Rifle Falls State Park, Colorado

We love visiting Rifle Falls State Park in western Colorado, this is the fourth time we’ve stayed there.  Rifle Falls SP is north of Rifle and New Castle which are Interstate 70 towns, and is about 25 miles NW of Glenwood Springs Colorado.  It is a small park and is co-managed with Rifle Gap State Park several miles to the west.  There are tent camping sites along the small creek with a good amount of privacy.  Pull-in sites have electricity and will accommodate pop-ups to motor homes.  There is potable water available at several taps in the campsites.  There are a couple of non-flush bathrooms making those early morning trips convenient.

Beyond the campsites is parking and picnic areas at the main attraction, the three waterfalls.  Over the weekend the park was heavily visited, so we hung out at the very well shaded tent campsites with our chairs and feet in the creek, occasionally taking plunges in the pools of cold, refreshing Colorado stream.  In the evenings we hung out in the luxury of our friends pop-up camper and had a great campfire.

There are hikes around the tent sites, a loop around the falls, and a loop to the neighboring fish hatchery.  There are many caves along the falls loop where you can go inside and enjoy some darkness.  Nighttime boasts dark skies in the canyon.  Overall a fun multi-family camping experience!

Waterfalls at Rifle Falls

Rifle Falls State Park, Colorado

Middle waterfall

Middle waterfall on a longer exposure

Hidden cave

The limestone is full of caves

B&W Middle Falls

Black and White shot of the middle falls

Middle falls @ Rifle Falls

Middle falls @ Rifle Falls

Rifle Falls

Rifle Falls State Park, Colorado

Moon in the pond

Moon in the pond

Northern side of the Milky Way

Northern side of the Milky Way

Milky Way

Southern side of the Milky Way with some clouds

shooting star milky way

2 second shooter as the moon was rising.

2015 Chaco Canyon camp trip

Gallo campground is nice with trash, flush toilet bathrooms and non-potable water. Potable water is available at the visitor's center.

Gallo campground is nice with trash, flush toilet bathrooms and non-potable water. Potable water is available at the visitor’s center.

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Fajada Butte as seen from Gallo campground. Home of the sun dagger (top center).

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A closeup of the sun dagger atop Fajada Butte.

If you haven’t seen this video on Chaco Canyon, it is *amazing* and details the archeoastronomy that occurred here!

The Mystery of Chaco Canyon from AlTur on Vimeo.

Click to enlarge. Chaco map from the brochure you get at the visitor’s center.

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These long straight walls are on all of the valley’s great houses and mark astral events.

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These elk were around the canyon most of the days we were there.

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Interesting camping–a couple of rooftop tents from California at the campground.

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This didn’t look very comfortable, there was a large bed in this trailer. Black sides would make it hot I would think?

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The trail/road to Wijiji site. A short hike from the campground with amazing pictograms and great house. About 3 miles roundtrip.

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Pueblo Bonito

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Wijiji

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Wijiji

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Pictograms near Wijiji

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Pictograms near Wijiji

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Excavated kiva.

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Kin Kletso as seen from the trail heading to the rim of the canyon.

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The birds sang to us each morning, very loudly I might add!

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Casa Chiquita

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Collared lizard protecting the great house Casa Chiquita

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Ball pin hammer art?

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My personal favorite, boom box pictogram. Definitely “retro”, but not by the Anasazi!

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Supernova pictograph along the Penasco Blanco trail.  If you want to just see this, it is a 4 mile round trip hike.  They are now theorizing that the pinky on the hand pointed to the exploding supernova.

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Along the Petroglyphs trail on the way to Penasco Blanco.

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A neat layer of iron-based fossiles in this part of the canyon.

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The amazing view at Penasco Blanco.

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Along the Petroglyphs trail on the way to Penasco Blanco.

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Along the Petroglyphs trail on the way to Penasco Blanco. Obviously not Anasazi, but who knows how old…

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Along the Petroglyphs trail on the way to Penasco Blanco. Obviously not Anasazi, but who knows how old…

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Group shot at the Nebula Pictogram.

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Penasco Blanco, unexcavated. Heck of a hike but worth it!  7.2 miles round trip.  Take plenty of water!!!

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Awesome masonry throughout the canyon!

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Penasco Blanco masonry!

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Jim at Penasco Blanco!

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Someone left a display of shards and old workings.

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Lots of coral fossils on the trail up the canyon to Penasco Blanco.

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Interesting mushroom on the trail. We saw several.

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