Rainbow Trail: Silver Creek to Hwy 285

4.40 out of 5
View Topo Map


↑ 800 ft
↓ 1,700 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
The Rainbow Trail starts at the bottom of the Silver Creek trail and runs for 9 miles one-way to Highway 285. The trail climbs and descends along the way, with some short, steep climbs that might require you to hike.

Portions of the trail are smooth and flowy, and others are rocky and gnarly! There are several great views of the nearby mountains; be sure to bring a camera!

Loop Description:
This is a fun fast ride. Some of the nicest flowing singletrack I have ridden! Only a couple technical sections and one good climb.... Ride back down to Marshall Pass Road (CR200). Ride about 3 miles to FS 201 continue up the valley following FS 201 to the Silver Creek Trailhead. Marshall Pass Road is a mellow ride up an old RR grade. FS 201 is more easy climbing along beautiful Silver Creek.
added by lostcauseDoubletrack
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Heritage Park
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (9 total check-ins)
  straubad   on Aug 4, 2019
  Greg Heil   on May 26, 2019
  Greg Heil   on May 12, 2018
  Todd Cramblett   on Jun 26, 2017
  ijardine66   on Jul 14, 2016
Photo & Video Gallery (83)
Trail Photos & Videos (83)
Reviews (5)

Bunny Hop

January 15, 2015
tomcat32 Bunny Hop  
Review: I rode this as a loop riding up the dirt roads from 285 to the start of the Rainbow. While there are a few techy sections, generally this is fast and flowy. One of the better stretches of the Rainbow I have ridden. It climbs in and out of drainages that can be steep but the steep never lasts terribly long. The most technical stretch is the steep switchbacking descent at the end to 285. Like the others said, the views are nice with the southern Sawatch 14ers to the north and Ouray and Antora close to the route. Even good views of the sangres come into sight. This is a fun quickish loop. I have pics and entire trail report at:


Similar Trail: Rainbow Trail Bear Creek to Methodist

World Champ

July 30, 2013
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: Awesome singletrack trail with some amazing views, great flow, and a few sections of challenging gnar. This is an excellent addition after the end of the Silver Creek Trail to tack onto the Monarch Crest shuttle run.

I'm only giving it 4 stars because some of the climbs just aren't rideable... and after riding Monarch Crest and Silver Creek, everything else just pales in comparison!

Similar Trail: Monarch Crest, Silver Creek,

Granny Gear

August 13, 2012
ckeel4 Granny Gear  
Review: I rode from 285 up along gravel roads 200 to 201 to the Rainbow trail head, very easy to find and scenic uphill ride along the creek. I dont think this portion of the trail is actually 9 miles, it may be more like 6. From there the single track Rainbow is a great ride. A little muddy in spots but not bad at all. Some spots are quite rocky and require hard braking and lots of bike control. There are a half dozen places especially after creek crossings that all but the pros will have to walk up. I would guess you climb another 1000ft or so while on rainbow during the long 9 miles but there is some great downhill too. The trail ends with a huge decent down to 285 and back to your car. This route took me about 3 1/2 hours with a few breaks. Enjoy.


March 16, 2011
Review: This trail is typically ridden from the "end" of the Monarch Crest trail. It is singletrack, and not terribly technical, except that you're usually exhausted by the time you get to it.

It has some very steep ups and downs, and although the sign says 9 miles it's more like 11.


August 9, 2010
DoubleJ Poseur  
Review: I road this trail from Hayden Creek Road and I must say it is beautiful. That being said I only went 4 miles cause it was way to difficult to ride and the rock beds were impossible to work through. I had clip in that got really muddy and would not come out so I would get in the rocks and fall straight on my side. It was fun riding down but really took it out on my shoulders. Crossing the Creek 6 times was pretty cool. If you are a weekend warrior like my self be aware this is very steep and difficult.

Similar Trail: None.

Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed
Feature Article
Ride Report: Braving Silver Creek's Charms in Salida, Colorado
Returning to the Monarch Crest after a 5-Year Absence: Why Did I Ever Leave?