Day Trip to Rifle Falls and Transit to Moab UT

Today’s post covers the last day we spent at Silt CO and the transit the next day to Moab UT where we’ll be for 4 nights.

We had a single Fun Stuff© item remaining on the Silt schedule…a day trip to nearby Rifle Falls State Park where there is a nice waterfall about 80 or feet high with 4 or 5 separate cascades depending on how you count them. The fall was used for a local hydro electric plant back in the early part of the 1900s but has since been allowed return to it’s natural flow. Our original plan was to complete both the Coyote Loop which contains the falls and the Squirrel Loop for a total hike of a bit over 2 miles…but on departing from the parking lot on the Coyote Loop we decided to skip Squirrel as the 6,000+ foot altitude was still kicking our butts a little and we had to stop…frequently…because Colorado just doesn’t have any oxygen in the air. Our total hike was just a bit over 1/2 a mile but did include the trek to the top of the falls as well as the bottom and a visit to some small caves in the limestone face of the falls.

Nice little flower just near the base of the falls.

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One of the runoff streams that feed outwards from the falls.

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Connie grabbed this shot of Neil setting up for a photo op.

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A couple of HDR processed shots of the falls…first one was taken where he’s setup in the shot above and the second about 75 yards to the right as we headed up towards the face of the cliff to climb to the top.

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We took a couple of photos of the small caves…this is the best image of the bunch and it’s pretty crappy…but I’ll post it anyway.

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Moving on to the top of the falls…with a couple of “we can’t breathe” stops on the way we found a nice little pond just upstream of the cliff face where the falls are and then got a shot from the top left side of the falls.

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After the shots above…we continued down the path from the left side of the falls back down to the parking area and headed home. We stopped in Rifle CO for diesel and for Connie to get her nails and bangs done and then headed home for lunch and getting ready to move. In the evening we walked the 100 yards from our campsite down to the Colorado River…hey, it ain’t called the Silt/Colorado River KOA for nuttin’…and got the shot below. Although the Colorado River eventually gets larger due to tributaries feeding in…it’ really difficult to imagine that a river this small could carve the Grand Canyon which is between 4 and 18 miles wide and over 6,000 feet deep from the rim to the river. Recent geological studies indicate that the Colorado River achieved it’s current path through what is now the Grand Canyon about 5-6 million years ago…so I guess that’s what 5-6 million years of erosion will do for ya…pretty amazing I think. The river in this shot is about 40 yards wide and I have no idea how deep…it’s just slightly out of it’s banks and was flowing at 6 or 8 mph.

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We got up this morning and Neil started getting the outside ready to go…dumping tanks, disconnecting utilities, and the like about 0745. While he was doing that he did his good deed for the day and rescued a retired Australian (or maybe New Zealander…he wasn’t sure but the accent sounded more Aussie than Kiwi)…anyways he rescued them from making a major mistake. This couple has made 4 trips to the US to see the country and they were heading eastward from Silt this morning to Estes CO to visit Rocky Mountain National Park just west of Denver. He asked Neil about the grades and curves on I-70…Neil assured him that it was a limited access highway and would be fine. He then asked if Neil could recommend for or against a potential route variation he was considering.

What he was considering was getting off of I-70 and heading up to Estes via Trail Ridge Road and coming into Estes CO from the west after passing over Milner Pass in the middle of Rocky Mountain NP…and he was doing this in a CruiseAmerica 32 foot or so rental class C RV. As you will recall from my previous post…Trail Ridge Road is one of the two passes in CO that is higher than Independence Pass…it would be a really foolish thing to take a 32 foot Class C over that road. Neil and Connie drove over it may years ago on their first trip out west to attend Nuclear Power Prototype in Idaho Falls ID in the late 70s…definitely not a road that is RV worthy.

Neil explained to him how to identify US highways from state highways on his road maps…and recommended that he stay on US highways with the RV as federal regulations make them…mostly…good for trucks while state highways have fewer regulations on them. Neil recommended he stay on 70 and then head straight north on I-25 from Denver and then take US-34 west to Estes Park. It’s probably 20 miles farther than Trail Ridge…but much safer and quicker.

Once he finished straightening out the Aussie couple…we finished packing, hitched and were on the road by 0930 for the 200 mile transit over to Moab UT. We stopped for DEF in Grand Junction…there was a Pilot there that had DEF at the pump and it’s way easier not to mention cheaper to pump DEF into the tank than it is to pour it in from jugs. While at the Pilot they split a half roasted chicken for an early lunch and continued west.

We passed through a section known as Anvil Points…because they look like anvils…but the pictures were so bad (the windshield is really dirty) that I’m not going to post them here…and then through Roberts Canyon where we got this shot.

