Wanna get a view without the snowshoes??
Recently, our good friends and badass thru-hikers Hannah and Michael moved to sunny Salida! What better way to celebrate than hiking with a view of the mountains we love? The Rainbow Trail to the South of Salida and Poncha Springs is always a winner. This highly runnable (and bikeable) trail has been a sweetheart of the mountain biking community for a long time. We love it this time of year in the off-season because traffic on the trail is at a minimum. This particular day, we had the trail to ourselves!
We started hiking on the Rainbow Trail towards Methodist Mountain from the Mears Junction Trailhead off of Hwy 285. After some satisfying ups and downs, the trail opens up to a beautiful meadow with brilliant views of Mt. Ouray and the Devil's Armchair. The trail continues through Sand Gulch between Poncha Mountain and Methodist Mountain, offering different views of the surrounding mountains as you go. This trail makes a great out and back from Mears Junction, or you can continue all the way into Salida via the Methodist Mountain Trail system. The Rainbow Trail also makes a great key exchange run from the Methodist Mtn TH on CR 108 (8.4 miles) or the Bear Creek TH on CR 101 (14.1 miles).