Topic: Dirt bike riding Rainbow Trail, Colorado
Author: Adam D
Posted: 05/20/2003 11:57:07 AM
Is anyone interested in riding the Rainbow Trail (Sangre de Cristo Mtn Range CO). I don't want to ride it alone my first time. If your interested in planning a trip later in the summer after the melt off, let me know. Adam D
Reply by Trailryder42 on 05/21/2003 07:43:10 AM
That's a nice trail. Be aware that it's multi-use, meaning you could see hikers and horseback riders on it too. I did. What section of it are you going to do? Or are you gonna try to do all of it in a couple of days? I think I've ridden everything from Lake Creek CG south to the end. Haven't been on the Northern half yet. I rode it alone. There were a few creeks I was a little nervous about crossing being alone but they turned out to be ok. Stay in touch , maybe we can work something out.
Reply by whyr on 05/22/2003 11:50:22 AM
I was planning on riding alot of the trails in Colorado this summer. Rainbow Trail has some new trails. At least that what I hear from a ranger friend of mine. I am free most days during the summer. Could be fun. whyr
Reply by Adam D on 05/22/2003 12:37:19 PM
I really don’t know enough about the trail sections to decide at the moment. It just sounded like a great trail to ride. I was hoping to ride a Saturday and Sunday and camp overnight. I don’t have a ridding partner any longer that can get away from the family for an overnight, so I’m looking to ride with someone. I don’t enjoy riding alone as I always have that nagging thought “what if”. Anyway, Let’s hook up and get a date to ride in the future. Were there any sections that you liked best… and were there any really dangerous spots that would be of an issue for an intermediate rider? Thanks for responding. Adam
Reply by whyr on 05/23/2003 06:30:43 AM
It's going to be a few days before I will get my rear shock back and get the front end dialed. I was told by some experienced riding friends of mine that I ride too fast and aggressive for the stock suspension, so I'm trying to get it working for me. When you said overnight, were you thinking "motel" overnight or "camping" overnight?? Whyr
Reply by Adam D on 05/23/2003 3:34:44 PM
Camping for sure.
Reply by Trailryder42 on 05/23/2003 5:08:23 PM
Adam, I don't remember anything above intermediate level. Most of it is pretty easy. The trail gets a little narrow in places but nothing that will suck you to the seat.
Reply by bluestragler on 05/24/2003 3:47:59 PM
I'm not set up to do overnight from my bike yet, unless you mean riding back to camp, but do enjoy an all day at Texas Creek if anyone gets the urge. There are also some trails off HW9 & CR2 that are supposedly worth exploring. I always prefer weekdays when possible. I'll yell next time I'm going if anyone is interested.
Reply by whyr on 05/27/2003 07:09:53 AM
I got my shock back and I'm going to Captain Jacks today to dial in the front fork. I noticed there was no spacer at the top of the fork spring and there was two inches of space between the cap and the spring. Is this right? I put in ATF and added a 1 inch spacer to start. I could be talked into Texas Creek on Thursday or Friday. Whyr
Reply by bluestragler on 05/27/2003 08:43:39 AM
whyr- Check your email. I'm up for Texas Creek Friday. Anyone else?
Reply by Adam D on 05/27/2003 3:51:27 PM
I mean riding back to camp for the night. Well, the trail doesn't sound to nasty at all. I would guess that we would have to wait until all of the snow menlts before we could confirm a date for the ride.
Reply by whyr on 05/27/2003 7:13:04 PM
Bluestragler, Friday 10am? I rode 80 miles at 717 in Woodland Park on Sunday. It rained and hailed. I had the best time. I did forget to bring my bicycle shorts. My butt is a little tender, but I'll be there on Friday. I know. I know. Too much information. Whyr
Reply by bluestragler on 05/27/2003 9:22:33 PM
whyr- 10am sounds good. We can meet just on the other side of the bridge. There's a small parking area there. I'll email details. Adam D- I'd be up for that Rainbow Trail ride this summer. I've got friends that work up in the area so I'll ask them to report back when the snow is gone. I'll be up in the area next week, so I'll scout out some potential camp sites too. We can keep in touch on timing.
