Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Elevation: 4679 - 5466 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Usage: Hiking - Dogs
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Rifle Falls State Park
Fee: $7/vehicle or Annual Pass
Attractions: Scenic waterfalls, limestone caves, camping, picnic
View Rifle Falls Coyote Trail in a larger map
The Coyote Trail is located in Rifle Falls State Park about 12 miles north of Rifle, Colorado. The beautiful falls are a popular site for weddings and photographers alike. From the roar of the cascading water to the coolness of its limestone caves Rifle Falls is probably the most favorite location for local family picnics.
The Coyote Trail is one of three official trails that you can access from Rifle Falls. The other 2 are the Bobcat Trail and the Squirrel Trail. The Coyote Trail begins on the east side of the falls after crossing the bridge over the creek.
The first part of the Coyote Trail as well as the lower area around the falls is wheelchair accessible. Some assistance might be necessary.
As the trail starts out you are treated with more views of the waterfalls where you can even get closeup enough to feel the cool misty spray.
From the falls the trail passes along the base of the limestone cliffs and the forested stream below.
There are several caves where kids and grownups can practice spelunking. Some of the caves go quite away into the mountain behind the falls so be sure to bring a flashlight if you plan to explore beyond the shadows.
The trail ventures into the mouth of one large roomy cave where the cool air provides a refreshing place to rest.
Continuing on the trail around the cliffs there is a bridge that crosses a small brook. From here the trail climbs up some steps to the area above the falls.
A sprawling catwalk above the falls makes it easy to get close to the edge of the mountain and even stand right over top of where the water breaks over the cliff.
The water begins its journey with the comforting sound of a mountain stream and quickly turns into a thundering chorus that echos up from the rocks below.
From the top of the falls you have the choice to return the same way you came or continue down the other side of the cliff which is a little steeper.
There are even more caves that can be explored on this side of the falls.
There is a large alcove on this side of the falls where the mist lingers in the air and the ground is perpetually wet from the spray. This is the place to linger on a hot summer day.
The trail ends where the bridge crosses the creek. Be sure to look down into the water to see the rainbow trout. The area above the falls is home to the worlds largest trout hatchery. Rifle Falls, with its storybook atmosphere, is a delightful place to spend your time and the Coyote Trail allows you to access the best parts of it. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.