Discover Colorado: Exploring the Rifle ice caves and Rifle Falls State Park

Ice caves form at Rifle Mountain Park
Posted at 3:49 PM, Feb 02, 2017

Did you know Colorado has a triple waterfall and during certain months of the year, you can explore ice caves?

Both of these attractions are near Rifle, between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.

Let's start at the ice caves at Rifle Mountain Park.

Water flowing over the canyon walls in the winter freezes and creates these amazing frozen cascades.

Go behind two of the frozen cascades in the park and you'll find caves.

In the winter, the caves are known as the lower ice cave and upper ice cave.

In January, we found the floor of both caves covered in ice with a large column inside the upper ice cave.

In the lower ice cave, we marveled at the blue color in the ice and the icicles dropping from the ceiling inside the cave.

The walk from the parking lot to both caves and back is less than one mile roundtrip.

Just three miles from Rifle Mountain Park is Rifle Falls State Park - a triple waterfall!

Rifle Falls has been a tourist attraction since 1884. The walk from the parking lot to the falls is less than a tenth of a mile.

If your adventurous, you can climb several icy steps and walk one of the waterfalls.

A loop trail takes visitors above the falls and through several limestone caves. However, these are rock caves and not ice caves.

Admission to Rifle Falls State Park is $7. Admission to Rifle Mountain Park is $5.

From I-70, take the Highway 13/Rifle exit an go north. Follow Highway 13 around downtown or take Railroad Avenue through the city. Follow Highway 13 north of Rifle.

At Hwy 325, turn right toward Rifle Creek Golf Course and Rifle Gap Reservoir.  Drive over the dam at Rifle Gap and continue on Hwy 325 to Rifle Falls State Park. The entrance for Rifle Mountain Park is about 3 miles further, shortly after Highway 325 turns to gravel.

Find more great adventures in our Discover Colorado section.