Rifle Gap State Park Plants
The most abundant plant communities in the park are xeric and mesic pinyon-juniper woodlands, where Utah juniper, pinyon pine, black sagebrush, shadscale, mountain mahogany, horsebrush, greasewood, golden aster, wild buckwheat, Indian ricegrass, needle-and-thread and galleta are common species. Deeper soils of upland flats support a sagebrush shrubland community dominated by big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, common sunflower, Indian paintbrush, four-wing saltbush, shadscale, greasewood, milkvetch, alyssum, western wheatgrass, Indian ricegrass and needle-and-thread. Deciduous riparian forest occurs primarily along Rifle Creek in the Rifle Falls area, but also exists along the margin of Rifle Gap reservoir. The dominant trees and shrubs of this community are boxelder, alder, Indian hemp and virgin’s bower. Diverse wetland, riparian and aquatic plant communities have become established around the reservoir and below the dam.