Rainbow Lake Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
414 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Rainbow Lake Trail is a charming route with Lassen Volcanic National Park. Taking you through a beautiful coniferous forest and along the shoreline of picturesque mountain lakes, the Rainbow Lake Trail boasts incredible views of the surrounding landscape. A longer route with a notable amount of elevation incline, the route is ideal for intermediate and experienced hikers.

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Route Description for Rainbow Lake Trail

At certain times of the year - most notably the springtime - the mosquitoes along the Rainbow Lake Trail can be numerous and bothersome. We therefore recommend bringing bug repellent with you and wearing both long sleeves and pants. Likewise, due to the Rainbow Lake Trail’s length and elevation fluctuation, the route is likely not appropriate for beginner hikers and families with children.

The Rainbow Lake Trail is an excellent choice for your next hiking adventure within Lassen Volcanic National Park due to its aesthetic beauty, and ease of accessibility. With forested sections, sublime lakes, and grand alpine terrain, the variety in scenery that the Rainbow Lake Trail contains is incredibly appealing. In addition, with its trailhead located right off a main highway within Lassen Volcanic National Park, the route is easily accessible for anyone who may be interested in doing it.

With your vehicle parked at the Summit Lake North Campground, follow the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail as it makes its way east over terrain with a steady incline. Continuing on your eastern heading, you will arrive at a junction within the trail. At the junction, stay on the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail by following the southernmost pathway as it keeps on its eastern heading. The trail will veer southeast shortly before arriving at the northern shoreline of Echo Lake.

Having passed Echo Lake, the Echo Lake/Twin Lakes Trail will continue east - passing several small ponds as it goes - before veering northeast and arriving at Upper Twin Lake. Traveling along the northern shore of Upper Twin Lake, the route will then arrive at Lower Twin Lake - whereby it will follow the southeastern shoreline until it reaches a junction within the trail. At the junction, take the easternmost pathway onto Rainbow Lake Trail and follow it until it reaches Rainbow Lake itself. Once you've arrived at Rainbow Lake, take some time to rest and enjoy the views - you've earned it! When you're ready, backtrack your steps towards the trailhead at Summit Lake North Campground.

Trail Highlights

Lassen Peak

Standing at an elevation of 3,187 m Lassen Peak is both beautiful and imposing. Visible to the southwest of the Rainbow Lake Trail, the impressive mountain is Lassen Volcanic National Park’s highest peak and its namesake. A popular recreational destination, people come from all over California and beyond to hike, backpack, and scramble along its mighty breadth.

Getting to the Rainbow Lake Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for Rainbow Lake Trail is located at Summit Lake North Campground.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Summit Lake North Campground

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Rainbow Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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