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Rifle Mountain Park

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Anti-Phil Wall 
Arsenal, The 
Bauhaus Wall 
Canine Wall 
Crystal Cave, The 
G3 
Hawaiian Wall 
Ice Cave Walls 
Kubrick's 
Lower Tier 
Meat Wall 
Nappy Dugout, The 
Nostril Cave, The 
Project Wall 
Ruckman Cave 
Sanctuary, The 
Sapper Cave, The 
Section M 
Skull Cave 
Sno-Cone Cave, The 
Wall of Life, The 
Wasteland, The 
Well-Dunn Wall 
Wicked Cave, The 
Winchester Cave, The 
Zone of Silence 
Rest Day:
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Rifle Mountain Park  


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Location: 39.7159, -107.6912 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Oct 29, 2001
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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Spring 2009.
Photo: Angus Bohanon.

Description 

Simply put, Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America, especially at the 5.12 and up grades. This riparian mountain canyon 200 miles west of Boulder has undergone numerous evolutionary phases over the last decade, yet it still maintains its allure and is fairly crowded on most weekends from May through September.

The climbing at Rifle varies from slightly overhanging to very overhanging, and the routes are generally long, complex endurance-fests on large, flat holds, pockets, crimps and funky pinches. Constant traffic on some of the older routes, especially at the Ruckman Cave and the Wasteland, has turned the footholds black with shoe rubber. Many of the older routes have surely gained a letter grade or two from the grease factor alone.

Rifle hosts one of, if not the largest concentration of 5.13-5.14 sport routes in America, most of them natural, most of them quality. The rock itself, limestone of the Leadville formation, varies both in quality and aspect from wall to wall. The Wasteland, for example, offers short (50 foot) power routes on pocket and tufa-riddled stone similar to the good stuff in Europe; the towering Anti-Phil Wall, with its perfect crimpers and smooth pockets reminds one of the Blasphemy Wall at the VRG; and the looming steepness of The Arsenal offers blocky cave climbing on "pile" rock reminiscent of the good stuff at American Fork. But these are just a few of the walls.

Rifle is somewhat lacking in "moderate" routes, which can be frustrating for novice & mid-level sport climbers. This has more to do with the nature of the rock than the prejudice of route developers. The lower-angled rock tends to be covered in silt, moss, or both. Attempts to clean are somewhat futile as regular rains re-deposit a fresh layer of munge on a near-weekly basis. There are enough high quality 5.11s & below to keep most climbers busy for at least a week.

It's important to remember that access to Rifle Mountain Park has been an issue in the past. The park is owned by the city of Rifle, and locals from town were going up there to camp, barbecue, fish and picnic long before we climbers ever showed up. The Canyon is open to new route development on a permit system only, and any rock owned by fish hatchery at the west end of the Canyon is strictly off-limits.

Pay your $5 entrance fee, don't park where you're not supposed to, and keep a low, friendly profile. You can get season passes, which are a great deal, from the campground host/park ranger or at the City of Rifle Parks Department in town. The climbing here is excellent, and there's more than enough routes to go around.

While Rifle does offer a handful of moderate routes, they're generally quite polished and uninspiring. The steep stone doesn't suffer from constant run-off like the slabbier stuff, hence the "good" climbing seems to start around 11a or so. Currently the hardest route at Rifle is 5.14c.

Ice Climbing 

As well as world famous sport climbing, Rifle hosts some fabulous ice climbing. Ice climbers frequented the area long before it was a twinkle in a sport climber's eye. Several quality climbs form every year, however, due to temperatures and precipitation, conditions can be variable. Some routes do not form consistantly.

Difficulty ranges from WI 3 to WI 5+ depending on conditions. The canyon is a beautiful location and often sees less climbing traffic than other quality ice climbing areas in the state. Overall, when conditions are good, Rifle offers some of the best naturally forming, easily accessible ice in Colorado.

There is a $5 parking fee in the park. You can get season passes, which are a great deal, from the campground host/park ranger or at the City of Rifle Parks Department in town. The town of Rifle offers some fairly inexpensive accomodations and even a decent restaurant or two.

Getting There 

Drive west to Glenwood Springs on I-70. Ten miles further west take the Newcastle exit. Turn right off the freeway and come to a stop sign. Continue straight (north) on a four-lane road that then bends west through Castle Valley, a housing development just outside of town. After a couple of miles this road dead ends at Grass Valley Road.

