Rifle Falls State Park is a Colorado State Park located in Rifle, and is about 74 miles northeast of the city of Grand Junction. The park offers biking, hiking, camping, and fishing with great views of Rifle Falls.
There are a number of things to do available to Rifle Falls State Park visitors.
Here are several of the many things to do at Rifle Falls park:
While there are no biking trails within Rifle Gap State Park, the nearby Rifle Mountain Park and the United States Forestry Service property have plenty of biking trails available. Thankfully, Rifle Gap State Park is only 5 miles away from Rifle Moutain Park, allowing you to enjoy the hiking within one park, before tackling one of the mountain biking trails in another, all in one day.
Hiking At Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls State Park has three hiking trails that loop their way along the falls and through some of the most striking forests in Colorado. Due to the constant spray from the waterfalls, the foliage within the park is akin to a rainforest, with lush trees and gorgeous meadows looping near limestone caves. Those looking to hike near the cascading waterfall, or hoping to find a secluded fishing area along East Rifle Creek will find themselves transported with these gorgeous hiking trails.
Here are the trails at Rifle Falls State Park:
- Bobcat Trail – This trail takes hikers along East Rifle Creek, looping through cottonwood and boxelder forests, as well as alongside lovely open meadows. This trail links together Rifle Falls State Park and the Rifle Falls State Fish Hatchery, which offers free tours during the summer. Length: 1 mile Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- Squirrel Trail – This trail is ADA-accessible for the first 1/4 mile of the trail. Linking the day-use parking lot to the walk-in tent campsites, this trail brings you beneath Gambel Oak forests, and then up above the valley to see gorgeous views. Length: 1.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- Coyote Trail – This trail is ADA-accessible up to the base of the falls, with the additional length of the trail making the climb to the top of the falls for an incredible view. Visitors can explore limestone caves, as well as see the incredible wonder of the falls up close and personal. Length: 1.5 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
Fishing At Rifle Falls State Park
While there is no boating within Rifle Falls State Park, fishing is permitted along the shores of East Rifle Creek. Secluded fishing spots await along the various hiking trails, and anglers can catch rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout within the creek. With record catches of up to 19-inches long, this is a peak fishing location.
Those interested in learning more about the fish that make their home in the park can follow the Bobcat Trail to the nearby Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, which is one of the largest trout production hatcheries in Colorado. This location offers free tours during the summer months.
Picnicking At Rifle Falls State Park
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy their lunch alongside the beauty of the falls? Rifle Falls State Park has 10 individual picnic sites throughout the park, with access to gorgeous views, hiking trails, interpretive displays, and more. Keep in mind that the picnic areas are first-come-first-serve, and be sure to clean up after yourself once you’re done.
Winter Activities At Rifle Falls State Park
While there is no snowmobiling in the park proper, the nearby Rifle Mountain Park and White River National Forest have groomed snowmobiling trails that are accessible during winter months. Keep in mind that Rifle Mountain Park is 5 miles from Rifle Falls State Park, and a park pass may be needed.
For those looking for activities in or around the park, there are plenty of nearby cross-country skiing trails, as well as snowshoeing and winter camping within the park proper, allowing you to experience the striking beauty of the frozen falls from the comfort of your campsite.
Pets At Rifle Falls State Park
Dogs are allowed within the park so long as they are kept on a 6-foot or shorter leash, their waste is properly disposed of, and they are kept to hiking trails that allow dogs. Keep in mind that dogs are prohibited from the nearby State Wildlife Area.
Camping At Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls State Park has 13 drive-in RV/tent campsites, as well as seven walk-in camping locations. The drive-in locations include hookups, picnic tables, fire fings, and more. Water hydrants are accessible throughout the park, and the camping areas are open year-round. Keep in mind that all campsites must be reserved through the park website. To find out more about each individual campsite, or to reserve a spot, check out the state park website to find out more.
Keep in mind that access to amenities varies at each individual campsite, so be sure to plan in advance to accommodate distances between locations.
Below is a short YouTube video highlighting several attractions at Rifle Falls State Park: