Lost Little Rainbow Trail
Trail: 98% single track. Smooth, not technical.
Conditions: 20ish°, clear skies and a little breezy.
AllTrails Route: Lollipop or Loop.
My Route: Out and back.
Elevation Gain: 1,841ft.*
Dogs: On leash or strict voice control.
Après Run: SoulCraft Brewing. Hopefully Matt is your beertender.
Special Notes: Small parking lot right out of town and almost immediately off the highway. On a Monday in winter there was only a couple people, but I imagine weekends this trailhead could get busy. There are a few other entrances to the Rainbow trail which might help with traffic.
The plan was to run a loop that started from Lost trail which connects to Little Rainbow, Sand Gulch, Rainbow back to Lost Trail and car. Once at the TH, I realized it was going to be further then I wanted to go that day so I had to make it an out and back.
There are a few access points to the Rainbow Trails, I decided to start at Lost TH.
Taking the North side of Lost Trail, I climbed over 600ft. in about 1.5 miles and met up with Little Rainbow. Heading West on Little Rainbow, I ran 4 miles of rolling hills to the Sand Gulch/Rainbow TH and then climbed about a mile up Sand Gulch and then decided to turn around. Always take a map, but the trails are easy to navigate. You have views and can see what direction you are heading, as well as there aren’t a ton of side trails to take.
The trail is non-technical, rolling hills. It is entirely runnable so can be pretty quick if you wanted a long speed work out. This is a great winter trail especially if you live higher up and really want to get some easier, dirt running in.
When my long run days are above 15 miles, I am going to head back and try to do the loop. A local mentioned that the “upper” Rainbow gets too snowed in, but I’ll go out there in a few weeks and try it and get the beta.
I wish I could run with my XC skis. . .
Post Run – Pre LONG DRIVE: It sucks, but sometimes after running for 2+ hours you have to get directly in the car and sit for over an hour getting home.
This causes the muscles to retract, lactic acid to build up and if you are like me and have any chronic injuries, severe pain in certain areas. Those with SI joint issues or sciatica deal with pain while sitting even without going on a long run.
With that said, YOGA. 5 minutes. It helps. As someone who suffers from SI issues, I can swear by it.
Here are some poses you can practice to help keep those muscles relaxed after a long run and before you jump in the car. Only 5 minutes, you definitely have the time and you will be thankful for it when you step out of the car at your house.
Uttanasana: Forward Fold. Do a few sets of rising to tall mountain, into ardha uttanasana and then let your neck and shoulders hang heavy in full forward fold. Hamstring focus.
Uttanasana: Cross legs each side. Sciatica and IT band focus.
Parsvottanasana: Pyramid Pose. Hamstring opener.
Eka Pada Kapotanasana: One leg chair. Clearly, your quads should be tired after a long run so instead of doing full pose, hold on to something and just get the benefit of opening the hip, not strengthening the quads or arms. Hip opener.
These are standing poses only, because I assume most of us don’t carry our yoga mats everywhere we go. (As we should!)