Follow Grass Valley Road west, passing the turn-offs for East Elk Canyon, Main Elk Canyon (home of the Fortress of Solitude), West Elk Canyon, and Harvey Gap. After about 6-8 miles Grass Valley Road comes to a T-intersection. Turn right and follow this paved road up up up past the fish hatchery, where it turns to dirt. You're now in Rifle Mountain Park.

Additional Resources 

www.splitterchoss.com

Camping 

Per Michael Schneiter: as of 2014, the camping fee has increased to $10/day.

Per Spencer Weiler: as someone who had never visited Rifle before, I was a bit confused at the camping situation or maybe I'm just an idiot and didn't do my homework. Anyway, for new people, the camping setup is like this:

There is one official "Rifle Falls State Park Campground" that is located a few miles before you get to the actual Rifle Canyon climbing. The sites are highly competitive to get and require a reservation months in advance. See the link below. Water is located here. I assume this is where most people fill up even if they aren't staying there.

Rifle Falls Camping

There is also Rifle Gap State Park, which has 5 campgrounds, which is the reservoir that you pass by on your way to Rifle Falls, 5 or so miles before.

Rifle Gap

Assuming you are a dirtbag climber, you will want to find the camping beyond the climbing. This wasn't intuitive to me. Drive through the climbing sector, and almost as soon as you leave the canyon, the first set of sites pop up with a big campground sign next to some buildings. As I understand it, the town of Rifle supports these sites. There are many, many more sites up the road, so if the ones you come to are full, just keep driving. We stayed at site 31, so there are at least that many. It was $12 per night which included your $5 day pass fee to use the park. No purified water exists (go to state park campground), but there are port-o-potties and trash dumpsters.

Climbing Season



Weather station 13.8 miles from here

366 Total Routes

['4 Stars',39],['3 Stars',131],['2 Stars',148],['1 Star',46],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',5],['5.8',3],['5.9',18],['5.10',40],['5.11',74],['5.12',120],['5.13',91],['>=5.14',12],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Rifle Mountain Park:
Lovin' You is a Dirty Job   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Ice Cave Walls : Upper Ice Caves (Feline are...
Merry Maids   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Ice Cave Walls : Middle Ice Caves (Potato Ro...
80 Feet of Meat   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Meat Wall
Rumor Has It   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   The Sapper Cave
Feline   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   Ice Cave Walls : Upper Ice Caves (Feline are...
Rehabilitator   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Project Wall
Defenseless Betty   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Project Wall
Ricochet   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   The Winchester Cave
Cardinal Sin   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   Meat Wall
Genesis   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Sanctuary
Pinch Fest   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Ruckman Cave
Easy Skankin'   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Anti-Phil Wall
I Am Not A Philistine   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Anti-Phil Wall
Pretty Hate Machine   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Arsenal
The Beast with Two Backs   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Wasteland
The Beast   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Wasteland
Pump-O-Rama   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   The Arsenal
Beer Run   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Ruckman Cave
Apocalypse '91   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   Project Wall
Sprayathon   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch   The Arsenal
Browse More Classics in Rifle Mountain Park

Featured Route For Rifle Mountain Park
Ed Strang cranking! <br />Living in Fear (5.13d).

Living in Fear 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a  CO : Rifle Mountain Park : Project Wall
This is the lefmost "tall" line on the Project Wall (Sick Little Monkey climbs through the blue, overhanging wall to the left) and climbs through grey-streaked rock onto a white and blue headwall with a faint dihedral near the top.Without any discernible crux, this 90-foot route is a power-endurance nightmare and has only one spot where you can shake out both hands. The bottom used to be quite wet most of the season, but drier summers have left it consistently drier.The "toilet-bowl...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Rifle Mountain Park Slideshow Add Photo
Morning in the canyon.
Morning in the canyon.
Spring 2009. <br />Photo: Angus Bohanon.
Spring 2009.
Photo: Angus Bohanon.
Looking for rest day fun? Here's an activity enjoyed by many visiting climbers.
Looking for rest day fun? Here's an activity enjoy...
Please park in designated areas only! <br /> <br />THANKS!!
Please park in designated areas only!

