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Rainbow Lake Trailhead . The trailhead is located east of the Rainbow Lakes Campground which you walk past in the first mile of the hike. 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. I was a little concerned about the parking from reading reviews. The main trail continues NW of the last major lake to nowhere in particular, gradually fading in the forest along Rainbow Lakes' primary inlet. Tell us when your experience with this trail happened. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/rainbow-lakes-trail Vehicle access to this trailhead is seasonal. ", "Small amount of snow to the TH. 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 … When we arrived the road to the camp ground was closed for the winter season. Map showing recreational areas. Turn west from Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road and keep straight past the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station access road and Caribou … 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. Biking. The trail is an easy, short hike up to the Rainbow Lakes, a series of small lakes and beaver ponds. Trail Descirption: Rainbow Lakes Trail heads west from the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead located before the Rainbow Lakes Campground. Visitors can also take their pick when it comes to accommodations near the trail. Map Information. You'll pass through the campground before seeing a large Indian Peaks Wilderness Sign. The trail is an easy hike up to the Rainbow Lakes (ele. Road still open to the trailhead and no snow. No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. Colorado Trail Explorer. Rainbow Lakes Road is located 7.35 miles north of Nederland, CO. This is a longer hike to Rainbow Lake at 2 miles one-way and is rated moderate. Camping is prohibited within 100' of lakes, streams and trails. We stopped for awhile at the lake and just took a slow leisure hike. The first half of the Arapahoe Glacier Trail is a 3-mile steady ascent under a pine and spruce canopy. The trail is an easy, short hike up to the Rainbow Lakes, a series of small lakes and beaver ponds. Many of these trees have been cut down. Camping is permitted only at designated campsites in the Diamond, Jasper, Crater and Caribou Lakes Backcountry Zones. Manager USFS Gunnison Ranger District; URL Leaving Denver around 7, we stopped in quaintly beautiful Nederland for a short break and then headed up to the trailhead. Water is available along most of this trail, but campsites are limited. The trail starts at the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead and immediately enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness as it starts the gentle climb towards Rainbow Lakes. Road was open all the way to the TH, none of the gates were closed. ", 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. The Rainbow Lakes Trailhead is located 5 miles west of Highway 72 on Rainbow Lakes Road (a.k.a. The trail passes north of a marshy meadow (.8 miles) to another small but accessible lake. 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'). The trailhead is for both the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier. The real beauty of this trail comes from the aspen forest that you hike … No developed facilities. For current information on road openings and … Two more lake-ponds are hidden by trees 100+ yards south that see fewer people. 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. 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. It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness . It soon enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness. 2468 Jackson Street It is primarily a backpacker or advanced stock use trail, since it lies deep within the park and is accesed via several other trails. Timberline is at approximately 10,500 feet elevation. 307-745-2300, Telephone for the Trail Map Setting is managed forest area. Trail Photos No motorized vehicles are allowed west of Trail #1126. Water so clear you can see the fish. County Road 116 - National Forest System Road 298). 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. 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. Comments. These well-stocked lakes are popular with anglers, and the easy hike in is well-suited for families and backpackers. Rainbow Lakes Trail heads west from the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead located before the Rainbow Lakes Campground. Group size is limited to 12 people or people and packstock combined. Please refer to the Wilderness Regulations. 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. About a mile in on the Mount Royal trail take a right on the Masontown trail that connects to Rainbow Lake. County Road 116 - National Forest System Road 298). 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. Bathrooms at TH were open. 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). Head a few feet downhill for a close-up of the shoreline. This hike consists of a nice relaxing stroll through evergreen forests and Aspen Groves, beautiful in the fall. For 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. 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. Trailhead on East Elk Creek in Gunnison National Forest. 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. Horseback Riding. This trailhead is located on the eastern slopes of the Park Range in the Routt National Forest of Colorado. The drive up is not for the faint of heart (or stomach). Will not show on comments list. 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