Trail Snapshot: Rainbow Falls in Colorado Springs
- Hike Distance: 0.2 mile Round Trip
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: Less than 1 hr
- Trail Type: Out & Back
- Starting Elevation: 6480′
- Elevation Gain: +40′
- Seasons: Year Round, but best in Spring
- Dogs: Allowed On Leash
- Denver Drive Time: 1 hr 20 min
- Driving Directions to Rainbow Falls Trailhead: Click for Google Map
- Town Nearest Hike: Manitou Springs, Colorado
- Beauty: Waterfall, creek.
- Activities: Hiking, photography
Parking & Trailhead Information for Rainbow Falls
ROAD CLOSURE:In 2016 entrance ramp from Eastbound 24 and the westbound exit ramp from Serpentine to 24 are closed due to bridge repairs. These are both slated to reopen on 9/16/2016.
The Hike: Rainbow Falls Trail in Colorado Springs
It’s just a short 1/10th of a mile hike (one-way) to Rainbow Falls. This easy trail takes hikers along the orange and golden rock faces that surround fountain creek, underneath the bridge to the base of the falls. Constructed in 1934, the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Locals remember when this area before it became clogged with erosion, spoiled by graffiti, and littered with trash. The floods of 2013 brought renewed attention to this hidden area, and a concerned group of citizens put a plan together and pursued grant funding to restore and expand what is now named the Rainbow Falls Recreation Area. In 2016, the state began repair on Rainbow Falls Bridge. After the bridge repair, work on restoring the trail will begin in earnest. The grafitti will be removed, and efforts will be set in place to prevent vandalism of this natural area. Future projects are slated over the next few years, including, the stabilization of the surrounding slopes, construction of picnic overlooks, restoration of habitat and fishing, and connectors to other trails in the Pikes Peak region.
It’s important to note that swimming is prohibited and the parking area and Rainbow Falls Recreation area do not allow overnight vehicles or camping. Dogs are allowed on leash, but due to the present state of fountain creek, it is advisable that both pets and their owners refrain from wading into the water; glass and other sharp objects may be littering the creek bed and could cause injury.
Significant progress on the restoration of the Rainbow Falls Recreation area should be completed by the Summer of 2017. More more details, see the Rainbow Falls Recreation Area Master Plan.
Tips & Resources for Hiking to Rainbow Falls in Colorado Springs
- Packing List: Always pack the 10 Essentials. Download our Hiking Guide to get the list and dayhiking packing checklist.
- Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions
- Photo: We would like to express our gratitude to Casey Reynolds for sharing such an amazing photograph of this hike to Rainbow Falls in Colorado Springs.
- After the Hike: The Mate Factor in Manitou Springs
Map & Driving Directions
Click for Driving Directions