THANKS!!
October dusting.
October dusting.
I took this photo at the Feline Parking lot. This climber is parked here because the lot was full (by 10 am no less). They are illegally parked here!  <br /> <br /><em>Parking in RMP is a MAJOR issue!! </em> <br /> <br />Please obey all RMP Rules!!!  <br /> <br />Notice their Access Fund sticker on back right window. <br /> <br />
I took this photo at the Feline Parking lot. This ...
Geology of Rifle climbing area.
BETA PHOTO: Geology of Rifle climbing area.
Park entrance on 10/2000.
BETA PHOTO: Park entrance on 10/2000.
The old Ruckman bridge.
The old Ruckman bridge.
Elmer.
Elmer.
RMP.
RMP.
6/3/2011 6pm MST. <br /> <br />Please follow ALL RMP Rules & Regulations! <br /> <br />Questions? Call 1-(970)-665-6570.
6/3/2011 6pm MST.

Please follow ALL RMP Rules & R...
RMP.
RMP.
Rifle entrance. Serious roadside craagging.
Rifle entrance. Serious roadside craagging.
Enter.
Enter.
Rifle in October / Feline parking lot.
Rifle in October / Feline parking lot.

Comments on Rifle Mountain Park Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 21, 2014
By scott@apex
Jan 29, 2003
Visited Rifle this a.m. and turned back, since what little was in existence this year was sopping, detached, decaying, rotten sludge today. 40 & 50 degree temps have nearly eliminated any decent ice for now. Dreaming of Red Rocks now....forecast calls for 70's all week!
By Anonymous Coward
May 7, 2003
Has anyone been up this spring? Is the rock wet?5-7-03
By Anonymous Coward
May 30, 2003
The rock at Rifle is severley overhanging in most sections so it dry even when its raining.
By ac
Sep 26, 2003
Drive from Denver is 3 to 3.5 hours depending on where you're starting from and whether it's rush hour traffic.
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 9, 2004
Defenseless Betty is a great intro to moderate climbing here. good rests and great fun.

This limestone is awesome! This seems like a great place to build a foundation in the 5.12 range. No give aways though. Get ready for consistant climbing from bottom to top.

As for intimidation I found most people friendly. if not there are lots of routes to move on to. Sometimes a friendly hello will bring the same back. Just have fun!!!

Oh, one more thing, take longer rests here you'll need them ( up to 30 minutes or more)

Signed,

training harder to return anonymous coward
By ac
Jun 29, 2004
The free camping at the "dirt pile" appears to be no more. There are new No Trespassing signs there. This was a popular spot for climbers looking for a free spot to camp but now they'll need to look for other spots.
By ac
Jul 7, 2004
WARNING - there are at least 2 bears roaming the campgrounds at Rifle. The park people have done very little to post any signs warning campers of this. I have heard of tents getting slashed open for the last 2 weekends. Use all neccessary precautions.
By Neal Carroll
Sep 8, 2004
I'm not a Rifle local, though I do make many weekend trips each summer from SLC, and I would like to continue to do this, so I thought some of you "locs" might be interested in a outsider's perspective:

This last weekend was only my 5th trip of the summer, but (just like every year) I've noticed that the Project Wall and the Arsenal seem to suffer severely from an infestation of leashless dogs. Dogs running unrestrained, doing there doggy things, all over the road while their masters blithely pose up some route that they have done 5 million times...never thinking that perhaps this is annoying to other climbers who are belaying, climbers who are smart enough to put their dogs on a leash and most importantly to the "local color" (remember they were there first) driving their enormous trucks at break neck speeds through the canyon on Labor Day Weekend.

Before you dismiss me as a dog hater, don't...I like dogs a lot and that is part of the problem for me...and I suspect some other people. I do not want to be subjected to witnessing the terrible scene of somebody's dog being run over right in front of me, and I cringe inwardly every time there is a near miss, which is often.

Unfortunately, it seems (why is this always the case) that it is the true hard core locals (you/we know who you are), the ones who should be the stewards of the area, who are by and large the worst offenders.

You peeps need to get it together, and set a better example to all the visiting fools who show up and think its just a big dog park!

