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The Little Rainbow Trail proper is 5 miles of machine cut singletrack that traverses the contours on the lower flank of Methodist Mountain more or less parallel to, but lower than, the Rainbow Trail. Little Rainbow is a good description because it rides a lot like its big borther up the hill. It is possible to take roads up to the trailheads at each end (paved at the west, 4X4 on the East), but you'd be cheating yourself out of a killer singletrack climb and descent if you do. Since the East end is lower, I like to start there. There are two trails that go up from the parking area. The one that is marked right in front of where you should park is the "Lost Trail." This one is much better saved for the downhill on the return as it has portions that are unclimbable. Instead, look for the unmarked and not obvious "Racetrack" trail directly opposite the road from the "Lost Trail." Make the climb up Racetrack. You'll cross a dirt road--pick up the trail on the other side and keep climbing. You'll come to some cool eroded badlands and hook right--just a bit more climbing to reach the Little Rainbow Trail. When you hit a 4X4 road, look right and find the machine cut singletrack. Ignore the narrow "Dead Bird" trail as that will take you right back to your car. Ride the Little Rainbow as it roller coasters the countours of the mountain. After a couple miles, you'll cross a paved road. keep going another few miles--you can stay on Little Rainbow all the way out and back or drop to the right on the "Skull" trail then climb back up it or up CR 110 to the western trailhead and then head back. On the way back, make sure you don't miss the intersection with the "Lost Trail" (not currently marked, but it is a narrow trail intersecting Little Rainbow about a mile before you would run back into "Racetrack." It may be a good idea to lower your seat here as the trail flat out plummets in a couple places. Enjoy a screaming good downhill right back to your car!
added by skibum
on November 20, 2010
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