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Level: Advanced
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +1,647/ -1,511 ft
Total: 19 riders

Mountain Biking Rainbow Trail: Methodist Mountain Thd to Bear Creek Thd

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#73 of 1,353 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#527 in the world

The Rainbow Trail runs along the ridge for 5.7 miles one-way from the Methodist Mountain trailhead to the Bear Creek Trailhead.

Loop Description:
From beautiful downtown Salida head east on US Hwy 50, gently descending on a good shoulder for 3.7 quick miles. Turn right (south) onto CR 101 and begin climbing on a well maintained dirt road. Pass a large pullout, cross a cattle guard and enter USFS lands after 3.2 miles. At the cattle guard, CR 101 turns into FR 101; the road becomes rugged and the climbing becomes fierce. Continue on FR 101 for 2.7 miles, staying straight at all intersections, crossing Bear Creek and finally reaching the Rainbow Trail Trailhead. Turn right onto the Rainbow Trail and start enjoying some fine singletrack. The trail climbs out of and descends into several small drainages maintaining an elevation of ≈ 9,000 feet. After 6 miles of terrific singletrack, you reach a trailhead at the junction of the Rainbow Trail and FR 108. Turn right and descend on the rugged and steep FR 108. After 1.6 miles your route turns into a graded and improved CR 107. Shortly after CR 107 turns into pavement and continues to descend for 3 miles, turn on the afterburners! Finally you reach US Hwy 50.

First added by Grizzattack on Sep 13, 2013. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Methodist Mountain Trailhead, up road 108.
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Rainbow Trail: Methodist Mountain Thd to Bear Creek Thd Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

mbeth (on Oct 16, 2021)
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 23, 2017)
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Rainbow Trail: Methodist Mountain Thd to Bear Creek Thd videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Salida, Colorado

Easiest | 3 mi
Beginner | 2 mi
Intermediate | 18 mi
Advanced | 9 mi

Rider questions

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  • shawnCOS.

    Awesome!. As of June 5, 2015 tacky for the most part. But slippery and places.

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  • tomcat32

    Fast, fun, flowy, singletrack. It's a shame the entire Rainbow doesn't ride like this. I have ridden this as a big loop combining the Salida Mountain Trails on Methodist Mountain for a loop. The full loop I would consider advanced but just this section is intermediate riding. I have pics and a full review at:

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    The segment of this trail that I rode was just awesome! Flowy, fast, some rocks, gorgeous views, beautiful creeks, big pines--man was it fun! I didn't want to drop off onto the Columbine trail when I did, but of course that bomber descent back down the mountain was a ton of fun as well. You just can't go wrong up here!

    Update: the section of this trail past the Columbine trail is fantastic as well. Definitely the best portion of the Rainbow Trail!

    Reply | Thank