“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

– Jawaharlal Nehru

During the winter months, outdoor activities tend to slow down, which means beautifully quiet days on the trail. For an easy going and magical hike that offers it all – views of Pikes Peak, forest, aspens, running creek water and a reservoir, make your next destination Rampart Reservoir via Rainbow Gulch Trail. Just 30-40 minutes from Colorado Springs near Woodland Park, this is a must see outdoor attraction in Pike National Forest.

At 9000 feet elevation, the reservoir holds 13 billion gallons of domestic water supply for the City of Colorado Springs. As such, a dry year like the present will significantly reduce water level. Summer welcomes activities such as mountain biking, fishing, rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and more, yet prohibits motorized water craft and swimming. The reservoir backs up to a dam which was built in 1969, 2 years after the reservoir opened for public recreation. As always, keep an eye out for wildlife and weather conditions. Enjoy!


US-24 West to Co Rd 22 to Rampart Range Road to Rainbow Gulch Trail Head.


Open 24/7


Q: What is the name of the National Forest where Rampart Reservoir is located?

A: Pike


For a longer adventure, you can make the 16 mile trek all the way around the reservoir or opt for the shorter 2.8 mile trek just to the reservoir and back.


Please pack your trash as there are no trash removal services during the winter months.


Hiking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, trail running, reservoir access, dog friendly (on leash).


Learn how you can participate in the Forest Service Plant-a-Tree program!

About the author

Angela Anderson - Certified Personal Trainer
Angela Anderson
Certified Personal Trainer at Be The Change Health

Owner of Be the Change Health, Wellness and Fitness, Independent Beachbody Coach and Certified Personal Trainer.