Hike through Rifle Falls State Park

Rate this Adventure Colorado Rifle Falls State Park

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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.

Pack List

  • Tent (if camping)
  • Camera
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Fishing equipment
  • Flashlight (for cave exploration)
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How to Get There

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Added by Katie Lyons

Trail running, skiing, and photography enthusiast from Gunnison, CO.

Activities:

Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

1.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

70 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

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