“This is one of the steeper ascents along Turnagain Arm.”
— Abe H
River/Creek · Views
Parking at the Rainbow Peak Trailhead parking lot is free at this time.
Rainbow Peak is #118 of the 120 Chugach State Park Peaks as listed on Peakbagger.com. This challenging run climbs steeply into the alpine along Turnagain Arm and provides great views of McHugh Lake Valley and the Cook Inlet.
This run begins at one of the access points to the Turnagain Arm Trail
at the Rainbow Peak Trailhead parking lot. Follow the trail up into the woods west and through a few switchbacks. After about 1.25 miles, there will be a turnoff on the right heading up a steep singletrack through the trees, which follows the south rib of Rainbow Peak.
Continue up into the tundra, and at about 2,700', you'll see a human-worn game trail heading east that traverses the southeast face of the mountain. Eventually, the traverse takes you into a large scree field. Continue traversing until you are below a small saddle in the ridge above you and you should see evidence of a human trail leading up to the ridge.
Once you are on the ridge, head south back toward the shoreline to obtain the summit. There are several routes leading up to the peak, but the method described here is the easiest way up.
This run has a difficult rating due to long sections of very steep grade.