A short drive from downtown Rifle, Rifle Gap State Park offers water sports galore amid 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. fDuring 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 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, mostly lake-side. Fees run $16-$24/night depending on basic, electric or full hook-up. Rifle Falls also has a small campground. It’s located 5 miles north on Co Rd 325 and offers unique recreation, including caves and waterfalls.
The visitor center is open 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. It has public restrooms, pay phone, gift shop, fishing and ice conditions, boat and snow mobile registrations, internet access, exhibits and first aid. Nearby Harvey Gap and Rifle Falls share the visitor center.
Boating: Boat ramp open April 1 – October 31. A long, narrow reservoir welcomes boats, jet skis, water skis.
Camping: Yes, 5 campgrounds, 89 sites, open year round.
- Basic: $16/night; electric: $20/night; full hook-up: $24/night
- Cottonwood Campground
- Lakeview Campground
- Cedar Campground
- Sage Campground
- Pinion Campground
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: Swim beach located on west side of reservoir with lots of picnic areas.
Winter Recreation: Ice fishing permitted depending on conditions. Cross country skiing is welcomed but there are no trails. Several campsites are also open during the winter.
Outside Park: Big game hunting exists adjacent to 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
Season: Year round
Hours: Park open 5am-10pm, if fishing, camping or boating can stay later
Fee: $7/daily, $70/annual (vehicle)
Pets: Yes, on leash
Map: Rifle Gap Directions (jpg)
Camping at 34 of Colorado’s Stunning State Parks – Before Jack Frost bedecks the punkin and fodder sheaves into shocks, there’s still time left this year to camp at Colorado’s state parks. With summer crowds now gone, you’ll likely find more flexibility to schedule your…