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About Rifle

Rifle is a city that boasts unmatched natural beauty and resources, a perfect playground for outdoor recreation and a critical hub for regional ranching work. Rifle blends the legacy and traditions of the old west with ample, picturesque outdoor destinations and a growing embrace of the arts.

Located at an elevation of 5,348 ft, Rifle is situated at the base of the White River Plateau, 27 miles west of Glenwood Springs and about 60 miles northeast of Grand Junction. The city of Rifle is part of Garfield County, Colorado, and is home for 9,172 residents as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The climate in Rifle is pleasant, with warm summers and an average of 242 days of sunshine each year.

History of Rifle

When it comes to the history of Rifle, Colorado, one common question is: “Where did the city get its name?” Rifle sits at the confluence of the Colorado River on Rifle Creek. Historians and local residents have different stories of exactly how the creek was named, but all involve someone leaning their rifle up against a tree near the creek. The questions that remain are: Who’s rifle was it? When and why was it left behind? If these questions interest you, you may want to stop by the former city hall, now the Rifle Creek Museum, to connect with local historians.

Rifle was part of the Ute Nation before its founding in 1882. Railroad development helped put Rifle on the map in 1889, as the line ended right in town for a time before other lines were complete. This turned Rifle into a center for settlers, trade, and travel – and the city incorporated in 1904. Cattle and sheep ranching have been the most significant industries for the local economy through the years, and the presence of fossil fuels has also impacted the city’s development. Rifle Gap State Park – just a short drive north of town – was the site of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s famous “Valley Curtain” art installation of 1972.

Entertainment and Activities in Rifle

Rifle is a perfect playground for fans of outdoor adventure, featuring access to unmatched state and national lands with hiking and other outdoor recreation and sporting opportunities for every level. For those prefer to have their fun indoors, there’s a growing community of art appreciators and history buffs.

Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Gap State Park
White River National Forest
Rifle Creek Golf Course
Sports and Outdoor Recreation Resources
Ute Theater
Rifle Creek Museum
Rifle Branch Library
First Fridays
Bookcliffs Arts Center

Restaurants in Rifle

Whether you are looking for a quick coffee stop or a steakhouse feast, you will find a restaurant that satisfies every palate in Rifle, Colorado.

Shooter’s Grill
129 E. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Nacho’s Mexican Dining
2000 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Thai Chili Bistro
115 E. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Whistle Pig Coffee Stop and Cafe
121 E. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Lilly’s Kitchen
232 W. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Rib City
707 Wapiti Ct. #102
Rifle, CO 81650

Mancinelli’s Pizza
851 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Jay’s Steakhouse
1530 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Sammy’s Rocky Mt. Steakhouse
412 Park Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Brickhouse Pizzeria
100 E. 3rd
Rifle, CO 81650

Dickey’s BBQ Pit
117 W. 4th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Farm Fresh Cafe
1733 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Art Galleries in Rifle

In addition to the public art sculptures throughout downtown, Rifle is home to art galleries and centers.

The Iron Gallery
28271 Hwy. 6
Rifle, CO 81650

Midland Arts Company
111 E. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Bookcliffs Arts Center
1100 East 16th
P.O. Box 1295
Rifle, CO 81650

Schools in Rifle

Looking for education options in Rifle? There are a number of elementary schools, plus options for all other ages and academic levels.

Rifle Middle School
753 Railroad Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Rifle High School
1350 Prefontaine Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Graham Mesa Elementary School
1575 Farmstead Pkwy
Rifle, CO 81650

Highland Elementary School
1500 E. 7th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Wamsley Elementary School
225 E. 30th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Colorado Mountain College
3695 Airport Rd.
Rifle, CO 81650

Colorado State University: Garfield County Extension
1001 Railroad Ave.
PO Box 1112
Rifle, CO 81650

Churches in Rifle

You’ll find many local places for worship and prayer in the small city of Rifle, Colorado.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
790 E. 7th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
849 Morrow Dr.
Rifle, CO 81650

Rifle Christian Growth Center
201 W. 3rd St.
Rifle, CO 81650

Bethel Baptist Church
337 Whiteriver Ave.
Rifle, CO 81650

Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church
200 E. 4th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

First Assembly Church of God
550 E. 5th St.
Rifle, CO 81650

First Christian Church
306 E. 3rd. St.
Rifle, CO 81650