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Rifle Falls State Park

Flat Tops + White River Plateau, Colorado

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Rifle Falls State Park

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  • The Rifle Falls State Park entrance.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Day use area at Rifle Falls State Park.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Rifle Falls from the bridge below.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The limestone cliffs are jagged and riddled with caves.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The spray of the falls creates a nearly tropical environment for plants.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Getting close to the falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The falls are beautiful from many angles.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Behind the falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The water has a lot of force, even late in the season.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The base of the falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The paths give access to many caves to explore.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Some of the caves are deep enough to need a flashlight.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Pond at the top of the falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • View from the top of the falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Signs of the manipulation of the falls long ago.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • The day use area with a cave visible in the background.- Rifle Falls State Park
  • Beautiful Rifle Falls.- Rifle Falls State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easily-accessible waterfalls. Caves to explore. Nice campground.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Flat Tops + White River Plateau, CO
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Rifle Falls have been a tourist attraction since the late 1800s when visitors would rent cabins and explore the falls and limestone caves just like tourists do today. While this tiny park (less than 100 acres) isn't Yosemite, it is a great place to have a picnic and explore the outstanding falls and surrounding limestone caves.

Past the entrance to the park there is a small campground with 13 electric RV/tent sites and seven walk-in sites that are all in a shady grove by East Rifle Creek. The day use area has several picnic tables along the creek below the falls. A short walk leads to views of Rifle Falls. The triple falls flow with force all year long, and the spray creates a lush green oasis. There are trails that climb up both sides of the falls, offering several fenced viewing spots, and a loop can easily be made going up one side and down the other. Along the lower trails on both sides of the falls are several limestone caves that are easy and fun to explore; kids of all ages will love these. Some of the caves go back pretty far, so bring a flashlight or two, but they aren't technical. Besides the trails around the falls, there is a 1-mile trail up the creek to a fish hatchery and a shorter trail down the creek to the park boundary, where a short loop can be walked back through the campground.

Rifle Falls wasn't always a triple falls. In 1910 the town of Rifle built a hydroelectric plant (the remains of which have now been turned into a small amphitheater), and divided the falls into three flows. 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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