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Abstract

Rifle Gap is accessible by paved road, and, except for the three southernmost flatirons, all the outcrops described here are on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management(BLM). Permission for access to the private land is obtained from the residence just west of the southern entrance to the gap. From 1–70, take the Rifle exit (Exit 90) and drive north on Colorado 13(take Railroad Avenue through the town of Rifle) to the junction with Colorado 325. Turn right and drive about 4.1 mi (6.6 km), through Rifle Gap, to the Rifle Gap Reservoir dam. This is the stratigraphic base of the section described below.

The area of Rifle Gap is included in the adjacent corners of the Rifle, Rifle Falls, Silt, and Horse Mountain 7½-minute Quadrangles. Figure 1, a simplified topographic map, is updated to include the dam and reservoir. The approximate locations of the sandstone lenses visible from the road are plotted (Fig. 1). Though much of the section can be seen from the road, better views are afforded by scrambling up the valley slopes toview the opposite side with binoculars. The east side of the gap can be reached on foot by crossing Rifle Creek at the bridge just below the spillway to the dam.

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