Hwy. 325, Rifle
This remote mountain area has two state parks, and—surprisingly in this dry region—the most notable feature of each is water. The reservoir in Rifle Gap is a 350-acre lake created by the damming of East and Middle Rifle creeks in 1965. The other part is Rifle Falls, where East Rifle Creek takes a spectacular plunge.
Filled with mountain runoff, the reservoir has clear turquoise water that makes it an inviting place to swim, boat, sail, and water-ski. Anglers are likely to catch walleyes, bass, pike, perch, and trout. The trout come from a hatchery that is open to visitors.
About four miles north of the reservoir, Rifle Falls State Park not only has an impressive trio of 90-foot cascades side by side, but its limestone cliff has a number of small caves, the largest about 90 feet long and 25 feet high. The caves’ walls and ceilings are covered with an amazing pattern of small crisscrossing stalactites.
Open year-round. Admission charged.