Reply by bluestragler on 05/28/2003 07:04:02 AM
WHYR- CAN YOU RESCHEDULE TO THIS COMING MONDAY? Sorry, but I have to be in Canon City by noon. I could still go Friday for an early ride, but I'd have to be loaded and on my way back by 11:00am. Monday, I'm wide open. Sorry for the change. I'm bummed.
Reply by Adam D on 05/28/2003 12:04:59 PM
Bluestragler, That sounds good. Seems like you will have it all scoped out before the ride. Be sure to keep in touch and e mail me in the event that I don't have a chance to keep up on this topic (posting). If either of you are doing a weekend ride not to far from me, I would like to join you guys. I live in Eagle (about 1/2 hr west of Vail). So keep in touch. This weekend is out for me. Adam D
Reply by bluestragler on 05/28/2003 1:21:35 PM
Adam D- I'll report back once I've been to Rainbow & when we're doing a weekend.
Reply by Adam D on 05/28/2003 4:19:02 PM
Thanks!! I'm heading out of the office after I type this message to get out on the XR250 for a local ride. Speak to you in the future. Adam
Reply by Trailryder42 on 05/29/2003 06:12:28 AM
I have a report that says the Rainbow trail was cleared by some Texas boys this last weekend.
Reply by bluestragler on 05/29/2003 07:29:33 AM
Trailryder- Thanks for the report. Adam D- Let's start planing. whyr- Did you get my message on change of plans?
Reply by Adam D on 05/29/2003 11:40:21 AM
Bluestragler, Ok, let’s plan the trip. I will give you the weekend dates that I can’t make, otherwise I’m good to go unless something comes up. No can do (weekends) for: 6/13-6/15, 6/27-6/29, 7/4-7/6, 7/31-8/5, 8/8-8/10, 8/21-9/2. The best weekend dates for me would be the weekends of: 6/21, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/16. So, as you can see July is basically open for me to get out of town. Since this is a fairly high altitude ride (I’m assuming) it should be fairly comfortable and the stream crossings should be lower water. I would get down to camp (where ever we decide) on Friday night sometime. Let’s ride Sat & Sun and do as much of the trail as we can. Wow, I’m getting pumped up as I type. Get back to me when you figure out what would work for you. I should tell you that I’m an intermediate rider on a 01’ XR250 with the basic mods and a White Bro’s exhaust. I will trailer my bike and I plan on sleeping in the back of my truck (topper). Do you have any friends that may want to join us? I may have one friend that could go, but I doubt it (family man). Adam
Reply by whyr on 05/29/2003 12:15:59 PM
Bluestragler: Sorry about the delayed response. I don't always get to the computer during the summer. I understand. No problem. Monday: I've got a Calculus class to teach, sorry. Whyr
Reply by bluestragler on 05/29/2003 1:42:29 PM
Adam D- I'll check my calendar and email/post more details soon. Yes I have a few friends that may be able to join us. Maybe whyr might want to. I've got a 14 year old son that I know would want to come and has the skill level, but if the resulting group prefers a more mature group, that gives me a break from the kids, so I don't mind either way. Tell that "family man" friend that everyone needs a break, or better yet tell his family. It works for me. Thanks.
whyr- Just wanted to make sure you were getting the news. Are you busy all Mondays? Monday and weekends are my best times to ride,since the kids are out of school now, but arrangements can be made to farm them out. They all ride but only the 14 year old can keep up. The 6 year old is fun to watch on his 70, but you can only do that for so long before you're ready to hit the throttle! The 11 year old does fine on his 100 but again the pace is still too slow, especially if your not their parents. Let's plan another day. I'm really dissapointed this one didn't work out.
Reply by 250R on 06/02/2003 10:14:08 AM
I am going to be in Colorado, June 21 thru July 1. there will be 5 of us. I am not sure where we are going. i think we will be riding a lot of different trails/places. i will find out for sure. maybe we could meet and ride a day or two.
Reply by bluestragler on 06/02/2003 10:28:34 AM
250R- Keep us posted and we'll try to hook up on a trail somewhere. Let us know when you know what part of CO you plan on being in.
Reply by 250R on 06/10/2003 3:27:16 PM
we are going to ride, rainbow trail, st. charles and some others. i will write back with the names. i would like to meet up with some of you guys. there will be a group of five of us. all on xr's. 6/21 thur 7/1.
