Live like a local: Aaron Mattix shows us the best trails in Rifle
Rifle combines the old and the new west in one authentic city. If you want hunting, fishing, cowboys and motorsports, you’ll find them here. But you’ll just as easily encounter rock climbing (some of the area’s best!), yoga and coffee. Oh, and did we mention trails?
Maybe we should let Aaron Mattix address that last point. He’s the owner of Local Stash, where he works with the city of Rifle and Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization to design and build bike paths and singletrack.
Learn more about the city at riflenow.org.
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“Lilly’s Kitchen (232 W. Third St., lillyskitchen.eat24hour.com) is my new favorite for breakfast. Their migas (served all day) stand out as one of the best examples of this classic Mexican breakfast dish I’ve come across. The tortilla strips are crisp, the chorizo in the scrambled eggs is savory (not greasy), the pico de gallo fresh, as well as the cojita cheese on the delightful beans. The fresh crema drizzle is a final, delectable touch to this morning (or later, if you like) symphony of flavor to cure your hangry blues.”
Time to shop
“Miller’s Dry Goods (118 E. Third St., facebook.com/millers-dry-goods) is a fascinating emporium of Western wear and antique memorabilia in one of Rifle’s historic downtown buildings. Come for the pearl snaps, stay for the stories from Gary Miller, who is one of Rifle’s pre-eminent amateur historians of histrionics.
Turn up the volume
“The revitalized Western Art Deco atmosphere of the Ute Theater (132 E. Fourth St., utetheater.com) is one of the more unique venues you’ll find on either end of the valley, and hosts an impressive list of well-known bands for modest ticket prices. Seeing Lukas Nelson perform in this intimate setting of renewed artwork in my adopted hometown is one of my most treasured memories of living in Rifle.”
“The JQS/Hubbard Mesa area is Rifle’s backyard playground. The illegal dumping and unrestrained shooting are either unsightly eyesores and reckless endangerment; or profoundly effective barriers to gentrification, depending on how you want to look at it. The maze of social trails ranging from singletrack to rutted jeep roads in the Open OHV area allows for a multitude of options in exploring the area. If you are interested in mountain biking in the area, join the Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization on Facebook. Members frequently post open-invite rides, and going with a local is the best way to make sense of the dense network of unmarked trails.”
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