I'll quit spraying now, and let the flaming begin...if anyone actually reads this...but even worse than watching a dog get killed would be to have a wall like the Project Wall get closed.Unlike most of you, I still have some routes to do there...and as we climbers are essentially a selfish and narcissistic lot, that really is the bottom line. I don't want my favorite climbing area closed down.

peace
By David Whitcombe
Apr 13, 2005
I'm not much of a climber anymore, but I am a Rifle local. Even theough I went to school (and learned to climb) in Southern California, we came to Rifle every year for summers, and now I live there.Rifle Mountain Park is just about the BEST way to get up to the high country north of New Castle once the snow melts off, so if you're climbing there after the melt, expect lots of traffic headed up and down the canyon to get up to spectacular spots like Cliff Lake and Meadow Lake (heck of a fishing spot-- you can watch bald eagles steal your fish-- not to be missed). Also upcanyon from the fish hatchery are some nice camping spots (where there's no climbing) and excellent spots to stop, eat a picnic, and gather watercress (yes, watercress -- Rifle creek doesn't freeze over in winter, so there's always watercress to be gathered).Generally (and having lived in Los Angeles, I feel that I can say this with a bit of authority) the people from the area around Rifle are a heck of a lot nicer than your average city-dweller. A smile and a wave goes a HELL of a lot further than a finger and a threat of a lawsuit.The businesses in Rifle really like the idea of climbers coming through and buying water and food and beer and other stuff.The people who enjoy the Park for whatever reason would probably sorta like the people there (for climbing) to be nice.Just nice.Try to remember that for the most part, the people of this area don't lock their doors at night, don't fear crime (there basically isn't any), and wave to complete strangers.

Now, personally, I've NEVER had any evil contacts with climbers up Rifle Creek (as we locals refer to RMP).

Quite a few of my friends and colleagues climb there regularly, and are nice sorts.

If you're nice, you won't have any problems with the "locals."

If you bring a big-city (L.A., New York) attitude, you'll be dismissed as an a-hole. Just a couple of cents from a local.
By Mike Anderson
From: Dayton, OH
May 31, 2005
Rifle is pretty good now. There were a lot of people over the Memorial Day weekend. Seems like 75% of the stuff is dry, with the occasional seeping hold. It rained a lot Sunday and Monday which was a bit of a stinker.
By Anthony milkus
Oct 14, 2005
How is Rifle in the [beginning] of November for climbing?
By MattG
May 3, 2006
Anyone been to Rifle w/in the past couple of days/weeks? How are conditions - lots of seeping or is it drying fast? I know this time last year a lot of stuff was still soaked....
By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 18, 2007
How are the conditions at Rifle right now? Any info would be appreciated.

Thank You!
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Jun 29, 2007
There are some good new routes going up now that the bolting ban has been lifted, check out www.splitterchoss.com/rifle-mountain-park.php for more information and some topos.
By Robbie the Dog
Aug 20, 2007
Note about a few of the new "moderate" routes at Rifle:

Canine Wall: According to splitterchoss.com, these were bolted by people from Climbing magazine. There are several climbs at 11a and below. While the sentiment is good, the execution is less so. Not enough cleaning was done, so there is alot of lichen and stuff, but more troubling is that there is a "a lot" of loose rock on these climbs.

For example, on Stem-o-Rama, the bottom two bolts are through a dirty garden-like area, with the only places aggressively cleaned are the bolt locations. In the upper dihedral, the crack and the left side of it are very loose: Several big blocks located directly on-route were pulled off accidentally (by experienced climbers), and several other on-route blocks are scarily loose and hollow.

My concern is that inexperienced climbers (who will be more likely to climb these) will likely pull stuff off onto inexperienced belayers. I can't recommend this area to newer climbers until some serious crowbar/cleaning goes into these routes.
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Sep 17, 2007
Hey Robbie,
Valid concerns, thanks for the input. Some of the routes at the Canine Wall are pretty damn dirty. I guess that's what you get on a shady, north-facing wall sometimes. Believe it or not, several folks have put a lot of time into cleaning these lines, including at last year's Rifle Cleanup. You wouldn't believe how dirty they were in the beginning.

I don't remember much in the way of loose rock, and can tell you from first hand experience the routes WERE picked over with a pry bar. Maybe some stuff came loose over the winter?

The mag is no longer in Carbondale, and with all the recent turnover there, it'll probably be impossible to get anyone out to finish up, so to speak. Maybe some civic minded folks will take up the task at this year's clean up.

