Little Rainbow

3.92 out of 5
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↑ 800 ft
↓ 200 ft
elevation (ft)

Out & Back
Trail Description
About this trail
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 John FischEpic
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Heritage Park
Porcupine Rim
Perry Lake Bike Trail
Monarch Crest Trail
18 Road Trails / North Fruita Desert
Heil Valley Ranch
Buffalo Creek
Arkansas Hills
Race Track
Methodist Mountain
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (15 total check-ins)
  straubad   3 weeks ago
  Rob Davis 3   on Jul 12, 2019
  Greg Heil   on Dec 20, 2018
  T-ROF   on Sep 23, 2018
  ~Mountain Bike Addict~   on Aug 26, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (34)
Trail Photos & Videos (34)
Reviews (11)


January 3, 2018
triton189 Singletrack  
Review: Wife and I took this trail for a spin and really enjoyed it. Perfect for her, not too much climbing from the trail head and smooth flowy singletrack. I shuttled her to the trail head to save her from the climb up.


October 1, 2015
bikecandy Gramcounter  
Review: This is a fast, fun, and non-technical trail. The swoops and dives of the trail flow well together. It's a perfect ride from town when you may be crunched for time and still want to fit in a good ride.


April 9, 2015
Review: A great stretch of flowing single track. If you are going to do this as an out and back I recommend starting at Burmac Rd. TH and riding up Racetrack to access Little Rainbow. This gives you the climbing first as L. Rainbow flows uphill from East to West, making the return a super fun flowy ride. Stay alert for riders and hikers going both directions.


August 31, 2014
tlongpine Trailblazer  
Review: I rode it as a loop from CR 109 up to the TH, then back down to Salida.

Desert single track that reminds me of ABQ foothills, Bootleg and The Gallup High Desert System.

World Champ

August 7, 2014
Review: This is a fast, flowy trail but it gets a little repetitive and there isn't a whole lot to look at out here. Still, it's nice to have a trail like this in town for beginning riders and those who want to stick close to town.


June 17, 2014
Review: For a beginner trail, this one's loads of fun. Even the ride up CR110 from town to the western trailhead is scenic. Take the Racetrack trail down the hill from the eastern end of Little Rainbow. This is a great trail to start on if you're coming from a lower elevation and want to adjust to the altitude.

World Champ

August 2, 2013
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: A gorgeous, flowy (yet rocky in spots) singletrack trail above the town of Salida. No, it's no Monarch Crest Trail, but it IS an entertaining ride with some beautiful views.
Since it is in the very dry Methodist Mountain area, this trail stays rideable for much of the year.


August 16, 2012
dasardinta Gramcounter  
Review: I can not believe that this trail is on Colorado's top 100 trails. The trail is machine cut, but it is repetitive. It goes back and forth over a water drainage route over the mountain terrain. Do not waste your time on this one when visiting Salida. Get on their web site and find better trails. The trail is up and down with no flow and no bank turns so when you go down you have to slow way down to make the turn. If you live in the area maybe an after work ride if it is close, but not worth it. It is connected into the Methodist Mountain Trail System, but I rode a few of those trails and nothing that great.



August 2, 2013
Greg Heil Gramcounter  
Review: There may have been an issue with the ranking system... It's ranked number 5,000 and something now. But I'd say it's BETTER than that, and way better than 1 star.

Granny Gear

May 27, 2011
Review: I'm a beginner and this is a GREAT trail. If you want a killer one-hour or so workout, take (on your bike) County Road 110 from Highway 50 - it starts as a paved road for about 5 minutes then turns into a wide, dirt road for about the next 15. This is a pretty killer climb for a beginner like myself, but for an experienced rider this would probably be a moderate climb. Little Rainbow trail is on the left, and the only word to describe it is FUN. It's got plenty of downhill slopes, some mild uphill climbs, and some technical, tight turns. Basically, it's awesome. You can continue on at one point when it crosses a paved road (I haven't done that....yet) or you can take that paved road back to town for a killer downhill ride that takes about 5-8 minutes and will take you back to highway 50. I highly recommend this for a beginner rider, or any level, for that matter. It made me fall in love with mountain biking. :)

Bunny Hop

March 7, 2011
Review: Great single speed ride from town.

Little Rainbow MTB Trail 3.92 out of 5 based on 11 ratings. 11 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed