Vail Valley’s Timberline Tours celebrates its 50th anniversary this year |

Vail Valley’s Timberline Tours celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

Firm started out with a space in Vail Village

Timberline Tours owner and founder Greg Kelchner.
Special to the Daily

Timberline Tours celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Through all that time, and all the change, has been founder and owner Greg Kelchner.

Starting in 1971 out of a corner in the Gorsuch ski shop, Kelchner’s nascent backcountry touring operations continued to grow along with the resort and the valley.

Now operating out of three separate boathouses — one in Eagle, another in Granite and another at Rancho Del Rio — Timberline Tours employs nearly 70 guides and support staff, along with a substantial fleet of rafts, duckies, stand up paddle boards, Jeeps and the many vehicles that shuttle guests to and from the many different locations of their trips.

Earning a reputation for enlisting some of the most talented professional river guides from across the country and around the world, Timberline Tours pioneered many of the river routes now used by today’s rafting community.

Timberline’s guides have also exhibited their skills in competition, with both their men’s and women’s teams collectively winning 18 U.S. National Championships. Several of these teams then went on to represent the U.S. at multiple World Rafting Championships over the years, with the women bringing home gold twice and the men winning gold, silver and two bronze medals.

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Kelchner takes pride in knowing he is able to provide not only quality outdoor adventures for visitors to Eagle County, but he also participates in programs designed to help returning combat veterans as they readjust to life after their service to our country.

“I’m blessed to have been able to turn my own passion into a lifelong vocation,” Kelchner said. “Being able to give something in return to those that made my own journey possible just seems like the right thing to do.”

For more information, call 970-476-1414 or go to


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