by Karen Price
Rainbow Lake trail fall color.
This trail is near Frisco and it's a mostly easy one mile, (one-way), hike up to the lake. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the lake and there were lots of dogs along the trail, so if you have one, bring him or her with you. The parking lot at the trailhead was relatively decent sized, and looked as though it could hold about 20 + cars.
Directions to the Rainbow Lake trailhead: from the Denver area, take I-70 west to exit 201/Main Street Frisco. Take this exit, then turn left on Main Street. Go for several blocks, then turn right, (south), onto Second Ave. Keep going for about 5 more blocks, then turn right onto South Cabin Green. Drive the short distance to the end of the road and trailhead. You'll see the sign for Rainbow Lake at the trailhead.
The trail starts along a narrow path, and shortly after this, takes you onto a boardwalk through a marshy area. It looked like a place where you might see a moose, and although we didn't see any, other people have, so keep an eye out for them.
After that, you leave the boardwalk and walk along a regular trail through aspen trees, and there were also some small creeks along the way. There are a few spots where other trails cross this one, but just keep following the signs for Rainbow Lake. The trail is well marked.
The elevation gain is mostly gentle...I found some info. online saying that the elevation gain is 460 feet, but it seemed like less than that. (The elevation at the lake is 9,560 feet.) And some parts of the trail were rocky but not too bad...wearing hiking boots or shoes makes it easier.
Anyway, some of the aspen trees along the trail were at peak color, and other aspens were either green, or partially changed. So the fall colors along this trail should get even better in the next few days. We hiked this trail on September 18, 2017.