I'll make a note of it in the info on splitter choss, thanks.
By 426
Apr 14, 2008
Great post David. I can't wait to get back and "really" press with the feet! How much is a CO fishing license (out of state) these days?
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Apr 18, 2008
According to www.Colorado.com it is $56 for out of state licenses.
By 426
Apr 20, 2008
Thanks Leo-I'm lame at the intertube. Great brookie action in the creek...haven't been to the lake---anyone got the line on bass/perch action there?
By D@n
From: Boulder, CO
May 12, 2008
Conditions are good now. Most areas dry except for Wasteland and Project wall. On a side note, a grigri was left at the base of Purple and Green (Anti-Phil). Reward if returned.
By andy wellman
Jul 1, 2008
Wondering about the conditions at Rifle. Well, look no further than the new, updated, conditions page at wolverinepublishing.com/rifle_beta.html. I will be updating the page periodically as conditions change.

Also, the 2008 edition guidebook is out! However, the Demons of Bosch are hard at work, putting up routes at a furious pace. Check out wolverinepublishing.com/rifle_new_routes.html for info on new routes and corrections, since the release of the guide.

I hope to see you all out there!
-aw
By JellieBean
From: Lakewood
Jul 16, 2008
Wow what a place!!! I spent my first weekend at Rifle and it was fantastic. It's definitely not for the weak of heart or the weak in body. If you want to be a stronger sport climber this is a great place to visit.

The other great thing about Rifle is the people. I love the climbing community but the dedicated climbers at Rifle are top notch. I felt so welcome and everyone was so friendly. Thanks to everyone for making my first (and not my last) Rifle experience awesome.
By W. Spaller
From: Boulder
Feb 12, 2009
Just wondering how early it is possible to get climbing here. I know Rifle is notorious for seeping walls. Would a trip in Mid March be pushing it or no?
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Feb 13, 2009
Depends. Some people will climb in Rifle all winter, albeit very limited. In mid-March it can still be quite chilly and route selection is probably dependent on sun. Also, there's a lot of seeping rock so some of the walls/routes will be wet. A lot of it, IMO, depends on how bad you want to climb at Rifle.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2009
I've only climbed in Rifle in January. Then again, I mean ice climbing. There is some pretty good ice climbing during mid-winter. What is its elevation? This can help in estimating how warm it is going to be in March. I'd guess 6-7000 ft?
By Jeremy H
Feb 13, 2009
I have climbed 3 times in Rifle in the past few weeks. Each time I have been in a t-shirt in the sun. With that said I wouldn't venture up here unless you live close by. One cloud right now could ruin your day. March is a tricky time. The weather is usually fine but a lot of the routes seep this time of year. If you aren't picky with your routes you should be fine in March as long as it is sunny.
By Becki
From: Denver, CO
Apr 9, 2009
Has anyone been to Rifle this week or last week? I am wondering what the seep status is. Do you think it is possible to climb there this coming weekend?
By Jeremy H
Apr 9, 2009
I went to Rifle on Tuesday and there is plenty to climb that is dry. I am not sure about this weekend though, the weather looks pretty grim. It gets cold in a hurry if the sun isn't shining.
By Kai Huang
From: Thornton, CO
Apr 27, 2009
Any more weather reports for Rifle? Is this coming up weekend possible to climb there or maybe the following one?
By kellyk
Feb 15, 2010
What's the best guidebook for Rifle? Thanks!
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Feb 15, 2010
This is the latest.