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After crossing into UT…we discovered that it’s really, really empty in eastern UT…in 60 miles before we turned off on US-191 to Moab we saw the welcome station and 2…yes, 2…gas stations. Almost every exit sign said “No Services” and we didn’t even see any buildings at any of the exits. Saw a bunch of trains but that was about it.

We spotted a couple of neat mountains and got a shot of them…again it’s not very good as it was a phone shot through the dirty windshield…but it reminded me of why I like it out here…these mountains are Mount Waas and LaSalle Peak…and are over 30 miles away in this shot…just ignore the spots on it as they’re dead bugs on the windshield.

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We stopped at the Welcome Center…which is actually 45 miles into UT from CO…and picked up a bunch of propaganda on the various parks and such we’ll be visiting in UT over the next month and then turned south on US-191 the last 20 miles to our stopping spot 8 miles north of Arches National Park…Archview RV Resort. Got pulled right into site 76 and set up quickly…it was blowing 30 today and will be worse the next couple of days so we just left the awning in. 

Here’s another shot of Mt. Waas and LaSalle…the one above was looking south and this one is looking to the east toward them…they’re still over 20 miles away from the campground and it’s amazing how clear the shots are from that distance…it’s that nice smog free mountain air I guess.

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We went down to Moab for Mass since we’re heading over to the park to hike up to Delicate Arch early Sunday morning…then dropped by the Moab Brewery for a brew and dinner before heading home.

Sorry…no interesting stuff from the net…haven’t gotten anything worthy in the past couple of days. We’ve got 3 hard days of Fun Stuff© scheduled here at Moab…I’m not sure if I’ll have enough energy to do daily posts or whether I’ll just do one mega post for all of Moab on Wednesday or so.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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3 Responses to Day Trip to Rifle Falls and Transit to Moab UT

  1. How did you find out about all these places you’ve chosen to visit? The pictures were great even through the window. I thought they were very clear. A i’VE SAID BEFORE i AM LIVING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH YOUR TRIPS. tHANKS FOR SHARING. aDRIENNE Whoops didn’t realize I had the caps on. Fingers too old to hit the right keys. Continue having fun.

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Well…our process is like this.

      1. We pick a general place to go…for this year that was out to KS for the rig work. We knew we needed to be in NW SD in mid September for a rally so decided to head to UT then over to northern CA, OR, and WA before heading east to SD for the rally. 2. I put some first cut stopping places in…with somewhere between 250 and 300 miles between them with some estimated days to stay so that the schedule basically works overall. 3. Connie takes the map and schedule and refines it with seeing what there is to do in each area…we have a shared text file we use for ideas/notes/etc and I put in stuff I want to do in each place originally…and changes it to maybe a few days more or less in various places and modifies the destination slightly based on looking for campgrounds using and other campsite rating web resources. 4. We look at the various options for campsites she’s found together…she reads me the reviews and tells me why she picked each one…I look at the satellite view on google maps to check for satellite TV access, road access, getting in and out, etc…and we pick the campground we want and sometimes the site or area of the campground we want to be in. 5. I call or email or web form to get the reservations…and all along here we’re updating the shared text file…we’ve got various conventions we use like bold face means one thing, asterisks mean another, underline means another, etc. All the campground info is entered with the same data in the same format and order so that it all looks the same.

      After 6 summers of doing it…we’ve got the routine that works for us down pretty well.

      We had originally did all of this back in Jan/Feb for this summer…our original route was to head up the coast to VA to see grand baby Alex and then westward across the length of US Route 50. Once we discovered the pressing need to visit KS for our rig slide seal replacement…all that planning went out the window…although we did save it for perhaps future use. Then I replanned to get the trip from FL to KS in 5 days for the 1,475 mile trip…for that one I just gave her stopping points and she found campgrounds…our requirements for ‘travel mode’ campgrounds are way different from our requirements for ‘Fun Stuff©” mode campgrounds…the former need to be close to the freeway, have a pub or restaurant nearby if possible, and have a pull through site if possible. The latter can be further away from the highway, have a view, and we generally look for ‘nicer to be’ place whereas travel mode campgrounds are just a place to stop and sleep.

      Probably way more than you wanted to know…


  2. Neil you and Connie could never tell me more than I wanted to know. It is so interesting to read about where you are going and where your have been. Since Joe does not want to do anything but golf and drink beer anymore I usually find things to do by myself. Like going on the 4th JP Cruise with the ELKS and The Broadway Palm on July 29. I am so happy you two have a ball when you go somewhere. I guess Joe’s Age make’s a difference. He is going to be 81 in Sept and you young un’s still have energy. We did do fun things (mostly flying to some Island) when we were younger but not any more. I went in January to Labadee, Cozumel, and Jamaica in January on the Royal Carribbean Harmony of the Seas with a friend. He stayed home to take care of Gucci and Shiloh., but that is it for this year. Keep on RV’ing and having a wonderful time.

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