-areas for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking as well as expanded ice-climbing and backcountry ski/snowboard touring options. New offerings […]

Conquistadors of the Useless

“Surfing and climbing are both useless sports. You get to be conquistadors of the useless. You climb to the summit and there is nothing there. And you could hike to the top from another direction. How you get there is the important part. It’s the same with surfing.” –Yvon Chouinard There is something about the […]

Chairlifts are Overrated

Snowboarding has always been a huge part of my life.  It is the reason that I moved to Colorado.  My friends and I arranged our courses at CSU so that we only had class on Tuesday and Thursdays.  That way we could hang out in the mountain for 4 days before returning to school.  The […]

Avalanche and Wilderness Training – What You Need to Know

With lush forests and snow-covered mountains, Colorado provides a stunning landscape for outdoor recreation. It also comes with certain risks, especially for inexperienced outdoor enthusiasts. If you're planning to ski, snowshoe or hike in avalanche terrain, it's important to be aware of the hazards. Here are some reasons you should take an Avalanche and Wilderness [...]

Preparing for Backcountry Ski Season

Are you (and your gear) ready for an epic winter in the backcountry? Temps are dropping and snowflakes are starting to fly. Ski movie premiers are popping up on mountain town screens. The time for backcountry skiing and splitboarding is upon us. Read on for tips from RMOC’s backcountry guides on how to prepare for [...]

Fat Tire Bikes: The Newest Winter Activity

Bicycling can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your happiness, health, and well being. As you cruise on your bike through country roads, winding streets, and hilly areas, you can clear your mind and work on your physical health. This low impact activity is not just a way to exercise. [...]

The Top 5 Outdoor Activities Close to Denver

Temperatures are dropping. The air is getting crisp. The leaves are turning beautiful colors. The smell in the air is one of change. That can only mean one thing- Fall is upon us! As the seasons shift, that means we typically change up our adventures and try something that is perfect for the new season. […]

Top Gear: Raft Rowing Edition

Fall is in the crisp Rocky Mountain air and for some that means rowing on the river. The desert calls for cooler (and less buggy!) temps, multi-day missions make sense after a summer on the water with your crew, or maybe you scored a launch date just outside permit season. Here are some top gear […]

Ride the Rafting Wave

Increased river flows can provide splashy family fun Before guiding a recent raft trip down Browns Canyon, I met my crew. Two young couples, and, someone’s mom. Mom was of retirement age. She looked fearful as I explained the risks of rafting at high water: greater chance of falling out of the boat and taking […]

Land Lovin’

While we at the RMOC maintain that rafting and other river activities at high water can be fun and exciting for the right crew, we do understand that it is not for everyone. With relatively high flows on the Arkansas River, river trips are experiencing big waves and exciting rides.  If this is just not […]

High Water Rafting

FLOOD WATCH – A GUIDE TO HIGHWATER RAFTING You’ve watched the snowflakes drift past your office window all winter. You’ve navigated icy highways to ski resorts blanketed in record-breaking snowfall. You’ve spent frigid mornings shoveling and dreaming of sunshine and splashy fun. But you know spring river flows are predicted to be quite high. You […]

Rescue Me

The importance of being swiftwater certified “Oh, you didn’t bring a throw rope? Here, take mine.” Mike Mather is well-known in the whitewater boating world as a rescue guru. He’s led courses and provided river event safety worldwide through his Mather Rescue school for the last quarter century. His signature all-black branded paddling attire and […]

Choose Your Own Adventure

It was mid-January when the idea for my favorite adventure began. My husband suggested we go rafting. As someone who does not own a dry suit, I knew mid January was in fact, not ideal conditions for rafting. So I politely declined his offer. Then he upped his offer to rafting downhill rather than down […]

Livin La Vida Low Water

Mo’ water = mo’ problems for beginner boaters The end of high water season is heralded by paddlers worldwide as a sad time. Depending on the region, maybe the snow is gone from surrounding peaks or rainy spring weather patterns stabilize into hot, dry summer. Perhaps monsoon rains and their residual boatable flows have subsided. […]

Shuttle Hustlin’

Contrary to some beliefs, rivers do not run in circles.  They actually flow with gravity, downhill from the high mountain valleys, across the plains, and eventually end up the ocean.  So in order to run a trip down any section of river, a vehicle needs to be moved from the put-in location to the take-out […]