By jakemoose
From: Lakewood, CO
Apr 11, 2010
Has anyone climbed at Rifle yet? Thoughts on the weather/conditions?
By dan scales
From: Denver, CO
Apr 17, 2010
Thinking about heading up early next month (May) from Denver. Anyone been this season?
By sam123456789
Aug 1, 2010
FYI - wallet and iPod stolen out of vehicle while we were not that far away from it. It might have helped if we had locked the car...but thought I'd at least post so others weren't wooed into lethargy by the idyllic beauty of Rifle Canyon....
By vince bates
Aug 23, 2010
I found a brand new guidebook last weekend (Aug. 21-22). If it's yours, let me know. My email is bates@bates-as.com.
By W. Spaller
From: Boulder
Mar 24, 2011
Just curious of the current conditions. Would a trip in about 3 weeks be a good idea?
By Lukasz M Fidkowski
From: Berkeley, California
Jul 21, 2011
I'm going to be in the area for a few weeks in August - is it easy to find partners there (like Camp 4), or do I really need to find partners ahead of time. Really excited to climb here but no idea how to find a partner....
By monie
Jul 30, 2011
Help! I lost my clip stick! Please return it if you found it, it was a gift. It's a squid on a red pole with duct tape on the end. Please email if you have it. Thanks, simonehorness@yahoo.com.
By Jay Austin
Aug 17, 2012
Anywhere hear of some very new routes getting bolted up here recently??
By MexClimber
May 16, 2013
Is there a bus from Glenwood Springs to Rifle Mountain Park? Is it easy to get around without a car?
Thanks
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
May 17, 2013
There's no bus service from Glenwood to Rifle Mountain Park. There is bus service from Glenwood to the city of Rifle, but that leaves you many miles (10+) from the Mountain Park. People without a car usually hitchhike between town and the Mountain Park, and there is a steady flow of climbers in and out of the park every day, including climbers at the campground. So you can make it work, albeit not super easily.

Concerning new routes, there has been a lot of new route development since the '08 book, and a new book should be out soon. A lot of the new route stuff is on this site already.
By Kevin Hadfield
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jun 8, 2013
!!Jerk Alert!!!

Somebody has cleaned my draws off of Head Full of Lead.

To whom has stolen my draws, they are not yours. They have been donated to the walls of this canyon not your gear closet.

Please return them to Summit Canyon Mountaineering, no questions asked.
By Jeremy H
Jun 29, 2013
The Rifle Climbers Festival 2013.
The Rifle Climbers Festival 2013.
By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Jul 28, 2013
Camping: As someone who had never visited Rifle before, I was a bit confused at the camping situation or maybe I'm just an idiot and didn't do my homework. Anyway, for new people, the camping setup is like this:

There is one official "Rifle Falls State Park Campground" that is located a few miles before you get to the actual Rifle Canyon climbing. The sites are highly competitive to get and require a reservation months in advance. See the link below. Water is located here. I assume this is where most people fill up even if they aren't staying there.

Rifle Falls Camping

There is also Rifle Gap State Park, which has 5 campgrounds, which is the reservoir that you pass by on your way to Rifle Falls, 5 or so miles before.

Rifle Gap

Assuming you are a dirtbag climber, you will want to find the camping beyond the climbing. This wasn't intuitive to me. Drive through the climbing sector, and almost as soon as you leave the canyon, the first set of sites pop up with a big campground sign next to some buildings. As I understand it, the town of Rifle supports these sites. There are many, many more sites up the road, so if the ones you come to are full, just keep driving. We stayed at site 31, so there are at least that many. It was $12 per night which included your $5 day pass fee to use the park. No purified water exists (go to state park campground), but there are port-o-potties and trash dumpsters.
By dbyte
From: Carbondale, CO
Aug 26, 2013
FYI: as of last weekend Rifle Police have been patrolling the entire canyon on both days. They are writing tickets for parking violations, driving without a seatbelt, speeding, & have even pulled over a few people to test for DUIs if they were seen drinking a beer before getting in their car or having an open container in the car while driving. Also, they're ticketing dog owners who don't keep their pooch on a leash & let it run around making a ruckus.
By Peter J. Beyel
From: Glenwood Springs
Sep 2, 2013
A rope that isn't mine ended up in my car over Labor Day weekend. I'm still unsure how it got there because the car was at the campsite on the day the rope appeared. If you are missing a rope, please email me with a description of the rope and bag.
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Jan 12, 2014
Chris Knuth was the person who brought the kneepad to Rifle from Jailhouse Rock, California, much to the dismay of early route developers in the mid 1990s but to the boon of the modern Rifle climber today. Kneebarring downgraded many already established routes at the time. It is now considered essential equipment.
By Jacob Neathawk
From: Nederland, CO
Jan 13, 2014
Maybe Knuth was the first to bring cut off denim jeans to Rifle? According to the guidebook, he never wore kneepads.
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 21, 2014
Maybe an admin can update the info in the description: The day pass at Rifle is $5 per car. You can get season passes, which are a great deal, from the campground host/park ranger or at the City of Rifle Parks Department in town.

The camping fee is increasing to $10 this year.