Rainbow Lakes

Location: Colorado
Trip Starts: Rainbow Lakes Road
Trip Ends: Rainbow Lakes Road
Total Distance: 2.9 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Rainbow Lakes Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
More Information:

Boulder Ranger District
USDA Forest Service
2140 Yarmouth Ave.
Boulder, CO 80301


This parking area provides access to the Rainbow Lakes and Arapaho Glacier Trails inside the Indian Peaks Wilderness, but you will follow Trail 918 to Rainbow Lakes. The trailhead is located east of the Rainbow Lakes Campground which you walk past in the first mile of the hike.

Starting at an elevation of ~10,000 feet, the trail ascends moderately from the trailhead through a forest of evergreens. The first three lakes are passed with ~300 feet of elevation gain and are all easily accessible from the trail. The last two lakes are higher in elevation and require more work to access – especially with snow on the ground.

This is a great hike in the summer months suitable for families and anyone looking to spend a few hours in the wilderness – with great views from the second and third of the Rainbow Lakes.

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