Glenwood Springs West/ Colorado River KOA

This KOA is relatively new to the KOA family. It is west of Glenwood Springs in Silt, about a 15 minute drive to Glenwood. The newer KOA offers a collection of sites with the best being those on the Colorado River with full luxury patios. We stayed in one of these sites on our visit. While the sites offer ample space compared to other KOAs, they are still somewhat close to each other. But the views of the river are beautiful and the KOA is a good spot to investigate several other state parks in that area.

KOA riverfront patio site W9.

On our arrival, we were assigned spot W9, a riverfront patio site with full hookups., wifi, and cable. Interestingly, there are tiny house cabins along the interstate side of the campground that have been purchased by individuals to use as their second homes. These are well-maintained. Other pull-through sites take up most of the interior of the loops, while the exterior sites are riverside. Our site was a riverside, luxury patio site and included a paved driveway, campfire ring, Adirondack chairs, and a covered table. We enjoyed this location immensely.

The small town of Silt sits across the interstate and has a few small restaurants, including Miner’s Claim which offers golf cart rides to/from their restaurant for KOA vacationers. While we didn’t eat there during our stay, it looked lovely from the outside with linen table clothes, flowers on the tables, and delicious-sounding specials.

Glenwood Hotsprings Pool; the world’s largest hotsprings pool.

During our stay, we headed into Glenwood Springs to spend one day at the Glenwood Hotsprings Pool, the world’s largest hotsprings pool. This was not our first trip to this pool and we knew what to expect. They have food available for purchase, a couple water slides that land in the pool, and the of course the pool itself that sits as an anchor to downtown. The day was relaxing and we enjoyed their BBQ’d food at the hotsprings, though a food truck also was available at the corner of the parking lot.

Colorado River from the Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail.

We also traveled to town to rent bikes from Canyon Bicycles and ride on the Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail. This trail closely follows Interstate 70 (though it is separate from the interstate) and the river. During early June, the river was flowing rapidly and several people were rafting the river on our bike ride. Canyon Bicycles offers a tour that takes bikes and riders to a starting point on I-70 and then riders ride one direction (mostly downhill) back to Glenwood Springs. This is an easy ride that includes various rest areas and picnic stops along the way. We completed the ride in a couple hours, just in time for lunch in downtown Glenwood Springs. This area has suffered both a catastrophic fire and, after our visit, a flood and landslide, that have altered the path of this bike ride since we completed it in June 2021.

This small town has an abundance of restaurants and breweries to try. We have been to several on our previous trips to Glenwood. No trip is complete without a visit to the historic Hotel Colorado to enjoy their outdoor gardens that face the hotsprings pool and the city.

Harvey Gap is a nice lake with fishing, boating and picnicking.
A picnic site at Harvey Gap.

From the KOA, we also headed north through Silt to visit three state parks located nearby- Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap. Harvey Gap is a small reservoir where we enjoyed a picnic. The few people who were on the lake were fishing or kayaking. But the lake was very quiet and we were the only people enjoying a picnic. Afterward, we traveled to Rifle Falls to complete a short hike to the falls and a longer hike around the park. A campground is available at Rifle Falls. Though small, this campground would be an excellent alternative spot for future camping and investigating the area.

Rifle Falls produce tropical foliage.

Rifle Falls is an odd landscape of tropical foliage that one rarely sees in Colorado. The spray from the constant falls has encouraged this strange landscape that is rooted in limestone. The limestone has created caves beneath the falls that you can enter on the hike to the top of the falls. We enjoyed this beautiful spot that, surprisingly, has a small lake on top of the mesa where the falls originate. The Falls once served as the water source for the town of Silt. Parking is limited at this park, but we were lucky to get a great spot close to the trailhead to the Falls. The place was busy on a week day in June, but I imagine that the offseason is much more relaxed and provides a peaceful camping experience. The state park has several electric campsites with water available, some Creekside, all with shade and fire pits.

Rifle Falls sit on these interesting rocks. Hike to the top of the falls near these outcroppings.
Inside the rocks at Rifle Falls.
Small lake on top of Rifle Falls can be reached by a nice hiking trail that makes a small loop.

Finally, we went to Rifle Gap. This large reservoir was quiet in the middle of the week in the summer. There were opportunities for all types of fishing and boating, with several campgrounds and sites spread apart. Few trees were here, though several sites had shelters and a large visitors center and camper services building was a benefit. The rangers were very helpful and we looked around at this lake for future camping possibilities.

Rifle Gap State Park provides picnicking areas (above) and ample campsites.

All three of these state parks are located a short distance from each other on a relaxing drive through rolling hills of alfalfa, wheat, and hay. The agriculture in the region is rich and we went to a farmstand on the side of the road to purchase fresh vegetables. Colorado Mountain Honey also has a small store setup on their farm a few miles from the campground. They sell several varieties of local honey in various quantities. The store worked on the honor system when we were there- going in, selecting our favorites, and placing money in the container for what we wanted. It was delicious.

Sunset from the KOA campground in Silt, Colorado.

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