Rifle Creek Ice

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I was originally planning on visiting Rifle Falls the previous Sunday. However, when I woke up Sunday morning to leave, it was snowing pretty hard, which was not in the weather forecast the night before. I decided to change my plans and went back to bed instead. That brings us to today. I was up bright and early so I could make the drive to Rifle Falls State Park before the sun came up for the day. I made it to the park well before the sun came up and had the place all to myself until I was ready to leave a few hours later. It was pretty cold out, but I dressed appropriately and kept pretty warm, except for my hands which I can never seem to keep warm enough.

One of the falls and Rifle Creek in the dawn.

8410205040_a8ff60f8ca_z.jpg
Misty Fall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Icicles and a waterfall.

8407202636_3141920511_z.jpg
Ice & Water by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The waterfall is in the shade while the ridge above is receiving the first sunlight of the day.

8412035519_1917859380_z.jpg
Left Fall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I spent some time looking for more intimate scenes in the creek.

8400835902_bd82b43485_z.jpg
Flow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A small bridge on one of the hiking trails in front of the falls.

8409135239_1fbed56945_z.jpg
Bridge & Waterfall by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking down Rifle Creek from near the falls.

8399618390_3741b60acd_z.jpg
Rifle Creek by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I hiked the loop trail to the top of the falls and took this photo looking at one of the falls plunging over the edge.

8409121029_0c8521d588_z.jpg
Over the Edge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view of the valley below from the top.

8399618002_b3439892c9_z.jpg
Rifle Falls State Park by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The sun finally reached Rifle Creek below the falls.

8411999321_35cee452d2_z.jpg
Turbulence by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I was done photographing the waterfalls and creek in the State Park I drove up the road a little further to the Rifle Mountain Park. I’ve driven through this park on a few occasions before but never taken the time to stop and explore. This is a very popular climbing area but there are also a few ice caves that I wanted to check out.

I started with the short hike to the Lower Ice Cave.

8399618846_45ca17ca19_z.jpg
Ice Cave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I recently purchased my first set of crampons so I could start photographing ice a little more in the winter and this would be my first time using them. The floor of the cave was a solid sheet of ice so I strapped them on and gave them a try. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they worked awesome! I was quickly climbing all over the ice without worrying about traction. They will certainly come in handy in the future.

8400739156_5df30f1520_z.jpg
Walking on Ice by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking up at some very large icicles.

8399619210_761f1fd31f_z.jpg
Hanging Ice by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I hiked along Rifle Creek to the Upper Ice Cave I stopped for a few photos.

8403107189_9683485dd8_z.jpg
Caught in Rifle Creek by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An ‘Ice Ghost’ in the Upper Ice Cave.

8400739454_316f3b1ff8_z.jpg
Ice Ghost by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sunlight was striking the other side of the ice giving it a nice blue glow.

8399741015_80c695b0fd_z.jpg
Blue Ice by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Outside view of the Upper Ice Cave.

8412016273_9e5c9c1c6f_z.jpg
Upper Ice Cave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I was driving back to Rifle to have lunch I had to stop for a photo of all the people ice fishing in the Rifle Gap State Park.

8412006697_4e690edeab_z.jpg
Ice Fishing by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Rifle Creek Ice Photo Gallery


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *