Hike or Snowshoe to Rainbow Lakes

Rate this Adventure Colorado Rainbow Lake via Summit County Rec Trail

Added by Matthew Eaton

This is an easy going day hike in Summit County that is perfect for the entire family. There is minimal elevation gain (for Colorado standards), but you’ll still want to be prepared for the ever changing mountain weather. 

You can do this hike two different ways: 

1- Start from the Peaks Trail Trailhead for an out and back hike, distance is a little over 2 miles roundtrip. 

2- Start along the Summit County Recreational Trail (as marked on this map), also out and back hike, total distance just over 3 miles, and provides a nice leg warm up along an established and paved trail. 

There is a parking area just on the southeast corner of the junction of i70 and Main Street in Frisco, Colorado. There are picnic tables for a pre hike snack if you need one right alongside Tensile Creek, and portable toilets open to the public. 

From here, access the Summit County Rec Trail and head east, away from the highway. After about half a mile, you’ll see a trailhead on the right for the Peaks Trail. Take this and then follow signs to Rainbow Lake. The first part is through marshy terrain, but there is a boardwalk to help keep you dry. Reach the lake and explore the area, read a book, lounge in a hammock, or have a picnic. Just keep on eye our for afternoon thunderstorms which can and will pop up! 

This trail is also open to mountain bikes, and is even available in winter, with snowshoes or other traction. 

Pack List

  • Hydration (camelbak or water bottles)
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Raincoat
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Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



3 Miles

Elev. Gain:

250 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

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Added by Matthew Eaton

Greetings! I am an outdoor lifestyle and adventure photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Loving life since 1983. I hope you find some of my adventures below helpful and inspiring!

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