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A nice spread of Rainbow Trail goodness with a climb up the road to a descent on singletrack.

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9,037' 2,755 m


6,964' 2,123 m


2,915' 888 m


2,911' 887 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed

Seasonal Closure from December 1st to April 15th on the section of the trail running from Highway 285 to FS 108.


This route makes for a good way to get a major loop of the area in, with a climb along a dirt road followed by some pedal-y traversing across varied terrain.

Need to Know

You may encounter some moto riders on the upper Rainbow section of trail.


Start at the lower TH for the Rainbows and jump on HWY 50 heading south for a quick (1.7-mile) jaunt along the road until you see the turnoff for CR 49. Turn right onto Bear Creek Road (CR101/CR49) and climb the steady road grade for about four miles until you see the cutoff for the Columbine Trail.

Take this heading uphill and keep climbing until you reach the first intersection with Rainbow Trail #1336: Bear Creek to Mears Junction (Methodist Mountain Section). Take this trail right/north and you'll be ascending and descending some punchy ups and downs for another five-mile stretch. When you reach the road (CR108) at mile 9.7, head downhill for a minor stretch and you'll see the trail off to your left again after the second switchback.

Continue on Rainbow here until you reach the next intersection, the uphill to your left will lead you out to HWY 285, whereas the downhill trail (Sand Gulch USFS 124) to your right will take you on one of the highlights of this ride. Take this right and descend for a long ways (2.3 miles) through a mix of single and doubletrack with plenty of rocks thrown in for good measure. At mile 15.3, you should see a righthand turn that will take you onto Double Rainbow Trail.

At the end of Double Rainbow is the trailhead and the start of Little Rainbow. Stay right as you continue out along Little Rainbow with its flowy ups-and-downs. Continue staying right and you'll end out on the top of Race Track. Enjoy this incredible fast and smooth descent back to the car!


Shared By:

Dave Reed with improvements by Marcel S

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 15 votes


  3.3 from 15 votes
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8,323 Since Jun 5, 2018
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Soak up the good views on Double Rainbow.
Apr 2, 2017 near Salida, CO
Swoopy singletrack snakes through a snowy Little Rainbow.
Apr 2, 2017 near Salida, CO
Little Rainbow on an early winter day
Oct 10, 2017 near Salida, CO
Little Rainbow makes for a great winter ride.
Jan 27, 2017 near Salida, CO
Little Rainbow shortly after a spring winter storm.
May 1, 2016 near Salida, CO
Double Rainbow!
Nov 7, 2016 near Salida, CO


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 40 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Jun 5, 2023
Steven Schiff
Most excellent loop. A commitment. I really thought it was flowy. Lots of climbing. 25mi
May 29, 2022
Tony Barlage
Recorded about a mile less than listed and about 300 more feet of vertical. 23.4mi — 3h 08m
Sep 7, 2021
Kelly Newberg
The arroyos on the Rainbow Trail are steep up/downs with loose, sandy surface making some of the uphills quite tough. Not especially technical. 23.2mi — 3h 53m
Jun 16, 2020
Compton Donohue
Rainbow trail was horrible, the whole ridge line is destroyed by dirt bikes, it was chunky, loose, sandy, narrow. the desents were sketchy and the…
Aug 3, 2019
mike reade
Jun 15, 2019
CJ O'Reilly
hot, and rushed before storm rolled in 27.4mi
Jan 4, 2019
Arthur Philipson
B I’m
Jun 2, 2018
Dave Reed
Perfect tacky conditions on Columbine, a little loose everywhere else. 25mi — 3h 00m

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