Permits are required year-round for day and overnight use by large groups (8+) or organizational groups such as scouts, churches, schools and hiking clubs. Trail Descirption: Rainbow Lakes Trail heads west from the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead located before the Rainbow Lakes Campground. The Rainbow Lakes Trail is a nice family-friendly hike that will - in a short amount of time - take you to four scenic mountain lakes. Rainbow Lake itself is a small wooded lake with some mountain views of Peak 1 and Tenmile Peak towing above. Rainbow Lakes Trail, #918, heads west from the trailhead. You can follow the inlet to its source at a snowfield on the drainage's headwall. Water is available along most of this trail, but campsites are limited. Snowmobiling. From there it becomes harder to follow and is not well maintained. High clearance vehicles are recommended, though 2WD vehicles should have no problem when conditions are clear. Medicine Bow-Routt See the trail maps below for the routes to each of these lakes. I played hooky from work on a hot Tuesday in July (Denver, CO) to venture with a friend to Rainbow Lakes, Indian Peak Wilderness, in Arapaho Forest about seven miles north of Nederland, Colorado. Trail was covered in a few inches of snow, slightly icy in a few spots, but not enough to warrant microspikes, and definitely not deep enough to justify snowshoes yet. Rainbow Lakes Road is located 7.35 miles north of Nederland, CO. Thunder Basin 1: N40 00.631 W105 34.331 — 0.0 miles Rainbow Lakes Trailhead : 2: N40 00.728 W105 34.640 — .35 miles: First Rainbow Lake : 3: N40 00.746 W105 34.838 — .95 miles: Begin series of Rainbow Lakes 2, 3 … It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness . The real beauty of this trail comes from the aspen forest that you hike … ", "We read several reports that this is a great snowshoeing trail so we headed up with our two kids on our first snowshoeing adventure. Although the trip starts off nice and easy along Rainbow Lakes, the climb to Arapahoe Glacier Lookout gains more than 3,600 feet over exposed, rocky terrain. This is the latter, the singular. This trailhead is located on the eastern slopes of the Park Range in the Routt National Forest of Colorado. The trail is an easy, short hike up to the Rainbow Lakes, a series of small lakes and beaver ponds. It's a touch longer than many day hikers want to tackle, and even most of the campers will drop off past Ollalie, or Pratt Lake junctions, leaving you (and a few hardy others) to discover these alpine jewels. Packstock is prohibited in the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone, in the Cascade Backcountry Zone above Cascade Falls and on the Diamond Lake Trail #975. Rainbow Lake Trailhead is located in the Mount Zirkel/Parks Range and is managed by the Parks Ranger District. Biking. This was a pretty easy hike for a couple not in hiking shape. It levels on an alpine bench (1.85 miles : 10,730'), where a second push leads to a tarn with terrific down-valley views (2.05 miles). Print Trail Timberline is at approximately 10,500 feet elevation. About a mile in on the Mount Royal trail take a right on the Masontown trail that connects to Rainbow Lake. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/rainbow-lakes-trail Special restrictions in Mount Zirkel Wilderness. Hanging Lake is a bit dark and swampy as compared to the spectacular camping at Beverley Lake which is a tough but rewarding hike beyond Rainbow Lake. Rainbow lake was snow-covered, but if you are feeling ambitious, you can hike an additional 2 km past this lake and camp at Hanging Lake (where some people were clearly headed with full packs/gear). The Rainbow Trail offers plenty of that, too. Located east of the Rainbow Lakes Campground, this newly constructed trailhead provides access to the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier Trails inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Road was open all the way to the TH, none of the gates were closed. This is a longer hike to Rainbow Lake at 2 miles one-way and is rated moderate. Water so clear you can see the fish. Timberline is at approximately 10,500 feet elevation. ", N40 00.631 W105 34.331 — 0.0 miles Rainbow Lakes Trailhead, N40 00.728 W105 34.640 — .35 miles: First Rainbow Lake, N40 00.746 W105 34.838 — .95 miles: Begin series of Rainbow Lakes 2, 3 and 4, N40 00.784 W105 35.273 — 1.35 miles: Rocky ascent past Fourth Rainbow Lake. It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Rainbow Basin Trail, also called Rainbow Lakes Trail, is a 4-mile out-and-back trek in the Boise National Forest that meanders past nine mountain lakes, creating a … Abundant summer wildflowers and turning aspen make this a particularly colorful 3 season trail. Many side trails lead visitors up to mountain lakes and streams for fishing, and during hunting season, gamesmen will find plenty of bear, deer and elk nearby. We went at the beginning of Fall and the foliage was spectacular. Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brook trout are found in these lakes. Boulder Ranger District USDA Forest Service 2140 Yarmouth Ave. Boulder, CO 80301 303.541.2500, Summer Hours: Mon-Thur 8 - 4:30 Fri 8 - 5:30 Sat 9 - 3. It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness. From the trailhead along Alta Lake Road, walk past the large map of the area and into the forest as you follow the route next to 21 Mile Creek. Rainbow Lakes Trail #918, heads west from the trailhead. Head a few feet downhill for a close-up of the shoreline. You'll pass through the campground before seeing a large Indian Peaks Wilderness Sign. When we arrived the road to the camp ground was closed for the winter season. Map Information. After leaving the trailhead beside Big Trinity Lake, the trail heads south through recently burned landscape and climbs 620 vertical feet in the first mile to reach the divide into Rainbow Basin. It provides access to the southeastern portion of the 159,935 acre Mount Zirkel Wilderness via trail#1130, the Rainbow Lake Trail. The Rainbow Lake Trail provides access to one of the park's steepest passes, Bowan Pass, as well as deep blue Rainbow Lake. The trailhead is marked and easy to find at the west end of the campground area. Get Here. A few rocky spots,it took us about 2 hours to complete. Camping is prohibited within 100' of lakes, streams and trails. Rainbow Lake is a source of Whistler's drinking water and therefore, swimming in the lake and camping at the lake are NOT permitted. Rainbow Lake Trailhead . (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); You can contact ProTrails directly through our Facebook or Instagram accounts. Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland, USDA Forest Service County Road 116 - National Forest System Road 298). 307-745-2307. Visitors can also take their pick when it comes to accommodations near the trail. County Commons/Miner’s Creek Trailhead: From Frisco Main Street, turn right at the traffic light at the intersection of CO-9. Trailhead on East Elk Creek in Gunnison National Forest. No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. Sourdough Trail to Brainard Lake Recreation Area, 10,010' - 10,280' (10,315' max elevation), +270' net elevation gain (+362' total roundtrip elevation gain), "Such a beautiful and easy hike to the lakes from the campground. Trail Photos 10,200), a series of small lakes and beaver ponds. Directions to Trailhead. Horseback Riding. There’s a Rainbow Lakes hike and a Rainbow Lake hike. Most likely the lake will be busy, but you can lose some of the crowds by following the lake shore to the far side. Terrain is rugged but passable, easing once through a talus field at treeline. The trail is an easy hike up to the Rainbow Lakes (elevation 10,200 feet), a series of small lakes … These well-stocked lakes are popular with anglers, and the easy hike in is well-suited for families and backpackers. ", "beuatiful and very easy. Rainbow Basin Trail, also called Rainbow Lakes Trail, is a 4-mile out-and-back trek in the Boise National Forest that meanders past nine mountain lakes, creating a choose-your-own adventure of unbelievably blue waters. Campfires are prohibited east side of the Continental. It is primarily a backpacker or advanced stock use trail, since it lies deep within the park and is accesed via several other trails. From my campsite, I had oohed and ahhed at the red, gold, and green splashes of color in the hills on the south side of Dillon Reservoir. It rises gently through spruce and aspen to the first lake (which is more of a pond) on your left (.35 miles : 10,202'), and continues easily to a second (.6 miles : 10,230'). County Road 116 - National Forest System Road 298). Snowshoeing. Designated trailhead with access to trails that lie within the Mt Zirkel Wilderness. The trailhead might be busy, but heading to Island and Rainbow Lakes may afford you more solitude than you'd expect on the crowded I-90 corridor. It keeps west and undulates with less clarity to an elevated rock pile between juxtaposed lakes (.95 miles : 10,280'), from which social paths branch to outlying ponds in the area. No developed facilities. Vehicle access to this trailhead is seasonal. County Road 116 – National Forest System Road 298). Its breathtaking once you find the first lake, then you just want to keep going because it gets better and better. It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness. For current information on road openings and … No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. Beverley Lake is reached by following the trail toward Rainbow Mountain. From Stehekin, take the bus or walk to the Rainbow Loop Trailhead, about four miles from the landing. Location: 40.0120362, -105.5774546. While the main trail doesn't reach every lake, well-defined social trails and a good map will help you explore this relatively small and accessible area. The Rainbow Lakes are a series of 9 lakes and beaver ponds linked across a broad flat between Peak to Peak Highway and the Continental Divide. The trail itself is pretty straightforward, follow the signs to Rainbow Lakes. Got to the TH at 8:15am and were the first ones there. Comments. We stopped for awhile at the lake and just took a slow leisure hike. The trail starts at the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead and immediately enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness as it starts the gentle climb towards Rainbow Lakes. Laramie, WY 82070 Hiking. The trailhead is for both the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier. Camping is permitted only at designated campsites in the Diamond, Jasper, Crater and Caribou Lakes Backcountry Zones. National Forests, Completely do-able with a compact car, the road in was not too rough at all, only concern would be if there is too much snow, which currently there wasn't. No developed facilities. We hiked up the road, but it adds about 1.5 mile to the hike. Road still open to the trailhead and no snow. 307-745-2300, Telephone for the The trailhead is located east of the Rainbow Lakes Campground which you walk past in the first mile of the hike. Lake View. Group size is limited to 12 people or people and packstock combined. The trailhead leaves at the Rainbow Lakes Campground, so if you want to plan a trip with the kids, this is a great activity to wear off all those s’mores you ate the night before. Manager USFS Gunnison