2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12, another...

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12 -...

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12 -...

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12 -...

Rifle, CO - Rifle Gap State Park - Lakeview Site 12 -...

Rifle Gap State Park 1 - Rifle Gap Reservoir

Rifle Gap State Park 2 - more of the reservoir

Rifle Gap State Park 3 - the dam on Rifle Gap Reservoir

Rifle Gap State Park 4 - a couple of the campgrounds

Rifle Gap State Park 5 - there is the Mothership - right,...

Rifle Gap State Park 6 - a public golf course near the...

Rifle Gap State Park 7 - A Magpie near the visitor center

Morrison to Rifle, CO 0 - our route - 178 miles -...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 1 - Huh Oh, that doesn't look good!

Morrison to Rifle, CO 2 - the mountains are pretty but the...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 3

Morrison to Rifle, CO 4

Morrison to Rifle, CO 5 - the ever present construction

Morrison to Rifle, CO 6 - one of the short tunnels we...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 7 - we are getting close to the...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 8 - the mountains generate their own weather...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 9 - the entrance to the Eisenhower Tunnel...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 10 - the exit of the Johnson Tunnel...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 11 - they are very long tunnels complete...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 12 - we are headed down now, 6...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 13

Morrison to Rifle, CO 14 - that GVWR of 26,000 pounds includes...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 15

Morrison to Rifle, CO 16 - a few ski trails near Copper...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 17 - and some more, just wish the...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 18 - what was I saying about construction

Morrison to Rifle, CO 19 - nearing Vail

Morrison to Rifle, CO 20

Morrison to Rifle, CO 21

Morrison to Rifle, CO 22 - the ski lifts were operating for...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 23

Morrison to Rifle, CO 24

Morrison to Rifle, CO 25

Morrison to Rifle, CO 26

Morrison to Rifle, CO 27

Morrison to Rifle, CO 28

Morrison to Rifle, CO 29

Morrison to Rifle, CO 30

Morrison to Rifle, CO 31 - the Colorado River has grown a...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 32

Morrison to Rifle, CO 33

Morrison to Rifle, CO 34

Morrison to Rifle, CO 35

Morrison to Rifle, CO 36 - not enough room for roads beside...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 37

Morrison to Rifle, CO 38 - we tried stopping here but like...

Morrison to Rifle, CO 39 - another of the many tunnels

Morrison to Rifle, CO 40

Morrison to Rifle, CO 41

Morrison to Rifle, CO 42 - downtown Rifle, CO

Morrison to Rifle, CO 43

Rifle Falls 1

Rifle Falls 2

Rifle Falls 3 - caves in the limestone mountain

Rifle Falls 4

Rifle Falls 5

Rifle Falls 6 - a view of the valley from atop the...

Rifle Falls 7 - Rifle Creek flowing away from the falls

Rifle Falls 8 - part of the creek flowing to the falls

Rifle Falls 9 - as it goes over the falls

Rifle Falls 10 - the three falls from the side near the...

Rifle Falls 11 - another view of the valley

Rifle Falls 12 - another cave on the way down

Rifle Falls 13 - the gate that controls whether the creek feeds...

Rifle Falls 14 - a closer shot of the gate


It was an 178 mile trip from Morrison to Rifle, CO. It was a beautiful drive which would have been much better without the rain for about half of it. As we approached the highest points of I-70, Loveland Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel and Vail Pass, we could see the mountain peaks all around us but the rain made pictures difficult and even obscured our view greatly. By the time we reached Glen Canyon, the weather had cleared somewhat and revealed some fantastic scenery as we traversed the narrow canyon. It is so narrow, there is no room for an interstate to run beside the river, so they have built bridges for both side of the interstate with the westbound side being almost on top of the eastbound side. We did run alongside the Colorado River again and will stay beside her on our way to Fruita, near the Colorado National Monument. It's just amazing to me how much of this area of the country was formed by this river and also how much of this country depends on this river for their water.

We are staying at Rifle Gap State Park on the Rifle Gap reservoir and it is a beautiful park. It has four different campgrounds with each having different amenities - from the full hookup at Lakeview to dry camping at Pinyon. We are staying in the full hookup Lakeview Campground. We have 50 amps, good satellite reception and very poor Verizon reception which also negates uploading the pictures until we get to Fruita.

Tuesday we went to Rifle Falls which is about six miles from here. They have a very small campground and we were not able to get into it. As it turns out, we are glad since Rifle Gap is a much nicer campground. We did hike up to, around and up on top of the falls. There are now three falls instead of the one the existed prior to the tinkering they did when they were trying to use the water for irrigation purposes. Now all three outflows join together again and supply both the Harvey Gap Reservoir and the Rifle Gap Reservoir depending on which way they have the gate set on Rifle Creek leaving the falls.

Wednesday was a stand down day and we just camped and really enjoyed it, including campfire and smores. Tomorrow we head for Fruita, CO where we plan on spending four nights - much of it watching COLLEGE FOOTBALL!!! GO GATORS!

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