Southeast of Salida, a southern section of the 180 mile Rainbow Trail is open to ATV riding. This 42 mile section is between Big Cottonwood (west of Hillside) near Lake Creek Campground in the north and heading down to Music Pass (off CR 119) in the south.
To reach the Lake Creek Campground from Westclife head north on SR69 for 11 miles to CR198. Head west on CR198 for 3 miles west to the campground. Campground has 11 campsites and is accessible by small RVs. It would still be possible to access the trail from the Alvarado Campground - it is in the northern part of the trail.
Note: The Alvarado Campground, known as one of the best on the trail, is currently closed for construction, but should re-open in May 2007. This campground will have 3 large horse sites, reservations are required. To reach the Alvarado Campsite, travel 3 miles south on State Hwy 69 from Westcliffe. Turn west onto County Rd. 140 and travel 7 miles to the campground.
If youre in the area, make sure to eat at the Alpine Lodge – its a great meal.
Note: Colorado residents must register their off-highway vehicle with the Colorado State Parks (303) 866-3437. Out-of-state residents who bring OHVs into Colorado must purchase a Colorado Non-Resident OHV permit which is valid from the date of purchase through the following March 31. These permits can be purchased anywhere you get your hunting/fishing licenses in All off-highway vehicles must have an approved muffler and spark arrester. These requirements are subject to change so make sure to contact the Colorado State Parks prior to using your off-highway vehicle.
Note: As of September 2007, ATV riding on Forest Service roads is limited to designated roads that are signed as open or marked on the forest recreation map. To be safe (and legal), contact the Forest Service HQ to obtain a map at (719) 553-1400.
Overall, Rainbow Trail is the 37th most popular ATV riding trail of all 90 ATV trails in Colorado.