Dream Whip

Sign, then ride, with Trek’s interest-free line of credit. Have you been eyeing that shiny new full suspension in the window of your local bike shop all winter? Now could be the time to finally ride away on a new mountain or road bike with the Trek credit card. Borrow more than $2,000 from Trek’s […]

GEAR HACKS: Drysuit Care and Repair

  So you’ve officially shelved the snow gear and are ready for some shoulder season paddling action. But what happens when spring weather is more suited to skis than your SUP, kayak, or raft? Enter the drysuit – that tailored hunk of Gore-Tex or other waterproof breathable material you dropped ten bills on to extend […]

RMOC presents: The Epic Days Coalition

This summer the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center celebrates one year in its new location at the rafting put-in to Browns Canyon National Monument. It also marks the first operating year in business for several guide stakeholders. Four employees, who have worked at the RMOC for four or more years, purchased small stock bundles last year […]

Classic Colorado

My first visit to Colorado was a spring break vacation during high school. Coming from the small hills of Michigan, the massive terrain that Breckenridge had to offer was completely mind blowing. That was to be expected. What I did not anticipate, was the unique culture that surrounded the rocky mountain ski and snowboard scene. […]

Epic Days Diary: SUP around Manhattan

WHO: Trish Miller, RMOC stand-up paddleboard instructor and raft guide   WHAT: SEA Paddle NYC is an annual 25-mile paddle that benefits seven autism charities and the environment, organized by the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance. WHEN: Saturday, August 5, 2017 WHERE: Paddlers start under the Brooklyn Bridge, paddle north up the East River, into the Harlem […]

This land is your land

Do your civic duty by enjoying Browns Canyon this summer By Kate Stepan Two years ago, President Obama signed a declaration designating Browns Canyon – our little slice of whitewater and fishing paradise in southern Colorado – as a National Monument. National monuments protect “existing rights,” including previously-existing oil and gas leases, water rights, and […]

Tour de Monarch Pass

Trailhead: Monarch Ski Area Elevation Profile:  A lot of up and down.  Total climb of about 2000 vertical feet with 3000 feet of descent. Distance:  This tour can be performed in a variety of ways.  The option described covers approximately 3.5 miles round trip. Difficulty: Intermediate skiing/Somewhat strenuous Special Considerations:  While riding fatbikes around the [...]

A summer in the Rockies

By Nick Loffer I remember sitting in my dusty old college house just a couple months before graduation, thinking how several aspects of my life had become stagnant. Each day felt like I was just going through the motions, not really attentive to things going on around me. My thoughts would wonder away from the […]

Kayak Progression- From Beginner to Brown’s Canyon

I have been taking kayak lessons with RMOC over the last few summers and have been very impressed with the quality of instruction I have received. I recently purchased my own kayak equipment and have been progressing my skills with continued instruction at RMOC. I so enjoy the thrill and tranquility that kayaking provides and have met […]

Creamy Corn on the Angel of Shavano

Duration: 8 hours at a casual pace Length: Approximately 9 miles round trip Elevation: 4400′ up and 4400′ down Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. The Angel of Shavano snowfield towers in the backdrop of downtown Salida, Colorado.  Whether you are out riding the local bike trails, surfing at the river park, or even just buying groceries, she […]

Sweet Sedona Singletrack

Some people say that the adventure does not begin until something goes wrong.  If that is the case, then this trip was not an adventure.  Somehow the stars aligned to create the perfect biking trip to Sedona, Arizona.  The weather was perfect, not even a cloud or a whisper of wind.  Our equipment performed wonderfully, […]

Two Humps Tour

Summary- Overall this is a great tour that provides fun glade skiing at gentle slope angles.  Although the continental snowpack is always suspect, this tour is about as worry free as they come with regards to avalanche danger.  So maybe a good option for backcountry enthusiasts during a heavy storm cycle. For more information regarding […]

RMOC Adventure Blog

   I do not remember the name of the textbook, but back in my college days at CSU I remember reading about “recreation” and the positive effects it had on the mind, body and soul.  The book broke up the word into its roots of Re-Creation:  through recreation we re-create ourselves.  This idea really struck […]

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