Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon September 26 2016

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  • A Cruising Couple | September 26, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    7 Reasons Why Rock Climbing In Rifle Is An Adventure Traveler's Dream

    7 Reasons Why Rock Climbing In Rifle Is An Adventure Traveler's Dream

    Photos by A Cruising Couple

    Rifle Mountain Park claims to have the best limestone sport climbing in all of North America. We've done a fair bit of climbing, from the seaside cliffs of Thailand to deep water soloing in the Greek Islands to bouldering along the Appalachian trail in our home state, North Carolina. Though we'll be the first to confess we haven't climbed everywhere, we can say for sure that Rifle is one of our favorite spots in the western hemisphere to scale. Here are a few reasons why Rifle is an adventure traveler’s dream:

    1. You Can Belay From Your Car

    Rock Climbing in Rifle Colorado

    One of the biggest advantages to climbing in Rifle Canyon is that you can hop from your car straight to the rock. The canyon is split by a small creek and an equally small dirt road that runs parallel alongside it, with the massive rock faces towering on either side. Just park on the side of the road and pick a slab recommended by the Rifle Mountain Park climbing guide.

    2. Wide Range of Routes

    Snocone climbing area Rock Climbing Rifle Colorado

    Whether you are just starting out or have been tackling cliffs for years, there is something for you at Rifle. Beginners will want to start at the Snocone Wall, which has a great range of quality routes from beginner to intermediate. If you have more time to hang around, have some experience climbing or want the chance to possibly rub elbows with the pros, head to the famous "project wall." Professional climbers can spend months here on a single route attempting ascents that only a handful of climbers in the world are capable of.

    3. Climbing Community

    Because of the easy access and wide range of climbing opportunities, Rifle attracts quite a unique crowd. This may be one of the friendliest climbing communities out there as dogs and kids are not only welcome but encouraged. You'll also have no problem finding a climbing partner who is willing to share their local knowledge or help you ascend a particularly challenging climb. As long as you don't mind belaying and bring some good snacks, you'll have no trouble making friends.

    4. Classic Rifle Rock

    Rock Climbing Rifle Colorado

    The climbing is Rifle has been described "as funky and weird, really polished with generally bad feet, long and powerful, and super-duper beta-intensive." It's unique in that it can take numerous attempts to find the holds that work for you, but once you nail it, it never seems as difficult again. The oddly shaped holds and seemingly empty pitches are all part of the process of finding what works and what makes Rifle such a delightful challenge.

    5. It's In Colorado

    With a multitude of other outdoor activities, even if climbing isn't your main adventure activity, there are countless other ways to get your adrenaline pumping right around Rifle. Try hiking, rafting, downhill and cross-country skiing, mountain biking, ATVing, and horseback riding just to name a few.

    6. You Can Live Out Of Your Van

    There are more than a few residents that have given it all up for life on the road. Sprinter vans decked out with kitchens, fold up couches and even solar-paneled rooftops dot the dusty road that runs through the canyon.

    7. It's Beautiful

    Rock Climbing Rifle Colorado

    Even if you're not keen to climb, just passing through the Rifle Creek Canyon is a sight to behold. Be sure to check out nearby Rifle Falls while you're in the area. The spectacular scenery won’t disappoint.

    Have you been to Rifle? What did you think about this rock climbing paradise?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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