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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RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 250 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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