Reply by Adam D on 06/11/2003 2:33:34 PM
Sounds good! Keep in touch and we will try and make it. Adam D
Reply by bluestragler on 06/14/2003 4:12:27 PM
Just got back from Texas creek and rainbow trail. Riding was great at Texas Creek but didn't ride at Rainbow. Just went to the Lutheran camp up there to pick up my oldest son. Trails were a bit wet. It has been raining up there BIG TIME. Talked to the ranger at TC. They're opening several new trails. It a fun day's ride.
Reply by bluestragler on 06/18/2003 07:50:00 AM
Adam D- Looks like the best dates for me right now are July 19 & 20th for Rainbow Trail. If those dates still work we can begin the planning. I can scope out a camp site this Saturday and give you directions. Let me know if you're still interested. whyr? I know you prefer weekdays. but how about it?
Reply by Adam D on 06/18/2003 09:42:39 AM
Ok, let's do it!! I will plan on the weekend of the 19,20th of July. I'm looking forward to this ride very much. Keep in touch regarding specific plans. Adam D
Reply by bluestragler on 06/18/2003 3:54:52 PM
Sounds good. How many people are you bringing? Also curious. Are you riding the XR250?
Reply by Adam D on 06/18/2003 4:55:39 PM
Most likely only myself and my XR250. I will ask my local ridding buddy if he can make it as well (he will have to leave his kids home-not old enough yet). He rides a KDX250, and we both ride at the same level. How about you?
Reply by 250R on 06/19/2003 08:42:37 AM
i am sorry if there was some miscommunication. I am going to be in Colorado June 20-July not July 20. and now it is pretty short notice. i am leaving tonight. i'll keep in touch, when i find out where we are riding and what days.
Reply by bluestragler on 07/06/2003 11:04:12 AM
Adam D- We still on for the 19th & 20th? Anyone else? whyr?
Reply by Adam D on 07/07/2003 4:53:02 PM
Yes, I'm good to go!! I have asked one other friend to go (he doesn't know yet). So lets decide on the specifics. I have never rode this trail, so I would have to research it from the start. You may be able to lead us in a better direction on this trip (if you would like). Do you know of any camping areas for us? Let me know what info you have and we will begin to pull it together. This will be fun!! Adam
Reply by bluestragler on 07/07/2003 8:13:20 PM
I also have not ridden the trail but know people who have, so I'll get specifics. I'm thinking of starting the ride out of Hillside. I'll be in touch. Pete
Reply by Adam D on 07/08/2003 10:15:02 AM
Sounds good! I'll keep an eye out for your posting. The weekend is set aside for the trip. Adam
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/08/2003 11:17:44 AM
Lake creek CG is out of Hillside. Hey guys, I'm off the weekend of the 19-20. If I can make it, would you mind if I joined you? I've not ridden that section of the trail yet. Stragler, which direction from Hillside were you thinking of riding the trail, north or south? Are you planning on backtracking the trail or are you guys street legal?
Reply by Adam D on 07/08/2003 2:14:19 PM
Trailryder, No problem with me if you join us on the ride. I would think that everyone is invited (until we find whom we donâ€™t like to ride and hang out with (hopefully you guys wonâ€™t think of me as â€œthat guyâ€). All kidding aside, it sounds like the rainbow trail is one rocky road. Bluestragler, have you heard about what sections are best for us to tackle for the weekend? Catch you guys later. Adam
Reply by bluestragler on 07/08/2003 4:11:10 PM
Trailryder- You sure are welcome to join us. I'm planning on accessing the trail a bit SW of Hillside. I'll get specific directions shortly. I'm going to be in the area again this Thursday so I'll scout out the best way. FYI- I'll be bringing my 14 year old son on his XR250 and I'll be on my XR600. If several people end up coming that's fine with me. We can always break up into smaller groups if needed. Hopefully this really hot weather will have subsided by then! Pete
Reply by bluestragler on 07/12/2003 09:50:04 AM
Adam D- Check your email for upcoming ride at RT.
