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Level: Advanced
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Other
Elevation: +517/ -570 ft
Total: 45 riders

Mountain Biking Rainbow Trail: Silver Creek to Hwy 285

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#65 of 1,362 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#448 in the world

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.

First added by lostcause on Mar 31, 2009. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Poncha Springs take Hwy 285 south 5 miles and park where the Rainbow Trail crosses Hwy 285 just past the Marshall Pass Road.
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Rainbow Trail: Silver Creek to Hwy 285 Trail map

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straubad (on Aug 4, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Sep 12, 2021)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Poncha Springs, Colorado

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Rider questions

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  • tomcat32

    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:

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    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!

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  • ckeel4

    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.

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  • Corey Maddocks   ✓ supporter

    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.

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  • DoubleJ

    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.

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