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Ascent of Rainbow Mountain on 2013-09-13

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, September 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rainbow Mountain
    Location:USA-Alabama
    Elevation:1150 ft / 350 m

Ascent Trip Report

Left car at 6:45 AM. Did not know which way best to go so I went in the direction that I would not do again. I recommend you find the TH at the public playground (near the bike rack NOT the water tower) and start on Rainbow Loop Trail heading north and east and coming up the south Rainbow Loop. Otherwise the most impressive limestone features and seen as you begin the trek and it is anticlimatic. Definately save the balanced rock area and ledges for your ascent not descent.

Now my route - I parked at the water tower as the gate was closed where parking appeared inside. I headed south down Rainbow Loop through lots of very interesting limestone ledges and formations and ate no less than 30 spiders. Being the first in the morning on AL trails always is a mouthful of webs. Take a stick and keep it in front of you!

I met up with the junction of the Spring Trail. The signs say that the spring Trail is not complete but that is incorrect. The boards are wrong. It and the Wild Trail are open and well signed just not as highly used and are narrower. I ventured south and out of the preserve onto private lands to the TH of Spring Trail which like all of these Huntsville Trails eventually lead to housing subdivision. This one, however, is a cul-de-sac with no house at the northern end and no signs like the other public trust trails forbidding you to park there. I presume it could be used to park a car and hike UP to the peak. I technically considered my hike to start there for the feeling of ascending a mountain even though now most of my hike had been down to make this my TH.

I then, hiked back to the intersection met a man out hiking that said the Spring Trail was much steeper than the North Rainbow Loop so I took it up to the top. It follows a small creekbed and was not particularly interesting. The foliage in this preserve is not nearly as attractive as the Blevins Gap but the rock formations at the top are far more interesting. The actual summit is on the north end of the water tower.

Was back by 7:35AM at car. The trails were farily rocky and hard to move at my normal solo pace.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:500 ft / 152 m
    Total Elevation Loss:60 ft / 18 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 1+
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Hot
humid 85F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:500 ft / 152 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 440 ft / 134 m; Extra: 60 ft / 18m
    Loss on way in:60 ft / 18 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:Rainbow Loop Trail South to Spring Trail to Rainbo
    Start Trailhead:Spring Trail Head after parking at Water Tower  710 ft / 216 m
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.1 mi / 0.2 km
    End Trailhead:same  
    Time:5 Minutes



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