Reply by brutus61 on 07/12/2003 1:01:30 PM
Trailryder42, are you still going? The thought has crossed my mine to buzz out to Amarillo and catch a ride with you the rest of the way if thats OK. What's everyone doing for accommodations?
Reply by bluestragler on 07/12/2003 2:18:44 PM
There are areas to park/camp for the night and between rides. You can also go into Westcliffe for a room. I'll heading up Friday eve or early Sat morning. Unfortunately I now have to leave Saturday night. Anyone wanting directions email me. We need to decide on a time to meet for anyone wanting to ride in the group. So far it's 3 total 1- Adam D, 2- Bluestragler & 3- my 14 year old son. There have been several other maybes. Also, if anyone is sticking around for a Monday ride I was thinking of coming back out. We'll see. Pete
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/12/2003 3:54:29 PM
Check your email Brutus. I'm still planning on coming. I'll be hauling my pop-up camper to stay in. It being a weekend, I hope we don't run into a lot of hikers and horseback riders. Last time I rode the RT, I ran into a church group that was scattered along the trail for a couple of miles. Stragler, Since you won't be there til Saturday evening, let us know where you want to camp so we that show up to ride Saturday will know where to find you or we can set up there initially.
Reply by bluestragler on 07/13/2003 07:15:37 AM
Trailryder- I'm going to be there through Saturday eve, so I can meet you guys Friday eve or Saturday morning.
FYI- Mobile phones don't work in that area, so we need to pin down the details if we want to meet up. Looks like 5 people confirmed now.
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/14/2003 1:30:49 PM
Hey Stragler, think we need to consider setting up a shuttle at the exit end of the trail to get us back to the trailhead/truck/camp or are you thinking of riding the trail back? Are you camping? What's your range? I have an IMS 4 gallon tank. As it stands now, I don't have anyone coming with me but I'm looking. Brutus had to back out for family reasons.
Reply by bluestragler on 07/14/2003 3:10:32 PM
Trailryder- My first instincts were to ride back since I've never ridden RT before, but I'm flexible. We can work out a shuttle if you prefer. My 600 has a stock tank so I'm only good for about 75-85 miles depending on how agressive I ride. My son's 250 will go a bit further. We can both carry a quart more on the handle bars if needed, but I prefer to carry extra water. We're planning on riding all day Saturday and tentatively, it looks like we'll be able to camp that night and ride 1/2 day Sunday. Haven't heard from AdamD for awhile so I'm not sure what's up with him. Hope he can make it, but if not it will probably be just the three of us. Keep in touch.
Reply by Adam D on 07/15/2003 4:33:05 PM
Hey guys. Yes I'm in for the weekend ride. I will only be bringing myself for the weekend. I am planning on heading up Friday night for Saturdays/Sundays ride. I will check my e-mails for directions.
Reply by bluestragler on 07/15/2003 8:43:35 PM
Cool! It's four people now. That's a good number. Everyone have their bikes ready? Adam D- What's your range?
Reply by Adam D on 07/16/2003 08:58:20 AM
I'm open on a meeting time. I'll let you make the call. Although I've never hit tank bottom, I should get a solid 80+ miles on my stock tank. Do I need to pack extra gas for this ride? If so, how much would you suggest I pack along? I just carry a Camel back (water) and some basics on my trail rides. I'll be driving a 93' white Toyota pickup w/ a topper and an 02' XR250. Will you be camping at the camp ground and do you know if there is a fire ban in the county we will be ridding? Adam
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/16/2003 3:08:27 PM
As of today, the counties we'll be in don't show any fire bans. I'm gonna be in a copper F150SC towing a Starcraft pop-up and XR400. Lake Cr. CG has 11 sites with 1 water spigot in the CG. $8 a nite is what my info from Wildernet.com says. I would bring something to haul gas in just in case it's decided you'll need it. Those 2 qt. enduro jugs that mount to the crossbar work well. I can bring mine for someone to use if they think they'll need it.
Reply by whyr on 07/16/2003 4:48:43 PM
Just got back. It sounds like you are planning a ride on July 19-20? Can somebody summarize the when and where the ride is starting?
