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The charm of Rifle throughout the winter months provides both residents and visitors with a Norman Rockwell type of experience.

The 11,129’ North Mamm Peak on the south end of town and the Roan Plateau and Grand Hogbacks on the north end, surround Rifle with snow-capped picturesque views for all to enjoy.  In addition to the endless outdoor recreation opportunities in and around Rifle, the town hosts a variety of holiday-themed events and activities in December for the whole family can enjoy.

Popular outdoor winter activities to are listed below:


Rifle is located within a quick drive to two of the most iconic snowmobile locations in the country.

The Flat Tops directly north of Rifle are considered to be one of the top locations in the country to go Snowmobiling.  The area has a misunderstood name when it comes to the terrain – meadows, mountains, canyons and more – the scenery will take your breath away faster than pushing the throttle.

It takes about an hour to get to the Grand Mesa from Rifle… and it’s worth the drive!  Being the largest flat-top mountain in the world, the Grand Mesa is known as a sledding hotspot with the mass amounts of snow they get each winter. With almost 800 square miles of terrain to explore, the Grand Mesa offers some of the best riding opportunities you can find.

Ice Climbing

Several high-quality ice climbing routes form every year at Rifle Mountain Park. However, conditions can be variable depending on temperatures and precipitation levels. The canyon is a beautiful setting and there is typically a lot less traffic compared to other ice climbing areas in the state. Also, local accommodations in Rifle are fairly inexpensive compared to the neighboring resort towns.  For you rock climbing experts, the climbs range from WI4+-6 and the park is located about 15-20 minutes north of downtown Rifle.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

Colorado is globally known as a Winter Wonderland, and Rifle is within a quick drive of some of the most iconic cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Colorado.  West Elk Creek on the Flat Tops is about 45 minutes from town and provides visitors with many trails to explore, with additional trails on Grand Mesa and Spring Gulch in Carbondale about 45-60 minutes away.

Ice Fishing

Rifle Gap Reservoir & Harvey Gap Reservoir are two of the most popular locations to ice fish in Western Colorado because of their easy access and variety of fish to catch.  Rifle Gap Reservoir is located about 10 minutes north of town with Harvey Gap being about 15 minutes northeast. 

Skiing & Snowboarding

Rifle is located within close proximity to some of the best ski resorts in the world.  We’re a quick 40-minute drive from Sunlight Mountain Resort, 45-minutes from Powderhorn Mountain Resort, and 60-90 minutes from Snowmass, Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Aspen Mountain.