Sourdough Trailhead

Photo of Sourdough Trailhead sign and trail

The Sourdough Trailhead is the main trailhead for the Sourdough Trail #835 and is the trails southernmost access point.

View an area map here.

At a Glance

Permit Info: No permits are required at this time.
Usage: Light
  • Dispersed camping is prohibited within ¼ mile of either side of Rainbow Lakes Road. See Order
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles.
Closest Towns: Nederland and Ward, Colorado
Water: None
Restroom: Vault toilets
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From Nederland, travel seven miles north on Colorado Highway 72. Turn west onto gravel National Forest System Road 298, signed as the turnoff for the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station. A parking area is not far on the left.


Mountain Biking

Recreation areas with activity Mountain Biking:

The Sourdough Trail offers great mountain biking opportunities. Connect with Waldrop, South Saint Vrain, Little Raven (and its extension), or Buchanan Pass trails, or Middle Saint Vrain or Coney Creek Roads for loops and side trips.

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

This trailhead at the south end of the Sourdough Trail offers ample parking and turnaround space. Sourdough Trail is a longer-distance trail excellent for a day-outing.

Size Restrictions none
Corrals none
Loading Ramp none
Hitching Rails none
Water Availability Occasional lakes and streams.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing: From Sourdough Trailhead, the Sourdough Trail and Rainbow Lakes Road are both popular ski or snowshoe treks. The Sourdough Trail heads north, climbing over the shoulder of Niwot Ridge to Brainard Lake Road and beyond. Rainbow Lakes Road heads west for 4.5 miles to Rainbow Lakes Campground. Beyond the campground, the Rainbow Lakes Trail and Glacier Rim Trail head into the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Warming Shelters none

Know Before You Go

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Related Links

Campgrounds At-A-Glance


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