Enjoy expansive mountain views and get in shape hiking or mountain biking one of many local trails. Pack your camera and a water bottle to head up into the mountains surrounding Rifle, Colorado for a hike in the wilderness. The Grand Mesa, Roan Cliffs, and Flat Top Mountains offer a variety of trails ranging from mild day trips to strenuous multi day backpacking excursions. A short drive up JQS will get you to the top of the Roan Cliffs where you can spend hours hiking and taking in the majestic views of Rifle and the surrounding Colorado River Valley. Come in the fall to see the beautiful bright yellow aspen trees lining the top of the cliffs.
The Rifle Arch
A short drive north of Rifle on Highway 13 will take you to the Rifle Arch trail-head. The 60 foot tall sandstone arch spans 150 feet wide and is unique because it stands alone in the Grand Hogbacks. This 1-2 hour hike will take you to the arch and reveal grand views of the Colorado River Valley, small wildlife and deer, and the Grand Mesa. The White River National Forest has valuable information about this and other area trails including maps and advice for hikers.
The Grand Mesa, the largest “flat top” mountain in the world, stretches over 70 miles from Rifle to Grand Junction to Cedaredge The Mesa features over 200 lakes and many trails meandering among Colorado pines and aspen trees and through grassy meadows filled with wildflowers during the summer months. Many of the lakes are only accessible by foot or horseback so bring good hiking boots!
Stop by the Rifle Information Center (at Rifle’s Rest Area) to pick up information on area hiking trail maps within the US Forest Service or enjoy a short (approx. 1 mile) walk around the lake at Lions Pond. Visit us at 200 Lions Park Circle in Rifle, along the beautiful Colorado River. Follow signs to the Information Center off Interstate 70.