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Hike to Rainbow Lake in the Cloud Peak Wilderness

Buffalo, Wyoming


Added by Kyle Frost

This beautiful aquamarine lake is a great off-trail romp in the Cloud Peak Wilderness.

Best accessed from the Geneva Pass trail, Rainbow Lake is a gorgeous hidden gem. It's not on the main Solitude Trail or the Lake Loop, but it's pretty straightforward to access.

The lake is most easily reached via the Cliff Lake Trail. If you're approaching from Geneva Pass, take the Cliff Lake Trail turn-off that is just south of the pass. The trail will head east for a bit -- you'll want to jump off the trail before it starts heading south and down into the basin (see map photo).

Head east over a gentle ridgeline, with fantastic views of Black Tooth and the lakes below for most of the way. This is truly a choose-your-own-adventure, although I'd recommend following the high point of this small ridge for the best views and most efficient access.

Return the way you came to reach the Cliff Lake Trail, or follow the path of least resistance and drop into the main lake basin down to Lake Elsa. From there, you should be able to reconnect with the trai by heading west towards Cliff Lake.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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