Added by Katie Lyons
This secluded Colorado state park boasts waterfalls, trails, fishing, and caves.
Rifle Falls State Park is situated just 14 miles north east of major Colorado highway I-70. The park offers a wide variety of activities including hiking, fishing, biking, photography, camping, and spelunking (for the especially adventurous).
There are several trails at Rifle Falls, the most popular being the Coyote Trail. This trail allows visitors to view the three waterfalls after which the park is named from several different angles. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. It is 1.5 miles in length, making it the perfect adventure for families with young children. In addition to waterfalls, this trail also includes access to several limestone caves. Be sure to bring a flashlight, as exploring the caves is permitted. The Coyote Trail also allows visitors to access several fishing ponds located above the waterfalls. Fishers can expect to catch several species of trout, as well as other native Colorado fish. Other wildlife in the area includes moose, small mountain rodents, and several native bird species.
After hiking the Coyote Trail, photographers can practice the art of waterfall photography at the base of the waterfalls. For defined pictures, it helps to use a fast shutter speed (1/250 second or faster). Depending on the weather, using a custom white balance can help improve the quality of a picture taken. Use ~5200k for sunny days and ~7000k for cloudy days.
Several mountain bike trails lead into and out of Rifle Falls State Park. Some trails connect to other state parks (Rifle Gap State Park, and Harvey Gap State Park), while others are loops that lead back to Rifle Falls.
Camping is available at this state park. Reservations are encouraged during the busier summer months, but first come first serve is always an option as well. There are 20 sites, 7 of which are tent only. The other 13 sites have electrical and water hookups for RVs. All sites have fire rings and picnic tables and access to the bathroom which is shared by the whole campground.
Rifle Falls State Park is a great option for anyone looking to explore Colorado off the beaten path. Experiencing the waterfalls, caves, and mountain scenery of this park is sure to please families, friends, and solo adventurers alike.
- Tent (if camping)
- Hiking Shoes
- Fishing equipment
- Flashlight (for cave exploration)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Spearhead
Colorado / Glacier Gorge Trailhead
Beginning from the Glacier Gorge trailhead, follow trail signs towards Mills Lake. At Mills, continue onward past Black Lake, and then continue hiking up into the incredible basin above Black Lake.
Hike Mt. Elbert via Black Cloud Trail
Colorado / Black Cloud Trailhead
Directions: Heading south from Leadville from U.S. 24: West on CO 82 for 10.5 miles to a hidden right turn that leads to a trail head. If you make it to the Mt.