In the late 1920’s, as a result of the mining boom, the Porch family built a retreat lodge 4 miles west of what is now Hillside, Colorado. Because of the lake just southwest near the Cloverdale Mine, the Porch’s aptly named their lodge “The Rainbow Lake Club.” This property was later sold to Ruth and Edgar Percival in 1940 and continued to host guests and vacationers as a summer resort.
Then in 1957, the United Lutheran Church – Rocky Mountain Synod and the West Central Augustana Synod purchased the property, renaming it Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp.The Camp opened a new chapter as plans for ministry were developed. Christ-centered hospitality and education became the focus of Rainbow Trail as the first campers arrived in the summer of 1958.
The family of Carol Joy Holling provided generous gifts and matching funds for the construction of the outdoor chapel, dining hall, Aspen Lodge, and the shower house from 1959 through 1963. Most camper cabins were constructed between 1965 and 1971. Additional facilities were completed and acquired between 1989 and 1993 through generous gifts of the Holling family and many other generous supporters. These facilities include Columbine, Juniper Lodge, Golden Banner, and Eagle Peak Lodge.
Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp is owned by Lutheran congregations of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA.
2007 marked Rainbow Trail’s 50th year of ministry. In celebration of this, RTLC’s history was recorded in both written and visual media: When the Bell Rings and Let It Shine.
When the Bell Rings is the first complete written history about Rainbow Trail.
Let It Shine is a 120-minute documentary that brings the Spirit-filled legacy of Rainbow Trail to life.