Rainbow Lakes Trail

EASY 134 reviews
#7 of 109 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Very easy did this hike mid-July. We stayed at the campground the night before which was nice. Free sites were also along the road. Vault toilets at the trailhead. Nicely shaded trail. We just wish there was a better spot near the lake for our dog to jump in and cool off. This parking lot was PACKED by noon so plan accordingly.

backpacking
6 days ago

Road was fine for my 2door hatchback with standard clearance. sporadic potholes but they are easy to straddle.
A sweet little hike. I wouldn't suggest it for backpacking because it's very short (my GPS says less than 2miles) and there aren't many places to go off trail to camp without messing up a restoration area or camping g in the middle of an animal trail. I use a bivy sac and it was still difficult to find a good spot.
SO many mosquitos-- bring bug spray for real.
If you're looking for a fun spot to mess around in small lakes and not have to hike too far from camp this is perfect. Pretty pines and aspens and a few glimpses of a pretty mountain but no wide vistas. It's a very easy hike if you're looking for a short nature woodsy walk without building up too much of a sweat this is a good trail for you.
There's access to Arapahoe Glacier Trail from this Trailhead and if I'd had time I would've turned around and done that instead. That is probably an amazing hike to a wide vista very close by and if you'll be at the campground a while you could goall the way to Arapahoe Pass and Lake Dorothy in a day if you left early.

10 days ago

I brought my dog. I’m new at this hiking stuff and I found the trail good for a newbie. It was kinda short but it had some great views,

11 days ago

Very nice, easy trial to a series of lakes. Great for kids, families, dogs- everyone! Rocky trail at certain points, but not hard to navigate. Stunning views of the mountains and nearby glacier from the last lake.
Bring your mosquito repellant- they are out in full effect once you get closer to water.

nature trips
18 days ago

6/17. road was open to trailhead; Caribou 4x4 road was still closed. campground was full. If you are careful you can get a sedan to the trailhead, don't necessarily need clearance. Super easy hike. Beautiful series of lakes with Arapahoe glacier and the divide as a backdrop

fishing
24 days ago

Open and already busy - easy hike and pretty; fishing was mediocre from shore with not great access, would be better wading.

1 month ago

Still closed as of 6/8.

1 month ago

Is this open for summer yet?

1 month ago

Road still closed 6/3

1 month ago

when does the road open for the summer?

3 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
9 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
9 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
9 months ago

Fish were jumping everywhere could not get them to bite

hiking
10 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
10 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.

10 months ago

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

hiking
10 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.

10 months ago

Camp site is impeccable.

11 months ago

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

backpacking
11 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!

11 months ago

easy and pretty!

11 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
11 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!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

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! ☺️

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Take bug spray...

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

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
Saturday, July 01, 2017

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.

Monday, June 26, 2017

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

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