Reply by bluestragler on 07/16/2003 5:49:49 PM
So far Adam D, Trairyder42, Myself & 14 yr old son are meeting at Lake Creek camp ground between 7:30-8:00am saturday (July 19th). Lake Creek camp ground is on 198 just outside of Hillside. Let me know if you need better directions. Adam D & Trailryder will be arriving Friday, I'll be arriving Saturday AM. We will ride all day saturday and atleast half day or more sunday. Are you thinking you might join us? You're of course wlecome to do so. Let us know so we know to watch for you.
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/17/2003 10:42:02 AM
Hope you guys don't mind stops for taking photos. If you've seen my pics webpage, you know I gotta have my memories.
Reply by Adam D on 07/17/2003 10:49:27 AM
I'll be sure to take some pic's as well. No problem. It's nice to see more then just what's ahead of your bike from time to time. Half the fun for me is the exploring and taking in the beauty of this great state. Adam
Reply by bluestragler on 07/17/2003 11:41:59 AM
Sounds like we're all on the same page on riding attitude. Picked up a Rainbow Trail map and tow strap today. Hope the map is the only one we'll use. Pete
Reply by damone on 07/18/2003 12:49:44 PM
Ya'll need to do a write up of your ride when you get back with some pics. I can't wait to hear about the hills and singletrack and views. Ride On. D
Reply by bluestragler on 07/18/2003 9:26:38 PM
TR42 and AdamD are up there now and we're meeting them in the AM. I'm sure we'll all have stories when we return. Maybe we can get a few more of you guys to join in next time.
Reply by bluestragler on 07/20/2003 4:27:25 PM
RAINBOW TRAIL REPORT- RT trail gets an A+ in my book! What a fantastic ride! Had a blast riding with Trailryder42, Adam_D and my 14 year son. It was great to meet some of the 4Strokes frequenters. Did a 45 mile strech North out of Hillside all the way to Salida. Beatiful and challenging at times. It took the better part of a day with stops. The next day we headed out south towards Westcliffe. Easier trail, but equally as scenic. Saw a pair of bikers, a few hikers and no horses or 4-wheelers the whole weekend. Did see a few 4-wheelers on main roads but never on the real RT trail. They'd have a hard time on it. Trailryder42 said he'd most likely post a few pictures, and knowing him they'll be the ones of me on my butt! I'm sure you'll all get feed back from the others too.
Reply by damone on 07/22/2003 08:23:13 AM
Sounds like you all had a blast. I didn't get out to ride this weekend, but the weekends just keep coming right? I hope so, lol. Can't wait to see the pics. Glad to see you all had a good time, especially fun when meeting new people and making new memories. Ride On, D
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/22/2003 11:11:26 AM
TRIP REPORT: After about a 6 hour drive, I arrived at the CG around 4pm Friday and set up camp. Still some light left so I went for a scouting ride and to check my jetting. Adam was to arrive around 10pm. True to his word he rolled in just about that time and we got him situated in a pull thru spot, that later, when Pete showed up in the morning, he could stay in the same spot. Adam and I visited for a few hours then hit the sack to be ready for the next days ride. Pete and son, Micah, rolled in about a 1/2 hour earlier than I expected. We visited a little then got dressed and we were on the trail by 8:30. The concensus was to ride north 1 day and south the next day, since Lake CR. CG is just about mid way. Everyone figured they had at least an 80 mile range. We didn't decide on riding all the way into Salida until late in the trail. We either needed to turn around or try to find a bail-out point at the half tank point for the guys with the smaller/stock tanks. I knew we could get gas in Salida, so that's what we decided to do. Then rode the highway back to camp about 20-25 miles. The trail was in great shape. Better than the first time I had ridden it about 5 years ago. All the creek crossings of any substantial size have bridges installed across them now. I had forgotten how many dang rocks there are on this trail. I was glad they were only in certain sections and not the entire trail. We would get a welcome break from the rocks every now and then with some nice smooth single track winding thru the trees, going up and down. Cool! We took our time and had plenty of breaks and photo ops. Even in the smooth stuff we rode a medium/easy pace. I don't think any of us felt rushed or like we were riding above our comfort level. The views were great, the weather was good. Made it back to camp Saturday and seemed to just fall about the place. We were some tired motorscooters. Had a great campfire and bull session that night.
