We were staying all over the place for this trip. Three of us were in the Rifle Falls State Park campground, one was at Rifle Gap, and another was in Rifle at a hotel. We started our first day in the area at Rifle Falls. It was quiet at the campground so we went a little north to find a pull out for airing down and getting ready for the day.
The trail starts where the pavement ends, but it's still easy. The road is wide and smooth dirt. We saw people camping on both sides of the narrow canyon, and it looked like there were a lot of places to explore caves and climb the steep canyon walls. There were a lot of good day-use areas, too.
The middle of this section of road goes through Rifle Mountain Park, not associated with Rifle Gap or Rifle Falls. It was really nice, with good places to stop and hang out.
We thought it would just be a mellow time in the canyon when we came across some signs. One pointed the way to Triangle Park, our destination. The other one said you needed a high-clearance vehicle to continue. That's the way we like to start our day!
We immediately headed uphill on loose rocks. The trail was narrow, and we got lucky when we didn't find anyone on their way down. We spotted a moose in the trees and stopped to take pictures. It didn't move, so we got a lot of them.
We kept climbing the hill, and eventually the trail leveled out. We were surrounded by thick trees -- patches of aspens and pines. It seemed like we saw every shade of green.
The trail soon ended at the intersection with Hay Flat. We wanted to do that trail before the day was through, so we turned right to go to the end of it first before heading west. This was a great start to a great weekend.