Rifle, Colorado

We spent a lovely two days in the area of Rifle, Colorado, a place I had never even heard tell of before last week.  Though we enjoyed our time there, we probably won’t go back since it is so far west in Colorado.

Unless, of course, I take up rock climbing, which is about as likely as my husband taking up salsa dancing.

Because apparently Rifle Mountain Park is some sort of rock climbers’ paradise.  There were people everywhere dangling from cliffs.  Spotting them was like a game.  LOOK UP THERE!  IT’S ANOTHER ONE!  It’s inspiring in a way, how much it freaks me out to see people so unnaturally high up on the faces of rocks.  Usually when I see someone “rock-climb” it’s on a climbing structure in a very safe, controlled environment. Now that I’ve witnessed so many people in the act of dragging themselves up actual rocks, I’m not sure I can even call that other thing rock climbing anymore.

There is also a very interesting fish hatchery.  FISH HATCHERY? you say.  You are really reaching. Well yes, maybe, but the kids (and Taido) were really amazed by the pools and pools and pools of trout at this place.

And then of course, there was Rifle Falls State Park.  Not to be confused with Rifle Gap State Park, where we stayed.  Rifle Falls was all booked up by the time we made our reservation, but we did spend some time hiking around the falls and the caves that have formed there.

The falls were really beautiful.

And the kids loved the caves.

The area was so much hotter and drier than Crested Butte.  Colorado amazes me in its variety.  So much of it can be desert-like (Rifle) but then in the mountains there can also be these lush green valleys.

On this hike, we were surrounded the entire time by sage bushes.  The smell was intoxicating.  The kids thought it smelled strange but I loved it.

After our outings we would come back to the little spot in the overflow pavement circle at Rifle Gap State Park that we called home for two days.  This park is situated on a reservoir that had a little beach where the kids swam.  The heat could be brutal during the day but it got very cold at night.

Cold enough for hot chocolate.

Sunday evening there was a huge storm and some scary winds shook our little rig hard.  But afterward, the sun came out and made a rainbow for us!

These were our neighbors in Rifle Gap State Park and I thought their Airstream in the setting sun was dreamy.

After the storm passed, we all snuggled up in our beds and went to sleep.

Next stop, Aspen.


  1. That airstream IS dreamy.

  2. Is that your airstream? So cool. Looks like a great trip. I love fish hatcheries. My dad was a fishery biologist and took me to work sometimes so I guess that’s why!

  3. Dear Alison,
    As the Chamber Director here in Rifle we are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in our area (even though you did not expect to). We may not be one of the more famous resort towns Colorado is famous for, but we do have our special places we are proud to call our own. We are so glad you took time to get off the beaten path and explore what we have to offer. We hope someday you return to visit us soon. Thank you for taking the time to write about us! SAfe travels…and great Airstream!

  4. Great photos! I’ve never been to Colorado, but I’m continually reminded of how vast and amazing “the great outdoors” is here in America. I gotta visit some day!

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