Beautiful Waterfall. Escape the heat of the Western Slope. Small but beautiful state park. 0.5 mile roundtrip walk.

RIfle Falls is located up Rifle Canyon just outside of the town of Rifle on I-70 in Southern Colorado. After driving by the sign for this gem many times on my drives from Utah to Colorado I made a short detour to check out the falls and have some lunch.

The state park is small with a some short trails, car camping, some short hiking trails with campsites, and these waterfalls with picnic tables nearby.

The hike up to the falls is easy and takes less than 5 minutes up a paved road. There's various small trails that wind up and around the falls and in to the caves made out of the carbonate rock which makes up the falls.

Take advantage of the trails and you can shoot the falls from lots of angles with little effort. The falls are in a canyon so shooting them in balanced light isn't much of a challenge although you may have to wait for people to move to get a good shot.

There's lots of great camping spots close to the falls and even some with power which can be nice if you need to charge your batteries.

The water has a lot of minerals in it so be sure to use a lens filter and bring a lens cloth to keep your lens as dry as possible.

Pack List

  • Tripod
  • Lens cleaning cloth
  • Neutral Density Filters
  • Mountainsmith Parallax camera bag
  • Lunch
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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Take the short hike up the falls

The falls themselves are awesome, but it's worth the 20 minutes it takes to walk the path behind and above the falls. The trail will take you along limestone caves before making your way to the overlooks above the falls. Though it's a little out of the way, this adventure could easily be turned in to a day trip by camping in the park and exploring the other trails.

Photogenic Waterfall

A 30 second walk brings you to a surprisingly spectacular waterfall. The calcium deposits and falls seem almost out of place in the mountain/desert landscape. The full path around the falls takes you by some pretty cool caves. All in all, nothing fancy, but a nice spot to grab a waterfall photo.

Prime fall spot

Fall comes a little later here than in the high mountains but it's worth the wait. One of Colorado's few photogenic waterfalls.


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