Explore Rifle Falls
Colorado › Rifle Falls Parking Area
Added by Derrick Lytle
Beautiful WaterfallEscape the heat of the Western SlopeSmall but beautiful state park0.5 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.
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Neutral Density Filters
- Mountainsmith Parallax camera bag
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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.
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.
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