Ranger District; URL Trail Map ", "Small amount of snow to the TH. Forest Service Home | USDA.gov | recreation.gov | Recreation Customer Service Standards | USA.gov | Whitehouse.gov, Plug-Ins | FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | Information Quality, https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbr/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=22998&actid=50, Ranger Districts Are Serving Public Remotely. Tell us when your experience with this trail happened. Trailhead Location: The Rainbow Lakes Trailhead is located 5 miles west of Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road (a.k.a. By the time we left there was only one other car in the parking lot. Rainbow Lakes Road is located 7.35 miles north of Nederland, CO. Turn west from Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road and keep straight past the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station access road and Caribou … Rainbow Lake is the third lake along The Beaten Path, a 26 mile hike through the heart of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.At seven miles from the trailhead (technically about eight miles), the lake is a good day hike for strong hikers, or a good day trip for moderate hikers camped at Elk Lake.The lake is absolutely stunning- a jewel nestled in the mountains, fed by a gorgeous waterfall. The drive up is not for the faint of heart (or stomach). This view is the first of the Rainbow Lakes along the trail. This trail is easy to travel up to Rainbow Lake. Rainbow Lake Trailhead is located in the Mount Zirkel/Parks Range and is managed by the Parks Ranger District. National Grassland Hearing Impaired Hike Summary: This parking area provides access to the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier Trails inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness, but you will follow Trail 918 to Rainbow Lakes. The Rainbow Lakes Trailhead is located 5 miles west of Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road (a.k.a. The trail is an easy hike up to the Rainbow Lakes (ele. ATV Riding. Trip Reports At this time of year, with crampons/spikes, expect 4 hrs to Rainbow lake and a 2.5 hr return. Many of these trees have been cut down. Pets must be on a handheld leash at all times. It’s a relatively short trek up to a pretty pond. Colorado Trail Explorer. The trail passes through dense forest as it skirts above the campground before passing the Arapaho Glacier Trail. Permits are required for all overnight campers June 1 - September 15. From the trailhead, the trail starts through a mixed forest with moderate to severe lodgepole pine beetle kill. Bathrooms at TH were open. Any Activity. For I was a little concerned about the parking from reading reviews. Camping is allowed at Hanging Lake, which is 1.5km beyond Rainbow Lake. Setting is managed forest area. Rainbow Lakes Trail heads west from the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead located before the Rainbow Lakes Campground. The trail officially enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness a few dozen yards from the parking area and bears left. Water is available along most of this trail, but campsites are limited. This end of the trail is also sometimes called the South Fork Trail. The trail passes north of a marshy meadow (.8 miles) to another small but accessible lake. Rainbow Lakes Trailhead - Located east of the Rainbow Lakes Campground, this newly constructed trailhead provides access to the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier Trails inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Please refer to the Wilderness Regulations. The first half of the Arapahoe Glacier Trail is a 3-mile steady ascent under a pine and spruce canopy. The wilderness is closed to motorized and mechanized vehicles. Will not show on comments list. Camping is prohibited in the Four Lakes Backcountry Zone (Mitchell, Blue, Long, Isabelle) May 1 - Nov 30. The trail is an easy, short hike up to the Rainbow Lakes, a series of small lakes and beaver ponds. Rainbow Lakes Road is located 7.35 miles north of Nederland, CO. Turn west from Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road and keep straight past the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station access road and Caribou 4WD turnoff, through the Rainbow Lakes Campground to the small parking area at the road's terminus at the trailhead. No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. Like. Setting is managed forest area. Motorcycle Riding. Cross the highway and pick up the Bridge Creek Trail, then follow it six miles to the junction with the Rainbow Lake Trail. The hike to Rainbow Lake follows a portion of Rainbow Lake Trail #1130, which runs from the Rainbow Lake trailhead to its terminus with the Wyoming Trail #1101 (Continental Divide Trail). Leaving Denver around 7, we stopped in quaintly beautiful Nederland for a short break and then headed up to the trailhead. Vehicle access to this trailhead is seasonal. The Rainbow Lakes Trailhead is located 5 miles west of Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road (a.k.a. This hike consists of a nice relaxing stroll through evergreen forests and Aspen Groves, beautiful in the fall. Map showing recreational areas. Two more lake-ponds are hidden by trees 100+ yards south that see fewer people. The main trail continues NW of the last major lake to nowhere in particular, gradually fading in the forest along Rainbow Lakes' primary inlet. 2468 Jackson Street The trail down to Rainbow Lake is easy enough for almost any hiker, with a short but more challenging loop around the lake and many options for longer routes. 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