ifle Falls State Park, with its mysterious caves and
beautiful triple waterfall, is one of the gems of the
Colorado State Parks system. The breathtaking
waterfall, created by the rushing waters of East Rifle Creek,
flows year round. The thundering water that sprays out
from the cliff creates a misty world of moss covered rocks
and lush foliage along the base of the falls. Dark caves lurk
in the limestone cliffs under the falls, including a 90-foot
room that requires a flashlight for exploration.
Rifle Falls State Park is located along Colorado Highway
325 about 14 miles north of Rifle. “The Falls” is one
of Colorado’s most unique state parks, and is truly an
experience that is not to be missed.
In recent years, the falls have made a spectacular
backdrop for weddings and other special occasions.
The falls spill over a limestone cliff that geologists think
may have formed in the waters of a beaver dam. The
stagnant water behind the dam became saturated with
chemicals, forming thick limestone deposits that are
now exposed as cliffs.
The area was first opened up to ranching in 1883 and
eventually cabins were built and rented to tourists who
viewed the falls and explored the caves much like
today’s visitors. In 1910, the town of Rifle built the
Rifle Hydroelectric Plant at the falls which changed
the creek’s natural flow from one wide waterfall into
the three falls seen today. Remnants of the stone hydroplant can still be seen. This nearly 100-acre state park
is managed by Colorado State Parks and serves over
70,000 visitors each year.
C O L O R A D O PA R K S & W I L D L I F E
Wildlife watchers can view mule deer, rabbits,
chipmunks, and raccoons in the park. Skunks frequent
the campground at night and are attracted to food and
trash. Please keep a clean campsite and store food and
trash in a safe location. The creekside riparian area is a
bird-watchers paradise with narrow-leafed cottonwoods,
box-elders, hawthorns and chokecherries attracting
many avian species.
ENJOY YOUR STATE PARKS
Winter is a special time at Rifle Falls. The mist from the
falls forms delicate ice crystals on nearby vegetation.
This creates a beautiful and unique scene for visitors to
the park. Winter camping
and wildlife watching also
attract many visitors.
Park staff is available to
answer your questions
and provide first aid and
Rifle Falls State Park is managed and operated from
Rifle Gap State Park. For information, call
(970) 625-1607 or write to:
Fees are charged year-round and pay for the operation
of park facilities. Passes are available from the park
entrance station or self-service stations. All visitors are
required to display a current Colorado State Parks Pass on
their vehicle windshield.
A daily pass is valid from the day purchased until noon
the following day. An annual pass provides entry to
all Colorado State Parks. Aspen Leaf annual passes
are available for Colorado seniors 64 and older at a
Rifle Falls State Park
c/o Rifle Gap State Park
5775 Highway 325 • Rifle, CO 81650
(970) 625.1607 • E-mail: email@example.com
Funded in part by Great Outdoors Colorado
through Colorado Lottery proceeds.
It is your responsibility to know and obey park rules and
regulations. Please read the rules and regulations available
at the park entrance or ask a park ranger for a current
copy of park regulations.
• Respect others – keep noise down near
campgrounds and wildlife areas. Observe
campground quiet hours between 10 p.m.
and 6 a.m.
• Do not litter – a clean park is healthier for our
visitors and our wildlife. If you pack it in, pack it
out, and use the garbage and recycling containers.
A dump station is located at Rifle Gap State
Park. Please use this facility. It is illegal to
dump any waste or sewage elsewhere.
• For your safety and the safety of others and for the
protection of wildlife, keep pets under control and
on a leash no longer than six feet.
• Pets are not allowed on the Colorado Division of
Wildlife’s Fish Hatchery. Please obey all posted
restrictions to pets in the park.
• Build fires only in grills provided, tend them
constantly, and make sure they are completely
extinguished when no longer needed. Firewood
cutting or gathering is prohibited within the park.
• Please keep vehicles on designated roadways, and
hike only on designated trails.
• Obey all access restrictions and trail closures in
Common sense and common courtesy will help all of us
enjoy the park more.
Hiking and Biking
Three unique hiking trails meander along
the creek and through the luxuriant riparian area
throughout the park. They provide access to the
caves, the top of the falls, and the creek upstream and
downstream from the park. The Bobcat Trail follows
Rifle Creek to the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Fish
Picnic tables are located along the
rushing creek below the falls.
Fishing and Hunting
Fishing can be lively year-round
for small brown and rainbow trout
in the waters of East Rifle Creek.
Hunting within the park boundaries is prohibited, but
the surrounding National Forest and Bureau of Land
Management lands provide outstanding big game
hunting opportunities. Information on regulations and
hunting seasons is available from park staff and the park
With 13 drive-in campsites that can accommodate tents,
trailers and campers, and some pull-through sites
for larger units, the campground at Rifle Falls is very
popular. Each campsite has 50 and 30-amp electric
outlets, a table and grill; water hydrants and restrooms
are found nearby. The campground is open all year.
Seven walk-in campsites provide a unique camping
opportunity along tree-lined East Rifle Creek just
downstream from the campground.
In addition to a parks pass, campers are required
to purchase and display a camping permit at their
campsite. Camping permits are available at the park
entrance station and the self-service station. Camping is
allowed in designated campsites only.
Campground reservations are recommended and can be
made by calling (303) 470-1144 in the Denver metro area,
1-800-678-CAMP(2267) or online at www.cpw.state.co.us.
No firewood cutting or gathering is allowed in the park.