Rifle Gap is another excellent campground in the Colorado State Park system. The 89 sites are spread over five very separate loops on the north side of Rifle Gap Reservoir, which is a very popular recreation spot for nearby residents of Rifle and Glenwood Springs. This campground makes a great base camp for exploring Rifle Falls State Park, Glenwood Canyon, and even the vast Flat Tops area to the north.
There is a campsite for every taste at Rifle Gap. The largest loop, Lakeview (sites 9 through 54), covers either extreme with 36 full hook up sites that can accommodate the largest RVs plus 10 walk-in tent sites. This loop is perched up on a hill, and many of these sites have wonderful views of the lake and the Grand Hogback beyond. Cottonwood (sites 1 through 8) has eight sites with electric and water hookups only and is down at the lake level and very close to the water. Cedar (sites 55 through 69) has 15 sites with electric hookups on a peninsula with great views and access to the lake. Sage Loop (sites 70 through 84) is away from the lake with no hookups in its 15 sites, but it has direct access to BLM land for ATV riders and hunters. Finally, little Pinon Loop (sites 85 through 89) has five sites, three primitive tent sites and two pull-through sites for RVs or tents. There are showers in Lakeview along with a boat ramp, a swimming area, a dump station, and a small visitor center.
Rifle Gap itself is a very interesting geological feature. The gap is a narrow opening in the Grand Hogback, which runs 90 miles roughly north to south and forms one of the boundaries between the vast Colorado Plateau to the west and the uplifted Rocky Mountains to the east. West of the hogback is the flat expanse of thousands of canyons, mesas, and buttes that extends well into Utah. East of the hogback is range after range of jagged high peaks and valleys. To camp at Rifle Gap is to truly be on the edge! In 1972, the artist Christo erected the 1,250 -foot "Valley Curtain" across Rifle Gap, but high winds tore it down 27 hours later.
All sites are reserveable at Rifle Gap State Park, and the campground is open year round. Like all Colorado State Parks, a day use fee is required in addition to the campground fee. The annual state park pass at $70 per year can be a good deal if many visits to the state parks are planned.