Rifle Mountain Park
Aliases: Three Forks
This canyon with world-class cliffs is famous among rock climbers around the world. It is also a pleasant, cool, shady place in the hot summer for a picnic. Cordilleran Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat, Virginia Rail, and American Dipper can be heard in this canyon. As you leave the canyon, the habitat opens up and becomes forested with Douglas-fir, Engelmann and blue spruce and subalpine fir. Here look for Hammond’s Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Wild Turkey, and Hermit Thrush.
Habitat: Rimrock/Mesa, Mixed-Conifer Forest
Directions: Rifle Mountain Park is just north of Rifle Falls State Park and the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery. Take the Newcastle exit off of I-70 (exit 105), and turn right off the freeway and come to a stop sign. Continue straight (north) on a four-lane road that then bends west through Castle Valley, a housing development just outside of town. After a couple of miles this road dead ends at Grass Valley Road. Follow Grass Valley Road west, passing the turn-offs for East Elk Canyon, Main Elk Canyon, West Elk Canyon, and Harvey Gap. After about 6-8 miles Grass Valley Road comes to a T-intersection. Turn right and follow this paved road up past the fish hatchery, where it turns to dirt. You're now in Rifle Mountain Park.
Delorme: 34 D3
Roads of Colorado: 67 D3
Dates of Access: Open all year, daylight hours
Hours: Daylight hours
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Parking: Parking areas
Handicapped Access: Limited car birding