27 March, 2021

Rifle Falls State Park and the Grand Mesa

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This is  part 2 of our trip to Colorado National Monument. While returning from Colorado National monument, we drived through Grand Mesa, the largest flattop mountain in the world.

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We stayed in Grand Junction to cover Colorado National Monument.

Accommodations near Colorado National Monument:

Grand Mesa, an area covering 500 miles of area, which is the largest flattop mountain in the world can be reached by Grand Mesa scenic byway near Grand Junction. 

This scenic byway of 63 miles passes through the beautiful scenery of national forests, wildlife, and lakes. Grand Mesa is at an elevation of 10,000 ft above sea level.

The scenery changes dramatically from Grand Junction to Grand Mesa. We cross through these large formations of volcanic ash , as elevation increases, we pass through lakes, forests, and at last snowy mountain after crossing powderhorn ski resort. 

We took a restroom break at Grand Mesa Visitor center and the kids played snowball fight. 

In Summer, there might be good trails for hiking here. But, due to the bad weather, we couldn't hike.

The views while descending from Grand Mesa are equally interesting. 

We drove to Glenwood Springs and stopped for a quick lunch at Qdoba which is just on the highway.

These are some views of Glenwood Springs. Read this travelogue on Glenwood Springs to know about the places to visit. 

Glenwood Springs is a nice place to stay a night. Glenwood springs adventure park and hot springs are great. The hike to Hanging lake is beautiful(only through permit).

Accommodations near Glenwood Springs:

Rifle Falls State Park

Rifle falls state park is one of the beautiful Colorado State parks and can be reached via I 70 W and Co Rd 226 from Glenwood springs and is around 28 miles. This frozen lake seemed beautiful on the way to Rifle falls.

Rifle Falls is a busy area in summer, but since we visited in December, we got the parking quickly. The entrance fee is $8 per vehicle.

This 80-foot triple waterfall is half frozen in December. It looked like a winter wonderland there. There is a short hike around the falls which is a bit slippery with snow, but the beauty of the place is more than what we expected.

A view from the top of the falls:

Even though the weather is super cold and a deterrent, we couldn't get enough of the falls. The scenery felt surreal and relaxing. 

Thus, we ended our 2 day trip to Colorado National Monument and Rifle falls. We returned to Colorado springs by night.

Bonus Tip:

Rifle Mountain Park and Ice caves are around 5 miles from Rifle fall state park. There are 4 ice caves in the park formed during December and February. So, for an adventure, don't miss visiting Ice caves.

By the way, we spotted this bridal veil falls from I 70 near Idaho springs. The frozen fall is fantastic right?

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am trying to complete blogging my travelogues for the past few months. The next travelogue will be about our Albuquerque trip. So, stay tuned!

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Until next time,

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  1. Beautiful photos! I haven't explored that area of Colorado yet. We've taken students to Rocky Mountain National Park a few times.

    1. Thanks Anita. Rifle is a bit interior but worth the drive. Ofcourse, Rocky mountain national park is a gem of Colorado.


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