Did you know that Rifle Mountain Park offers some of the best limestone climbing in the world? You do now! It’s a quick drive from our house, so we took the Jeep there when we had some free time over the weekend.
On the way to the park, you’ll pass Rifle Gap State Park, which boasts a 350-acre reservoir that’s popular for fishing, paddle boarding and boating. Plus, the Gap is where artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Valley Curtain was briefly hung in 1972. Past that, it’s a beautiful drive up to Rifle Falls State Park, which features beautiful caves and a breathtaking, cascading triple waterfall. Next up, the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery that’s linked to the park via hiking trails.
The hoodoos north of Debeque, Colorado, on the way to the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area, are a sweet surprise if you aren’t expecting them. Hoodoo rocks are often fantastically shaped, naturally carved rocks or earth pedestals, pillars or columns. The word hoodoo probably derives from voodoo, a West African-based religion in which magical powers can be associated with natural features. Hoodoos conjure up images of strange events. (Thanks, Canadian Encyclopedia!)
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If you read my post about 2022 Plan Your Vacation Day, and I hope you did, you know that I’ve resolved to go somewhere at least once a month this year. We hit the ground running in January with a mini-staycation, just one night away, that set the pace for the year. You know that I love traveling and wine, and this quick trip let me enjoy both.
First stop, Palisade—the heart of Colorado’s Grand Valley AVA. According to Coloradowine.com, it’s 75,990 acres along the Colorado River, once called the Grand River, forty miles east of the Utah border— beginning in Palisade. Sheltered by the largest flattop mountain in the world, Grand Mesa, the AVA then spills up onto East Orchard Mesa and Orchard Mesa along the south bank of the river, and stretches right to the foot of the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction. (Map of wineries in the Grand Valley AVA)