Explore Rifle, CO

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Rifle, CO — Community Profile


The below Community Profile is intended to provide you with the information needed to start getting to know the Rifle Community.  Use the links provided here to jump to specific segments of the article.

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★ Bookcliffs & Roan Plateau

SThe Old Rifle Bridge in Fallurrounding by striking alluvial mesas in the beautiful Colorado River Valley, the City of Rifle sits at the base of the extraordinary "Bookcliffs" (named for lines of sediment & shale that resemble the pages of a book). The Bookcliffs ridge powerfully dominates the western skyline from almost anywhere in town and features the distinct image of west & east Anvil Points. Beyond the Bookcliffs sits the massive (roughly 70 square miles) scenic terrain of the Roan Plateau. A magical place of dramatic canyons, refreshing streams & waterfalls, and expansive meadows. The plateau is home to a mix of arid desert scrublands, aspen groves, spruce forests, and diverse wildlife. Access to the Roan Plateau starts just 2.5 miles north of town (just past MM 4 on HY 13) using the adventurous & sometimes heart-pumping JQS Trail (Road). Or, for a less dramatic route to the Roan Plateau, check out Cow Creek Road.

★ Hubbard Mesa

Near the south edge of the JQS Trail is the desert scrub of the Hubbard Mesa area. A 2,460-acre BLM area for Off-Highway-Vehicle (OHVs) use, miles of single track, ATV & Jeep trails, and target shooting. Users can enjoy a variety of terrain and difficulty levels within the designated OHV area. (Hubbard Mesa is accessed from Fravert Reservoir road/CR244 off the Rifle/Highway 13 bypass.)

★ Rifle Arch

Farther north up the road (at mile maker 7 on Highway 13) is the Grand Hogback Trail System and the Rifle Arch Area. The trail system currently features 7.5 miles of purpose-built hiking & biking trails (with another 10 miles planned), highlighting the stunning 60ft high & 150ft wide sandstone arch formation at the culmination of the original hiking route. Hikers who choose to make the ascent into the arch will be treated to breathtaking views of the valley, the east face of the Roan Plateau, and the Mamm Peaks.

★ The Rifle Creek Valley

Traveling northeast (along CO-325 and then CO-217) is the Rifle Creek Valley, with abundant recreational opportunities awaiting true voyagers (including 6 main destinations). Spilling out of the Flat Tops and into the ranchlands below. This trip highlights the best of "Rifle", illustrated by the forthcoming naming scheme. Beginning with our three State Parks Rifle Gap (a 350-acre reservoir with some of the best boating, fishing, swimming, water-skiing & windsurfing in Colorado), Rifle Falls (a picturesque cascading triple waterfall with lush areas of trees & greenery and mysterious limestone caves), and Harvey Gap (a charming fishing getaway nestled inside the Grand Hogback mountains). Along with Rifle Mountain Park (a City-owned property known for its world-class rock climbing hiding inside a supernatural narrow canyon), the Rifle Creek Golf Course (with two distinct 9-hole tracks, practice facilities, clubhouse, and more), the (Rifle) Riparian Zone (a hidden gem on the Western Slope, and a local favorite), and endless BLM and Forest Service land. You can spend a weekend or a lifetime revving up, pumping up, and huffing & puffing up trails, lakes, rocks, and mountains. And all within a few miles.

★ The Colorado River

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Rifle Island Park
Rifle Boat Ramp
Boat Ramp Trails
Lions Pond
Rest Area / River Stop

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