Nothing says winter adventure in Colorado like exploring a fantasyland of icy and snowy natural wonders.
The Ice Caves of Rifle Mountain Park are a true winter gem. Though the ice caves are located just 30 minutes north from the city of Rifle, this hidden gem will truly make you feel like you’ve been transported to a winter wonderland.
There are a total of four caves for exploring named the Ice Palace, Soul on Ice, Stone Tree, and Final Curtain. Beautiful turquoise icicles dangle from above the cave’s icy limestone walls, dazzling all who visit.
The Ice Caves typically take their frosty shape from December through February, depending on weather conditions. It takes several cycles of freezing and thawing for this beautiful icy attraction to come about. If you visit, obey posted rules and follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Wear traction to prevent slipping and dress for cold weather. Keep in mind that falling ice can be dangerous.
During any season, the park offers a grand escape for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s also one of the best sport and ice climbing areas in the state. Here’s a look at where Rifle Mountain Park is located on the map below.
A second winter adventure awaits just a few minutes around the corner. Located roughly three miles from Rifle Mountain Park, visitors can discover a triple cascading waterfall splashing down in Rifle Falls State Park.
A short walk from the parking lot will lead you to Rifle Falls. Take the scenic loop for spectacular views rising above the rushing waters of the nearly 80-foot falls and access to several limestone caves in the area. The indescribable beauty and majesty of the falls will be sure to leave you awe.
Editor’s Note: Check the weather forecast before you go and always Leave No Trace. Bring extra layers for staying warm and hiking shoes with traction for navigating the icy terrain. Admission fees apply.