Rainbow Lakes is a hiking trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is within Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Roosevelt National Forest. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 9,978 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 367 feet. The 6, 9, 8, 5, and 7 camp sites are near the trailhead.
Rainbow Lakes Professional Reviews and Guides
"This easy hike traverses through a dense spruce forest up to ten well-stocked lakes and ponds located less than 1 mile from the trailhead. Pack a lunch and take along a fishing rod. Trail conditions: The trail is maintained and sees heavy use on weekend days in the summer months."
--Bob D'Antonio, Hiking Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness (Falcon Guides).
"Observation of Rainbow Lakes demonstrates that lakes are ephemeral features of the landscape. From the trailhead at the entrance to Rainbow Lake Campground, it is a half-mile hike to the nearest lake. The trail passes through limber pine/Douglas fir forest above campsites that each comes equipped, significantly, with its own bear-proof locker. A sign at the campground entrance warns against hanging hummingbird feeders, which seemingly do double duty, attracting bears as well as hummers. The hummingbirds that otherwise would entertain campers would include broad-tailed hummingbirds joined in August by rufous hummingbirds headed south after mating."
--Kent Dannen, Best Hikes Colorado's Indian Peaks Wilderness (Falcon Guides).
"The four small Rainbow Lakes are in a spectacular high-mountain setting nestled next to the soaring tundra, glacier-carved Caribou ridgeline. The real treat is the view from the lakes, plus there’s good fishing if the thunder isn’t rolling. The Arapaho Glacier Overlook Trail is more challenging but an even more stunning spectacle. These trails and the campground are heavily used in the summer. The area melts out, and dries out, later in the summer (July/August) in an average snow year because of the elevation. Bring insect repellent."
--Alan Apt and Kay Turnbaugh, Afoot & Afield: Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Rocky Mountain National Park (Wilderness Press).
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