When we decided to go on the road, it wasn't a hard decision to spend our first summer climbing in Rifle Mountain Park. We have been climbing here since about 1998 and have always wanted to spend the summer in the park. As time to leave got close we investigated the possibility of becoming the camp hosts for Rifle Mountain Park. Since we will be spending our summer here and mentioning it I thought it a good idea to educate the non-climbers on what we call 'Rifle;.
Rifle Mountain Park is 434 acres of forested canyon with limestone cliff walls and a creek that is managed by city of Rifle. The land was a grant given to the city of Rifle in 1921. Only about 70 acres are utilized for rock climbing, picnicking and camping while the rest remains untamed forest. RMP is a world class rock climbing destination that saw it's heyday in the 1990s but it is still an active and popular climbing destination. There are 31 primitive camping sites with table, fire pit and BBQ Grill. There is not any electricity or water. Bathroom facilities are porta johns and one vault toilet. The camping is dispersed across 3 camping areas and are best suited for tents even though the use of travel trailers or truck campers are becoming increasingly popular.
Rifle Creek runs through the canyon and is home to trout and beavers. The fishing in the creek is more for sport as the fish are all small and the creek flows fairly rapid. Picnickers can enjoy lunch right on the creek in several places in the canyon. During the hot summer months it is not uncommon to see children playing in the water.
Until recently all the rock climbing routes were for advanced climbers only with very little for the novice to enjoy. Due to recent bolting agreements with the city of Rifle, easy routes have been bolted. The route grades range from 5.7 to 5.14 with the best quality climbing beginning at 5.12. The rock varies from gray limestone slab to overhanging blocky limestone caves. It is our goal to climb these recently bolted easy routes so that we can provide details on them to visiting climbers.