“A nice spread of Rainbow Trail goodness with a climb up the road to a descent on singletrack.”
— Dave Reed
This ride 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
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
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!