Rainbow Lake Trail

HARD 10 reviews

Rainbow Lake Trail is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Walden, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.9 miles
1,512 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





wild flowers


Descending the steep ridge that contains South Baldy, Middle Baldy and North Baldy Mountains, Rainbow Lake Trail drops 1,400 feet in two miles. This descent brings users into the steep West Elk Creek drainage. The trail crosses the creek, forks and climbs the other side of the gulch. The right fork brings hikers to Sun Park and Coal Mesa Trails within two miles. The left fork follows the northern shore of the stream for one mile then ascends the ridge that leads to Coal Mesa Trail, 451.

7 days ago

This is a fantastic trail. The description on the website is incomplete though - the trail goes past Rainbow Lake, past lower and upper slide lakes (6 and 7 miles), and on to Roxy Ann Lake (10 miles). There are several moderately steep segments, especially at the end as you drop down to Roxy Ann lake. Elk Hunters favor Roxy Ann in the fall and will go in on horseback and stay a couple of weeks. Early September is perfect with no bugs, not many people, and hungry fish. Next time I'd like to detour and go to the top of Mt. Ethel - looks like a nice gradual incline to the top.

26 days ago

Awesome Hike. Rainbow lake is beautiful and suggest you bring a lunch to hang out up there for a while. One of my favorite mountain lakes. Starts off tough, but overall not too grueling of a hike. Highly recommend.

1 month ago

Moderate trail for the first 2 miles, fairly easy for the last 2 miles (to the far side of the lake). Some good views and picture opportunities. Good fishing. The down side to this lake is there are a ton of mosquitos. Double up on your clothing and/or bring lots of repellent.

1 month ago

Splendid hike! Went beyond Rainbow Lake hoping to see Slide Lake, but didn't quite make it before the afternoon rain clouds came in and made us want to turn back. At our terminus 6.5 miles in were three waterfalls on the mountain face to the south. 13 miles in all with our add on. Good elevation gain makes this trail rate as difficult but it is easy to follow to the lake with only a couple of snowfields that were small this time of year. Trail is much more difficult after the lake with several stream crossings and many downed trees. Amazing wildflowers. Will do this hike again.

10 months ago

Lovely fall leaves on this trail today. The lake was beautiful, would highly recommend checking it out!

11 months ago

Very enjoyable hike. I don't exactly agree with Hard rating for difficulty. Moderate would be more accurate. The three lakes at the top were gorgeous and the water was crystal clear. Next time I'll bring my fishing pole, the trout were jumping everywhere!

21 days ago

23 days ago

2 months ago

Monday, July 17, 2017