On the I-70 corridor between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, the town of Rifle is a full-color snapshot of Colorado’s rural mountain life. It sits at the base of the White River Plateau, offering the perfect staging area for a deer or elk hunting trip. Campers can stock or restock for trips into the White River National Forest, and travelers can listen to the local ranchers talk cattle, hay, roundup and branding. Guns are also a popular item of discussion in the aptly named town.
Lodging options are plentiful in Rifle, and when it comes time to grab a bite to eat, there are choices galore – including the gun-friendly Shooters Grill. Cuisines run the whole gamut, from Italian to Mexican to Asian and fusion. Fast food, wings, pizza, homemade, diner and more are all there.
Some 15 miles north of Rifle is Rifle Gap State Park, where there’s plentiful camping, fishing and boating on the reservoir. Nearby limestone caves formed by a 50-foot waterfall offer spelunking, if that’s your game, and you are at the gate to the Flat Tops Wilderness area and not far from Grand Mesa.
Everything pertaining to the great outdoors is not only accessible, but it’s also waiting to be enjoyed. Fittingly, rodeo is big, very big, in Rifle. There’s also excellent fishing – including ice fishing in the winter – on a number of waterways, camping in virtually every direction, golfing, hiking, ice and rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and snowboarding – and much more.
For lovers of true Americana, Western history lovingly showcased with Native artifacts and settlers’ memorabilia at the Rifle Creek Museum, and a Veterans Memorial pays tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.