Rifle Falls State Park
Started off the morning getting to Rifle Falls State Park early. Arrived at around 7:15am. The road right before Rifle State Park is currently broken and there is only one lane. Despite the 45 minute, and 20 minute delay signs prior to the road, we got through the one lane in less than a minute. This is on a Saturday at 7am though.
This is one of the coolest water falls to see in Colorado. This statement is valid for three reasons.
- The 3 water falls are amazing and if you get there early enough you can enjoy this beauty in semi-even lighting up to two hours after the sun rises.
- Once you get to Rifle Falls State Park, it’s about a 1 minute drive, and 1 minute walk from the entrance. That’s it. Lazy photographers dream!
- There are many unique ways to view the waterfalls in Rifle State Park. A ledge leads up behind the left waterfall, so you can see the water fall from behind. The right waterfall can be viewed from the side about midway up. There are also two overlook platforms on both sides, that allow you to look down at the waterfalls.
Staging Area at Rifle Falls State Park
To the right of the waterfalls there is a staging area with 12 wood benches, and a stone type stage, with rock steps leading up to the middle of the stage.
There is a path in the middle of the benches leading up to the stage. Seems like a great place for a wedding exchange.
The entrance fee as of the time of writing this was $8. This entrance fee will let you go to the other state parks of Colorado in the same day. The good thing about this is Rifle Falls State Park is within few miles driving of neighboring Colorado state parks Harvey Gap State Park and Rifle Gap State Park.
After photographing Rifle Falls from various angles, decided to head up to the top to check things out. There are various small caves that can be explored on the way up, on both sides of the waterfalls.
Once up to the top there is an open piece of land with a couple of man made lakes, or fish farms. When I reached the top to walk around the lakes I ran into a bunch of Turkeys. The bird is the word.
Harvey Gap State Park
Decided to head to Harvey Gap State park after the sun started beating on Rifle Falls. This seems like it would be a good place for bird photography, if you were to arrive there early in the morning.
I wasn’t able to see much bird activity, besides some killdeer and sparrows flying around, but I was there around 11:00am.
Seems like I was there at the wrong time of day for photographic opportunities. It’s on my bucket list to visit for sunrise in the near future. However, if you don’t care about professional photography, and just want to get on the water, this is a great place. Paddle boarding, rafting, canoeing and fishing are all fun things to do at Harvey Gap State Park. If you want to grille, there are crap loads of charcoal grills spread out around the lake as well.
Rifle Gap State Park
Arrived at Rifle Gap State Park at around 1:00pm. For a photographer this time of day is usually devoted to naps, brunch or pool time. Being that I was in a new town for the weekend I wanted to check it out.
The swim area had a few different types of birds flying around from tree to tree. But for the most part, I didn’t see too much wildlife of bird photography opportunity though.
I did however photography these two bluebirds that were grilling me…
State Parks of Rifle, Colorado, for Photography
Overall you could visit anyone of these state parks right before sunset and get some epic photographs from. 2 big lakes and a triple waterfall. A perk about doing photography in the state parks of Rifle, CO, is that you can load up on your photo gear. There’s not really much hiking involved to get to specific locations in any of the state parks located in Rifle.