Three Forks Trail

MODERATE 14 reviews
#159 of 231 trails in

Three Forks Trail is a 10.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Rifle, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,863 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly


mountain biking







over grown

Since this is a very remote and seldom used trail, wildlife and signs of wildlife are abundant. Mule deer, elk, black bear, and beavers are all present. The trail parallels the mellow Three Forks Creek - though that's not to say these waters haven't seen their fare share of activity. There are over thirty beaver dams constructed along the creek. Enjoy excellent fishing, with brook trout averaging nine to eleven inches. Rainbow and brown trout can also be found. On your ride, you'll see aspen, sub-alpine fir, spruce, oak brush, serviceberry, and willows along the banks of the creek. The trail rolls over hilly terrain, through dense conifer and aspen forests, and past many beaver ponds. The trail is remote and sees little traffic, owing primarily to its severely overgrown segments. With a variety of creeks in the area, there are a few muddy sections.

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful and didn’t see another soul outside of our group. Well maintained trail. Dog friendly. Did see a few cows

4 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes. There is very little traffic. The wildflowers are extraordinary. The wildlife is plentiful. The views are stunning. The silence adds to its splendor. If you have forgotten what peace feels like and you want to be really away, please hike Three Forks Trail. Your world will become a better place. Just don’t tell everyone-that would spoil it.

5 months ago

Amazing hike, wildflowers in abundance! Very little traffic.

over grown
6 months ago

This is a moderate trail that doesn’t really have any “technical” areas, it is just a long incline. We started at the lower trailhead and intended to hike to the upper trailhead and back. This trail doesn’t appear to be highly utilized and we had to go through some pretty high grass in places. A recommendation we read to wear long pants is a good one and we are happy we didn’t wear shorts. We encountered a large Aspen tree that had fallen across the trail at about 3.6 miles in so we decided to turn around. The views were fantastic and we did see a deer across a meadow. We had to cross the stream in a number of places. The trail itself was pretty dry. We will go back soon and hike the entire trail.

Sat Jul 21 2018

Nice easy trail. Saw a bull moose about 2 miles in!!! Steep ravine and creek separated us, when we crossed the creek to his side we turned back. Respect the power of the moose!

Mon Jun 18 2018

Jun 16, 2017 Started from the lower trailhead just past the Rifle Mountain Park. Trail is well used the first mile or so, but then becomes more overgrown. Watch for trail markers to stay on the trail. Dogs are allowed off leash (under voice control). First half mile is pretty flat, and then is a steady climb after that. Trail was free of snow, but had a few muddy spots. We didn't hike all the way to the end because of threatening weather and the scenery is really average. We enjoyed the first part of the trail more than the later part. Hiked about a total of 10 miles. We were the first ones at the trail head when we arrived at 10am and only saw one other hiker and his dog. Two other cars at the trailhead as we were leaving.

Sun Jan 14 2018

Love this trail. Never busy and great views. The trail is kind of hard to get to, but once you get through Rifle Mountain Park, just keep going until you see the sign for it.

Sun Sep 10 2017

a great moderate mountain bike trail

Sat Jun 17 2017

If you go really early (7am), or before it gets busy by 10, this is a pleasant, easy trail. It's great for dogs because there are a few river crossings. I recommend wearing longer pants or leggings due to how narrow the trail is, and there's hog weed in the area.

Sat Jun 04 2016

Beautiful views! A couple of stream crossings and a few trees across the trail.

6 months ago

Mon Oct 01 2018

Tue Jul 10 2018