Glenwood Springs and Rifle Falls

After our Epic Winter in Breckenridge, we headed west towards Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Fat Cat was so happy to be back outside again in the warm sunshine!

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Jesse was also happy to be done with snow and be able to play ball outside again with Chris.

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Rifle Gap State Park

I was happy to be back at a state park again. I just love the spacious campsites and beautiful views we have at state parks. We stayed at Rifle Gap State Park where we had an amazing view from our campsite!

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Fat Cat was in heaven; finally back outside hunting for critters.

There was a lot to see and do in the area. We went into Glenwood Springs to see Hanging Lake and take a soak in the Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Hanging Lake is a beautifully clear, turquoise-colored lake situated high up on a mountain.

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Hanging Lake

Too many visitors to this precious gem resulted in damage to the fragile eco-system; therefore, starting May 1st of this year visitors are required to purchase a permit and ride a shuttle to the trail head (May 1st-Oct 31). When we visited, it was $12/person and we needed to reserve a spot in advance. There is now a limit of 615 people per day, and each shuttle accommodates 44 people. The nice thing is the trail was not overly crowded. Hanging Lake is such a popular spot that I could see how it would have been frustrating sharing the trail and lake views with hundreds of other people at the same time.

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The hike starts in Glenwood Canyon on a flat, paved trail running along the Colorado River.

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Colorado River

Soon you will arrive at the start of a steep uphill climb. The hike up is a little over a mile, but it’s difficult because you climb over 1000 feet in elevation. Once you arrive at the top and catch your first glimpse of Hanging Lake you realize it was worth the climb!

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Just a little further up and you can see Spouting Rock, a magnificent waterfall!

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Behind Spouting Rock

On our way to Glenwood Springs we ran into a little traffic jam. We thought it was hilarious to come upon a huge herd of cows wandering down the highway like they own the road!

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Iron Mountain Hot Springs was incredible! It is surrounded by Rocky Mountain views and sits alongside the Colorado River. There are 16 geothermal soaking pools as well as a larger family pool. We enjoyed an afternoon trying out several of the pools.

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Iron Mountain Hot Springs overlooking the Colorado River

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Jesse lined up rocks along my arm, maybe to make it more like a spa experience? 😉

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Our campground was just down the road from Rifle Falls State Park which was yet another beautiful spot.

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Rifle Falls State Park

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Rifle Falls also has caves to explore that the kids enjoyed climbing.

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This is another one of those areas in Colorado that I would love to visit again someday. Colorado certainly has no shortage of incredible places to visit!

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Glenwood Springs and Rifle Falls

  1. As someone who visited Hanging Lake before the permit system was put into place, I can say I’m so glad they did that and that you had a good experience with it! The day we went wasn’t even that crowded – by Hanging Lake standards – but it was frustrating. We got stuck behind people attempting to hike in flip flops, there are random people in all of my photos, and of course there’s always that one person that disregards rules and enters the lake.

    Also, Rifle Falls looks really neat! Adding that to my to-do list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, I can’t imagine trying to do that hike in flip flops! I never went there before the new permit system, but I liked it. At first I didn’t like having to pay $12/person. But once we did it and saw how they spread out the crowd level by only bringing a shuttle bus of a max of 44 people at a time, I realized it’s a good thing. You’ll have to go back again, and enjoy it without the frustration of a crowded hiking trail and strangers in all your photos. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The picture of Fat Cat made me laugh – that is one happy cat! You picked a great place to warm things up. Hanging Lake is beautiful, you got some great pics! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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