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Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby Hornet22 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:15 am

A couple of us are looking at the Rainbow Lakes campground north of Nederland this weekend. The ranger office said everything is open and that area wasn't really affected by the storms/flooding very much.

Can anyone tell me about the road conditions once you turn off P2P Hwy? In some descriptions it just says bumpy dirt road and others say high-clearance. Just trying to decide which vehicle to take - newer 4WD Escape for nicer ride from Denver or older Bronco for last 5 miles of dirt road? Ranger office said it was not as well maintained as the road to East Portal but how bad is it?

Is the Arapaho Glacier Trail a good hike? And up to S. Arapaho Peak?

Thanks!

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby Greenhouseguy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:00 am

If you're turning off of Hwy. 72, it's a fairly well-maintained dirt road. In addition to the campground, there is also a CU high altitude research center on the road, so it probably gets any needed maintenance. You can also get to the Rainbow Lakes Campground from the old Caribou town site; that would be route for high-clearance vehicles.
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby Hornet22 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:06 am

That's what I like to hear. We'll be coming off Hwy 72. Thanks for the info.

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby goingup » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:12 am

Hornet22 wrote:A couple of us are looking at the Rainbow Lakes campground north of Nederland this weekend. The ranger office said everything is open and that area wasn't really affected by the storms/flooding very much.

Can anyone tell me about the road conditions once you turn off P2P Hwy? In some descriptions it just says bumpy dirt road and others say high-clearance. Just trying to decide which vehicle to take - newer 4WD Escape for nicer ride from Denver or older Bronco for last 5 miles of dirt road? Ranger office said it was not as well maintained as the road to East Portal but how bad is it?

Is the Arapaho Glacier Trail a good hike? And up to S. Arapaho Peak?

Thanks!


Yes that trail and that peak are a most enjoyable hike with stunning views. You will fall in love with the IPW. Here is a trip report I wrote a couple of weeks ago (just ignore the South to North Arapaho traverse if that wasn't on your radar).

I don't believe we came in the same way but it will give you an idea of the area :-D

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=14289&parmuser=goingup&cpgm=tripuser
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where no one intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more......

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby bob863 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:24 pm

3 weeks ago I drove our small Class C motorhome up that road with no difficulty....my wife drove her Forester with no difficulty...don't know how the recent heavy rains affected the road...I'm sure the Boulder Ranger District office could provide you with details on road condition.

The trail to Arapaho Glacier (and beyond...to So. & No. Arapaho peaks) is a very nice trail.

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby Mtn Geek » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:36 pm

I have taken my small 4 door sudan up that road about 4 times, and I'd do it again. It gets a bit rough, but never bottomed out. If you don't want to pay to camp there are quite a few places just off the road you can camp. I normally take one of these when I go up there. Take it slow and it's not much of a problem. I have not been up there in a few years though.

The trail is really easy, but it's long. The views are fantastic though. I've taken this trail to hike up Old Baldy, 13,038 feet, which has a fantastic view of the Arapahoe Peaks and glacier.

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Re: Rainbow Lakes trailhead road

Postby Hornet22 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:47 pm

Thanks for all the advice. The road wasn't much damaged from the latest storms, just some extra pot holes. Nothing the Escape couldn't handle. That is a really nice campground up there. We didn't end up doing much up there, the wind was like a freight train coming by the tent. Back on the list for another day.

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