Rainbow trail update

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by BillyGoatGruff, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Black Forest,CO
    Well a couple friends and I wanted to ride the rainbow trail. The whole 100 miles of it. In one day.

    The plan, Camp in the middle.(Duckett Creek) slab up to the start, ride to camp for re-fuel and lunch. Then continue to the end and slab back to camp. Easy enough...

    First I want to thank singletrackslayer and his crew as well as ramz and his and anyone else who has worked to clear the rainbow trail.
    Job well done!

    The ride,

    Left camp 6am, 50+ miles of slabbin. Oh joy!
    [​IMG]

    Stopped in Salida to fuel the body
    [​IMG]

    After breakfast headed up to the western terminus trail head Silver creek to start our trek
    [​IMG]

    the first few sections of trail went smooth
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once you get to Bear creek heading south the intensity of the trail picks up.
    This is where it starts to get bumpy.. and the water crossings become more frequent.
    On towards Hayden...

    One of the first big crossings..
    [​IMG]

    Oh, it sucks to have a Yamaha that doesn't like deep water!
    [​IMG]
    The Yamaha has an issue stalling when it gets into water above the skid plate. After another deep crossing and another stall. We did some re routing of the vent lines and that seemed to do the trick.

    There's a trail in there somewhere.....
    [​IMG]

    Another deep one
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    After many deep water crossings we made it to Hayden and ran into our first real obstacle.... The Forest Service! dam them!
    [​IMG]

    Detour time.
    Luckily its not far down to hwy 50 and only about 3/4 of a mile of hwy and a hard right turn up to big Cottonwood trail head.
    No sign to take a pic of at Big Cottonwood. Incedently there was no sign that the bridge was out on the Big Cottonwood side of that section.... Hhmmmm?

    Getting hungry.. One last section to Duckett cr for lunch!
    [​IMG]

    Ahhh, food good.... don't forget gas...
    Fueled up body and bike. next stop Hermit pass.
    [​IMG]

    More water crossings.
    Came upon this nice bridge that the FS bulit over one.
    [​IMG]

    Not sure why they didn't finish the bridge???? didnt quite make it all the way across the creek...
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    Made it about 8 miles south of camp and ran into another obstacle. ut oh?
    Dam it Jim... LOL!
    [​IMG]

    A lot of water must have came down this one. The log jam is even worse to the right of the pic. Looked at moving the logs. the front little jam not too bad, but that bigger log in the back ground is about 15' long and jammed in tight.

    I had a small saw that we had used a couple times to remove some downed trees but none of us was willing to stand in the creek and cut through a 10" log LOL!
    Oh well turn back and assess the detour situation..

    The bad part was that this was the worst spot along the rainbow trail for a detour.
    No easy way out to the hwy. Matter of fact we had to go the 8 mi back to Duckett. Then about 30 mi of slab to get around and back up Hermit pass road to get back on trail.

    Hhmmm do I hear a beer calling my name?
    Decision made! head back to camp and drink beer and grill up some dinner.

    Oh well, we didn't complete our goal of doing the whole trail in one day, but we had one hell of a fun day of riding!

    We completed about 65 miles of the 100 miles of the Rainbow trail. Minus the section from Hayden to Big Cottonwood due to the detour. Did 143 total miles for the day.

    We all had commitments for Sunday so no time to finish on Sunday.
    Maybe a fall re-do... Packed up early and headed home.


    Take care, BGG
    #1
  2. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    Nice write-up. Count me in for the "end to end" sometime after the Monkey-Butt.
    :freaky
    #2
  3. fastfroggy

    fastfroggy Adventurer

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    nice ride report! i think i'll wait for the water crossings to come down a bit :)
    #3
  4. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    For sure!

    I knew you were tied up with the super enduro so didn't bother you.

    Thinking in the fall. Colors should be good down there then.

    BGG
    #4
  5. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    Yea, we had about 8-10 real good 24"-36" deep crossings.

    You pretty much get wet on the first one so it makes the rest more fun since you don't have to worry about staying dry LOL!

    BGG
    #5
  6. singletrackslayer

    singletrackslayer Legalize singletrack

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    Let me know when you decide to retry. If I'm in town I'd love to join.

    Suggestion? Camp near Shirley Site, ride all of the rainbow, ride over Medano Pass and have the better halves have camp and beer set up at the Great National Sand Dunes Park. Best way to end it. About 125 miles.
    #6
  7. kendall_smith

    kendall_smith Motion-Activated

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    682
    Location:
    The Island of Holidays, NW AR
    Same bike, same trail, different owners/riders.

    Here's some photos from September of 2013 the last time that 350 was on the Rainbow Trail when I owned it:

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's good to see you out enjoying the 350, Scott! Count me in as a maybe for the second attempt of the whole Rainbow Trail if you can wait until I take vacation out there September 12-19. :D
    #7
  8. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Patience. Last year the bridge wasn't there and we had to ride up the waterfall to the right.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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    Looks like all you needed was a bit of a lip and a little speed :lol3
    #9
  10. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    slayer,

    will do. I was hoping to run into you working on the Bushnell to Hayden section so I could thank you personally, but I'm pretty sure we got there before you did. I had to cut one tree with my little hand saw and was able to ride over the rest. Thanks again for all your work.

    Shirley site? I've heard that mentioned before but not sure I know where it is?
    One of the logistical problems with running the whole trail if you don't have some sort of sag support. That's why we camped in the middle so we could break up the slab sections to the start and coming back. Originally we were going to stop for a burger in Westcliffe for dinner on the way back through.

    BGG
    #10
  11. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    Don't worry, I got that sag-wagon shit dialed! :lol3
    #11
  12. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    HellSickle,

    Back in 2012, I think? I was trying the same thing and got to that same spot where the new bridge is but that time we were stopped by a massive blow down. Probably 500 trees in that area that were blown down in a big wind storm that previous winter/spring. We had to climb over 20-30 trees right at the creek just to see the water. It was crazy! You can still see a lot of the blow down right around the bridge.

    BGG
    #12
  13. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    Thanks kendall!
    Yep I'm having a ball on it! nearing a 1,000 mi on it all ready since early April
    #13
  14. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    Yea, Courtney is awesome!!
    #14
  15. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Yikes! :eek1 Clearing trees in the middle of streams is especially challenging. I was clearing a hiking trail with Pariahtize the other day and came across a tangle in the middle of a stream. Balancing on mud bars and slippery logs while operating a chain saw is pretty special.
    #15
  16. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    So out and back it in a weekend then? :deal

    If we get tg involved cut that to a day.
    #16
  17. Raul Duke

    Raul Duke DROC

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    :rofl
    Yep!
    #17
  18. dmac1

    dmac1 Long timer

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    I saw where someone said the tread at Rainbow was similar to Rampart & 717...i.e. mostly decomposed granite. Is it or is it more like Taylor Park (dirt with rocks)?

    Thanks.
    #18
  19. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff Been here awhile

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    They were smokin something!

    I would say it's more like Timberline trail in Taylor. Timberline at least the rocks are embedded in the trail. The Rainbow is mostly made up of a lot of baby heads. Pretty loose rocky trail. But there are some sweet sections that aren't as bad as others. It's a challenging trail at times.

    BGG
    #19
  20. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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    #20