Rainbow Lodge

Rainbow Lodge was the bold venture of Hubert and S.I. Richardson, nephews of George McAdams who established the Red Lake Trading Post, in response to the rise in tourism in the American Southwest during the 1920s. It was located on the southwest flank of Navajo Mountain at Willow Springs to take advantage of the much shorter route to Rainbow Bridge along the western margins of Navajo Mountain than the Wetherill trail from Kayenta. Construction of Rainbow Lodge and, importantly, the automobile-worthy road to it from Tonalea began in the spring of 1924, and regularly scheduled horseback trips began in 1925; trading post operations never amounted to much given the few Navajo nearby living at this high elevation (6300feet). Rainbow Lodge and the horseback trips to Rainbow Bridge on the Rainbow trail were so successful that Wetherill business became untenable, and after 1926 the Wetherill Trail was no longer in use. Barry Goldwater, future Arizona Senator and Presidential Candidate, became a partner in the Rainbow Lodge business in the 1930s and bought out the remaining Richardson interests in 1946. Rainbow Lodge burned down in August, 1951. A new lodge was never built and Goldwater terminated the business in 1965.

Corral at Rainbow Lodge (1928)
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Corral at Rainbow Lodge (1928)
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View toward Cummings Mesa taken near Rainbow Lodge (1928)
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