Historic Sites and Points of Interest in Placer County

Rainbow Lodge Near Soda Springs 2 September 2014
(Click Photos to Zoom)
Rainbow Lodge
50080 Hampshire Rocks Road
Soda Springs
Built 1927

An interpretative marker near Rainbow Lodge reads:

Hwy 40 Scenic Bypass
Rainbow Lodge


Rainbow Tavern, as it was known, was built in 1927 by Herstle Jones who also built Nyack Lodge. He was the brother of Oscar Jones who built the Soda Springs Hotel. Rainbow Lodge served as a way spot for summer travelers over the Sierra offering meals, rooms, and cabins as well as a trout farm. Visitors could catch their fish and have the dining hall cook them. Once Old Highway 40 was plowed in the winter, Rainbow became a winter destination and way station as well. A rope tow was built out back and skiers were welcome. Later, skiers who were more adventurous, were taken up to Sugar Bowl. There was also a gas station across the street from the Tavern as well as one right in front.

A Good Story

One night a man from up the road at Hampshire Rocks, or Cramptons, lost $25,000 in gold coins gambling. He was upset. He went "home" for awhile and then came back. The man to whom he'd lost had also left and then returned with wet legs. The loser demanded that the game be continued. The winner refused. The loser took out a gun and shot the winner dead. The gold coins are presumably in the neighborhood and with a river running for miles in either direction, there are a lot of places to look for where the winner could have gotten his legs wet.

Things to do right here

Go into Rainbow Lodge and admire the 1920's architecture and woodwork. Look at the historical photographs on the walls. Enjoy a meal inside or outside by the river. Take a walk up the road looking at the old houses. Walk up the road a couple of hundred yards and try to figure out what the "chimney" is that's on the left past the last house (pictured here to the right). The "chimney" has no place for fire or smoke. Nearby on the forest floor is a marker with a "C" on it (also pictured fight here). It's an old highway marker.

Sign sponsored by Royal Gorge, North America's largest cross country ski resort.

Prev | Next
Placer County: List | Map
California: List | Map