A short drive from downtown Rifle, Rifle Gap State Park offers water sports galore amid the rugged wilderness. It’s centered around a clear alpine lake, which provides boating, fishing, swimming, water-skiing, and windsurfing.
The main draw is the large 350-acre reservoir perfect for water sports. The park is open year-round for recreation and located about 15 minutes from downtown Rifle. During warmer seasons boating, fishing and swimming are popular. During winter, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are common.
After hours is a special time at this park. Midnight anglers can be seen casting lines off their boats into the wee hours of the morning. Another benefit of the park’s seclusion and high-elevation is the millions of stars visible in the sky. There’s a true feeling of wilderness at Rifle Gap.
There are 89 campsites which are mostly lake-side. Camping fees vary depending on basic, electric, or full hook-up. Rifle Falls also has a small campground located 5 miles north on Co Rd 325 and offers unique recreation, including caves, and waterfalls.
The visitor center is open 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. It has public restrooms, payphones, gift shops, fishing and ice conditions, boat and snowmobile registrations, internet access, exhibits, and first aid. Nearby Harvey Gap and Rifle Falls share the visitor center.
Activities at Rifle Gap Reservoir
Boating: A long, narrow reservoir welcomes boats, jet skis, and water skis. The boat ramp open from April 1 – October 31.
Camping: There are 5 campgrounds, Cottonwood, Lakeview, Cedar, Sage, and Pinion, with 89 sites open year-round. There are fees for basic, electric, and full hookup sites.
Fishing: Small & largemouth bass, rainbow & brown trout, pike, walleye, and yellow perch are common year-round. Rifle Gap is recognized for its outstanding fishing.
Swimming: The swim beach is located on the west side of the reservoir and has lots of picnic areas.
Winter Recreation: Ice fishing is permitted depending on conditions. Cross-country skiing is also welcomed but there are no trails. Furthermore, several campsites remain open during the winter.
Outside Park: Big game hunting exists adjacent to the park in White River National Forest. The closest snowmobile trails are located at the Rifle Creek Trailhead in Rifle Mountain Park, 10 miles from Rifle Gap.
Address: 5775 Colorado 325, Rifle, CO
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm (unless fishing, camping, or boating)
Fee: Vehicle | Camping
Pets: Yes, on leash
Map: Rifle Gap Directions (jpg)
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