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Rainbow Trail -Sangre De Cristo Mtns

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I love hunting down new trails to ride. The Nat Geo Sangre De Cristo map (138) shows a long tail running the length of the Sangres northwest to southeast. It appears to be in excess of 100 miles long with not many places to jump off and make a loop out of it. It's labeled the Rainbow Trail. Does anyone have any experience with this trail? What's it like?

 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, catmanz440 said:

It's labeled the Rainbow Trail. Does anyone have any experience with this trail? What's it like?

I've ridden all of it south of Hayden Pass (and most of the 4x4 road off shoots in that area) down to Medano Pass. Also a little south of there as well as up and over into some sandy stuff ;)

From roughly about Hillside north is all single track... and fantastic ST at that.  South of there is mostly two-track that ATV's could fit on and is VERY rough/rocky in areas.  There's also Hermit and Music passes in this section but they do not cross completely over to the western slope of the Sangres. 

What do you want to know?  Hit me up if you have any questions...

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Thanks for the input. I was mainly interested in seeing if it was worth checking out. Don't have the fuel range to do all of it, but since I'm plated it looks like I could break it into day-long sections and ride the road back to my starting point.

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rocky in many parts. From Poncha Pass south, quite a few areas that are very rocky. There are however many more miles that are worth riding.

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rocky in many parts. From Poncha Pass south, quite a few areas that are very rocky. There are however many more miles that are worth riding.

Thanks Mike.

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I think its worth doing and want to finish it someday soon. I can tell you about most of the southern part.

Has anyone mentioned that its rocky? :-) Especially south of Ducket Creek TH and down to Comanche/Venable TH. In nearly this entire stretch you'll be riding on fist sized and bigger rocks and every once in a while you'll come to a smooth section. You no more than exclaim 'ahhh....finally', when the rocks resume in earnest. And there are numerous stream crossings too.

North of Ducket was much smoother, but we only got to Hayden Creek TH.

To give you a reference of how far you might get in the rocks in a reasonable day, we rode from Comanche/Venable TH to Hayden Creek TH and had had enough. We then took roads back to where we started. We were planning an out and back, but opted for slab/gravel road return...all 5 of us concurred...and we didnt get as far north as we'd hoped.

There is a nice gas station/convenience store in Cotopaxi if you go through there. We stopped for rehydration and snacks on the ride back to camp.

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I think its worth doing and want to finish it someday soon. I can tell you about most of the southern part.
Has anyone mentioned that its rocky? :-) Especially south of Ducket Creek TH and down to Comanche/Venable TH. In nearly this entire stretch you'll be riding on fist sized and bigger rocks and every once in a while you'll come to a smooth section. You no more than exclaim 'ahhh....finally', when the rocks resume in earnest. And there are numerous stream crossings too.
North of Ducket was much smoother, but we only got to Hayden Creek TH.
To give you a reference of how far you might get in the rocks in a reasonable day, we rode from Comanche/Venable TH to Hayden Creek TH and had had enough. We then took roads back to where we started. We were planning an out and back, but opted for slab/gravel road return...all 5 of us concurred...and we didnt get as far north as we'd hoped.
There is a nice gas station/convenience store in Cotopaxi if you go through there. We stopped for rehydration and snacks on the ride back to camp.

Good info, thanks!

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I've ridden it all too. Definitely worth the trip. I broke it up into halves. Camped in site near the middle, rode South one day, North the next. Since you're plated it will be easy to just jump on a road and head back to the starting point. Carry a GPS, as those valley roads are confusing on the South end. Plus you can keep track of where you are and where the bailouts are should you need one.

 

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