Rifle Area


The Rifle area includes several attractions within a 30 to 45 minute drive of the City of Rifle. To the north of I-70, visitors can spend the afternoon at the Spruce Picnic Area, take a hike on the Three Forks Trail, or enjoy a weekend at Coulter Lake Guest Ranch. This area also provides access to Coulter Mesa, which features miles of motorized routes through aspen stands and open meadows. 

To the south of I-70, visitors can explore the Beaver Creek Trail, the Mamm Creek Drainage, and the eastern part of the Battlement Mesa. Good hunting and dispersed camping opportunities are available on both sides of I-70.

All services, including food, gas, and lodging, are available in the City of Rifle.

Access roads into this part of the Forest are typically suitable for all highway legal passenger vehicles. The major exception is Little Box Road (FR-825) northeast of Coulter Lake, which should only be attempted by high-clearance vehicles. Please refer to the Rifle Ranger District’s summer and winter Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) for detailed information on motorized access routes. MVUM s are available for free at the Rifle Ranger District office.

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Busiest Season: Hunting Season
Restrictions: Per winter travel management, the roads on this part of the Forest are closed to wheeled motorized use from November 23rd to May 20th. These routes are open to motorized over-the-snow travel during this time, as snow conditions allow. 
Closest Towns: Rifle, CO
Information Center: Rifle Ranger District, (970) 625-2371

General Information


The City of Rifle, CO is located along I-70, 15 miles east of Parachute, 25 miles west of Glenwood Springs, and 40 miles south of Meeker. National Forest System lands are easily accessible on either side of I-70.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Camping & Cabins

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Dispersed Camping

Recreation areas with activity Dispersed Camping:


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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OHV Riding & Camping

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Scenic Driving

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Winter Sports

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Areas & Activities


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