Driving along County Road 252 through the West Rifle Creek Valley is a trip back in time. The area is beautiful and protected as rich gamelands—a western landscape of sagebrush, pinyon, and juniper dotted with a few ranches. The mountains of the Grand Hogback and the Flat Tops rise to aspens and fir on either side of the valley. Drive along the well-maintained gravel road from Rifle Gap to the Piceance Creek Road (CR 253) intersection that returns you to Highway 13. You’ll feel what the Old West was like in a simpler time.