Rainbow Lakes Trail

EASY 116 reviews
#7 of 108 trails in

Rainbow Lakes Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nederland, Colorado that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
334 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

Series of 9 connected lakes and beaver ponds that lie in a broad flat beneath the Continental Divide. These well-stocked lakes are popular with anglers, and the easy hike in is well-suited for families and backpackers.

9 days ago

Still closed as of 6/8.

13 days ago

Is this open for summer yet?

15 days ago

Road still closed 6/3

25 days ago

when does the road open for the summer?

2 months ago

Road is closed!

hiking
8 months ago

Loved this hike!! Saw 4 of the lakes the fourth was definitely the best, incredible views!! The trail was challenging in some areas because of the rocks but worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

Went up on Saturday 10/14 and it was a beautiful sunny day up until you get to the mountain. It started to snow as soon as we started on the trail but it really made for a lovely hike. Only saw 5 other people in the trail, 3 hikers and 2 fishing. It’s beautiful in the snow but it falls quick so if you are not careful you can lose the trail pretty quickly. I still recommend doing the hike even in the snow but I wouldn’t go alone unless you are an experienced hiker just for the snow reasons. It was all in all a great day.

hiking
8 months ago

Not heavily trafficked today, at least! beautiful autumnal hike. easy, but rough enough terrain that I was glad I brought my hiking sticks. Also dog friendly, yes, but hand held leash required on trail

fishing
8 months ago

Fish were jumping everywhere could not get them to bite

hiking
9 months ago

Relatively easy trail, with some rocky areas. You have to drive about 5 miles down CR 116, which is narrow and rough, to get to the trailhead. Campground nearby looks nice. We saw several people fishing, and multiple families with smaller children. Not many great views, but still a good hike through the woods.

hiking
9 months ago

Short and sweet. the trail isn't very crowded despite all the people that camp nearby. The lakes are definitely worth checking out, they are very serene and quiet and like mirrors, plus I saw a large elk herd on one of the peaks.

9 months ago

Super short trail. Not a whole lot to look at. Overall, pretty boring.

hiking
9 months ago

Great short hike. Doesn't take you to the peaks, have to do Arapaho Glacier Trail for that. Nicely wooded trail that has a decent payoff at the top. End of August and there was plenty of water along the trail for the dog.

9 months ago

Camp site is impeccable.

10 months ago

Easy, beautiful. Made for a perfect quick, morning hike.

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful lakes mark this excellent trail. Well worth the dirt-road drive in. Some of the climbs are pretty rocky, but there are a couple of fun creek crossings to make it worthwhile. Gorgeous mountain vistas. Do it!

10 months ago

easy and pretty!

10 months ago

I found this trail a bit challenging, but only due to the altitude. Pretty, easy to follow trail. The first lake was more of a pond and the second lake was only a bit larger. They were both still quite nice, but not as dramatic as you might expect from mountain lakes. Make sure to bring bug spray as they are plentiful by the lakes.

hiking
10 months ago

Well-marked trail through high forest to mountain lakes. It took about 40 minutes to hike to the second lake, but the trail goes back further to more lakes. Will definitely hike here again!

11 months ago

I took my 4 littles on this trail, ages 2-7. It was challenging for the 2 younger ones with all of the many rocks along the trail. We all did it though and it was very pretty! Crossing the stream was fun, but one of the kids fell in trying to jump through on the rocks. Oops! ☺️

11 months ago

Take bug spray...

hiking
11 months ago

We couldn't get in to more of our favorite trails because of still remaining snow, but there are TOO MANY PEOPLE on this trail, even a girl without any shoes. Come on snow, melt!

hiking
11 months ago

The road to trail head had just been plowed. A lot better then last week, Trail to all the lakes was easy. The last lake I visited had a smell to it. Could have been a Bear! Got out of there fast. Nice sunny day.

11 months ago

Road out is a little rough. Worth the trip for sure.

hiking
11 months ago

This was a beautiful drive past Nederland but be warned, it is a little over a 4 mile drive on a rocky/gravel road on CR 116 to reach the parking lot. There was still some packed snow but not enough to cause an issue. The actual trail is also a little difficult to follow simply because of the well worn footpaths and trails caused from snowmelt. If you're planning on resting near the lake be aware of mosquitoes and bring bug spray or cover up. You don't need to pay for a permit unless you are camping overnight.

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

CR 116 is closed at the Research Station, still 4.5 miles from Rainbow Lakes. If you want to hike/bike in to Rainbow Lakes you can, but it's now ~ an 11 mile loop instead of two. Check this page for road closure status.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5339508

hiking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

Hi, we planned to hike this trail on Monday 6/5 but the gate leading to the trail was closed. It probably would have been a 5-Star had we gotten to hike it!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

we tried to get to this trail but the road was closed

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Arrived this morning around 9AM and road was closed:(

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Beautiful views

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