Got up the next day with the intent to get started a little earlier. Pete discovered the problem Micah had been having with his XR the previous day with it cutting out on him every now and then. When he turned the bars to the left, it was pulling on an already too tightly routed compression release cable and actuating the mechanism and killing the engine. We worked at correcting that and was on the trail by 8:30. Took the South trailhead. Pete needed to leave early Sunday so he and Micah rode about 25 miles and took a bailout to the valley floor to make their way back to camp. Adam and I decided to finish the trail to the south then backtrack it a few miles to a bailout that we could take back to the hiway. As soon as we exited the trail to head back to camp, it started to rain. Adam had a pac-jak. I didn't. 25-30 miles back to camp on the highway in the rain. Can you picture it? I would have stopped to get one but I was afraid to try to pull my hands off the bar grips. I have posted a few pics on the yahoo link in my signature. Adam and Pete, I'll send you a CD of all 70 of them if you want. And yes, one of those I posted was of Pete on his butt. Adam decided to stay the night Sunday and head back Monday morning after ok-ing it the wife and Boss at work. I got up Monday morn to discover a flat tire on the truck so I had to change it before heading out. All in all, a good trip. Thanks for the ride guys. Derek
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/22/2003 3:30:30 PM
I deleted a few pics in other folders, so I'm under quota now. Should be able to see the pics now. Sorry guys.
Reply by Adam D on 07/22/2003 5:19:49 PM
I guess I’ll wrap up this report since I started this whole adventure with my post. First, I want to thank the guys for actually making this trip happen for me. If they hadn’t responded to my post and followed through with the ride, I would have never of had the great experience as I did. This small crew was fun on and off the trail. I won’t go into the specifics of the ride because Trailrider42 and Bluestragler have already done so. What I will to say here is that if you have an interest in finding riding buddies to share the experiences of trail ridding and want to learn much about ridding and XR’s in general, then use this site as your tool to do so. This was my first time meeting a crew of riders via the Internet. I was a little apprehensive at first, as I didn’t know what type of people I may encounter or what type of riders they would be. To my delight, everyone was just great! The Rainbow trail was awesome and I have the blisters on my hands to prove it. It was challenging both technically and endurance wise (at least for me), but not scary. There were sections of loose rocks to contend with that at times just didn’t seem to end. I personally thought that it added to the challenge of the ride. Did it feel like I rode in a rodeo at times?…. Absolutely. I also give this weekend adventure an A+. If you don’t mind dealing with some rocky sections then don’t miss this trail if you’re passing through the area with your bike. Don’t ride it alone! The northern half of the trail is more difficult then the southern half. Thanks to Trailrider42 for being the photographer for us all. Until the next ride…. Happy Trails!
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/23/2003 9:09:35 PM
All pictures are up at the webshots link.
Reply by Adam D on 07/24/2003 12:09:00 PM
Derek, Nice job on the photo's!!! Adam
Reply by mmgtl on 07/24/2003 12:29:54 PM
Man that looks like fun did yall have any trouble? I have an old 82xl500 that I ride when we go to red river nm how do you think it would do at rainbow? To heavy need more suspension? Its in good mech shape I would like to plan a trip up their next year. Thanks for sharing the pics. Meredith
Reply by Trailryder42 on 07/24/2003 2:47:53 PM
Meredith, I'd say decent suspension is a must. Even our modern XRs were taking a beating on some of the trail because of all the rocks in places. I didn't get any pictures of the rocky sections because we were too busy trying to get thru them to stop. The map that Pete had labeled which sections were considered easy and which were medium. The medium sections were the ones with the most rocks. If a person wanted, they could access the trail and ride just the easy/less rocky sections.
Reply by mmgtl on 07/25/2003 06:33:49 AM
Thanks for the tip. We're looking for some place new to go on family vacation. I sure would like to go up to rainbow next year. Thanks again Meredith
Reply by damone on 07/25/2003 07:41:17 AM
Sweet Riding Area. The trail type looks exactly like what I love to ride. So many of those pics could be right from the hills of Northern CA. Sounds/Looks as though there was plenty of riding/fun to be had. Can't wait for the next installment from the RT Gang. I don't know what it is, but I could never post a description as well as TR42 did. Thanks, D
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