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Rainbow Peak

Difficult
 4.6 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is one of the steeper ascents along Turnagain Arm.


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Map Key

5.6

Miles

9.0

KM

Out and Back

3,470' 1,058 m

High

51' 16 m

Low

3,419' 1,042 m

Up

3,419' 1,042 m

Down

23%

Avg Grade (13°)

75%

Max Grade (37°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features River/Creek · Views

Parking at the Rainbow Peak Trailhead parking lot is free at this time.

Overview

Rainbow Peak is #118 of the 120 Chugach State Park Peaks as listed on Peakbagger.com. This challenging hike climbs steeply into the alpine along Turnagain Arm and provides great views of McHugh Lake Valley and the Cook Inlet.

Description

This hike 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 hike has a difficult rating due to long sections of very steep grade.

Contacts

Shared By:

Abe H

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 8 votes

#5

in Anchorage

#1444

Overall
  4.6 from 8 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Anchorage

#28

in Alaska

#1,444

Overall
35 Views Last Month
3,646 Since Feb 15, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
75%
25%

Photos

Rainbow Peak scramble with expansive views.
Feb 16, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK
Cook Inlet.
Feb 16, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK
Following the contours on the Turnagain Arm Trail.
Feb 2, 2018 near Elmendo…, AK

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Check-Ins

Jul 5, 2021
Jonathan P
Aug 30, 2020
Michelle Bundy
Did the first chunk of this hike and stopped for lunch at the first overlook before heading back. 1.6mi — 0h 45m
Apr 19, 2020
Nathan Horwath
Fun and challenging trail. It can be very windy. A hat and gloves are recommend. Areas of loose rock are traversed. 5.6mi — 6h 00m
Apr 18, 2020
Lailani Stone
5.6mi — 6h 30m
Jul 1, 2019
aaron dirthog
Great peak, excited to bag it. Emphasis on the word "peak", a lot of scrambling involved. The trail goes right and left at one point, go up.
Feb 16, 2019
Jesse Aronson
Jul 4, 2018
Avery Cobb
Incredible! way hard. trail can get pretty confusing, but totally worth it! and there is signal most of the way so you can check that you're going… 2.3mi
Jun 15, 2018
Sam Morse