Welcome to SP!  -
Rainbow Lakes TH

Rainbow Lakes TH

Rainbow Lakes TH

Page Type: Trailhead

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.65824°N / 106.58032°W

Object Title: Rainbow Lakes TH

County: Jackson

Season: Summer

Elevation: 8740 ft / 2664 m


Page By: Bill Reed

Created/Edited: Nov 24, 2013 / Nov 24, 2013

Object ID: 877285

Hits: 2439 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



Rainbow Lakes TH signboard
Rainbow Lakes Trailhead signage
TH parking lot
Room for a dozen or so vehicles
This trailhead is located on the eastern slopes of the Park Range in the Routt National Forest of Colorado. It provides access to the southeastern portion of the 159,935 acre Mount Zirkel Wilderness via trail#1130, the Rainbow Lake Trail.
Trail#1130 intersects the Grizzly Helena Trail (#1126) and a short spur trail to Roxy Ann Lake (#1179) before terminating at it’s junction with the Wyoming Trail (#1101), which is the Continental Divide Trail through the Park Range.
Access is seasonal-usually very late spring/early summer through September. The dirt road to the TH is passable for most vehicles. The last portion of the road passes through an area of summer cabins.
Facilities-Small, unpaved parking lot which will accomodate about a dozen vehicles ~ no restrooms / no water.


Trailhead locator map
Rainbow Lakes Trailhead locator map
From Walden - Drive west on Hwy 14 approximately 1/4 mile and take County Road 12W heading west. Drive approximately 5 miles and take Count Road 18 heading west for approximately 4 miles. Turn left on County Road 5 heading south. After driving approximately 1 1/2 miles take County Road 22 on the right turn heading west where the road will merge into County Road 22A taking you 6 miles to the Rainbow Lakes Trailhead. Use caution and courtesy on this narrow public road through private lands.


Mt Ethel-11,924
Mt Ethel-11,924
Rainbow Lakes Trail
Rainbow Lakes/Grizzly-Helena Trail junction
Roxy Ann Lake
Roxy Ann Lake from Trail#1130
Lower Slide Lake
Lower Slide Lake-Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado
Though not a major climbing area, notable peaks in the area would include:
Mount Ethel-11,924
Lost Ranger Peak-11,932
The Dome-11,739

Other destinations reached from the TH are:
Rainbow Lakes-3 miles
Slide Lakes-6.3 miles
Continental Divide Trail-8.7 miles
Roxy Ann Lake-9.8 miles

Camping & Services

No designated camping at TH. Nearest available would be at the Delaney Butte State Wildlife Area approximately 10 miles east. Camping is also avsailable at Hidden Lakes and Teal Lake campgrounds approximately 8 miles due south, as the crow flies.
Limited services available in Walden.

Books & Maps

Backcountry Adventure Guide to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness-Raymond Ave

Routt National Forest

Mount Ethel
Pitchpine Mountain

Red Tape

No fees charged at this time for access.

Mount Zirkel Wilderness Regulations


Mount Ethel, 11,924Mt Ethel-11,924Lower Slide LakeRainbow Lakes TH signboardTH parking lotTrailhead locator mapRainbow Lakes Trail
Roxy Ann Lake