Starman (Mario Kart Wii).png This article is about the SNES variation. For a list of articles with the same name, see Rainbow Road. Starman (Mario Kart Wii).png

Rainbow Road is the last track of the Special Cup in Super Mario Kart, the Extra Special Cup in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the Lightning Cup in Mario Kart 7, and the second track of the Triforce Cup in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It has reappeared on Mario Kart Tour It is the most popular Rainbow Road track in Mario Kart history.

In Mario Kart 7, the staff ghost kart setup is Lakitu driving a Pipe Frame with Slim tires and a Super Glider while the other has a time of 01:21.994 with Lakitu driving the Cloud 9 with Roller tires and a Paraglider.

In Mario Kart 8, the staff ghost kart setup is Cat Peach driving a Cat Cruiser with Retro Off-Road tires and a Super Glider.


Super Mario Kart

The track is the final course of the Special Cup in this game. It was, originally, considered to be the most challenging course at the time, despite having a fairly simple layout; it contains absolutely no guard rails, thin passageways with sharp, ninety-degree hairpin turns, and hazardous Thwomps that cause racers to spin out upon contact as well as being squished.

However, it is one of the best tracks to learn power-sliding in the Time Trial mode, thanks to the absence of guardrails and rainbow Thwomps to cause random spinouts, which impose the player to learn the perfect power-sliding techniques, curve per curve. Having the correct power-sliding pattern makes this track much easier in Grand Prix Mode by allowing the player to save not only the gained seconds from avoiding braking at every curve but also the precious seconds lost each time a driver falls off the track. Plus, the very colorful track setting and the powerful theme, allow for multiple tries without getting the player bored.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

This track, along with all of the other tracks from Super Mario Kart, returns in Mario Kart: Super Circuit as the final course in the Extra Special Cup, with the Thwomps removed; however, it still remains a challenge due to the similar mechanics between the two games. Its music has a lighter tune after the intro. This is the only SNES track to have an original background, though it looks similar to GBA Rainbow Road's background Bowser's clown copter is replaced by the moon.

Mario Kart 7

The track makes another return as a retro track in Mario Kart 7. It is the final track of the Lightning Cup. Besides the general decrease in difficulty due to the new turning mechanics and wider track layout overall, Rainbow Road now has added ramps to accommodate aerial tricks and has a different coin distribution. Additionally, the Thwomps (returning after an absence from MK:SC) create waves on the course which can be used to perform Jump Boosts. Also, the rainbow Thwomps have an updated appearance, as they are now mainly white.

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The track appears again in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as the second [DLC] track in the Triforce Cup, making it the only track in the entire Mario Kart series to date to actually appear in four distinct games, as well as the first Rainbow Road track not serving as the game's finale (final track of final cup).

The track's layout is similar to its appearance in Mario Kart 7, retaining the thwomp's shockwaves. The tile colors are nearly the same as they were in the original version, yet said tiles have a neon/LED backlit appearance (a feature N64 Rainbow Road reuses in this game's version). Their color pattern is reversed (racers went from purple tiles to red tiles, now they do the opposite), with the addition of an eighth color, cyan, between turquoise and blue. Finally, the tiles the Thwomps land on are now white.

The course itself is also wider and equipped with borders on the curves' outer edges. The forked road is also altered further, with the six-tile end of the hole filled in. The music is also remastered with a deeper pitch and additional instrumental sounds.

Mario Kart Tour

Rainbow Road reappears in Mario Kart Tour, mostly taking on the appearance of its Mario Kart 7 iteration. However, in this version, the ramp inside the second U-turn is absent, the hole in the road is even smaller than it was before, the last two Thwomps are further apart, the red tiling on the course and banner returns (in place of the pink ones in Mario Kart 7), the track edges are beveled, the track itself is thicker, and the arrow signs and Thwomp designs from the Mario Kart 8 rendition return.


  • There is a jumping bump/ramp in the middle gap; if any racers use a Mushroom while they are heading it, they can jump over the gap for a significant shortcut. However, it can be very dangerous as a 90-degree turn follows directly after it. (SMK, MK7, MK8/Deluxe)
  • On the inside of the second U-turn, players can use a Mushroom to get across. (MK7, MK8/Deluxe)
  • In second U-turn, there's a bonus jump pad at the pits of U. (MKT)


Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe


  • SNES Rainbow Road has appeared in six Mario Kart games, the most times out of any track in the series.
  • SNES Rainbow Road is the only course in Mario Kart 7 not to have a boost pad/ramp, and one of four courses not to have a glider pad/ramp; the others being N64 Luigi Raceway, GCN Daisy Cruiser, and Rosalina's Ice World.
  • It is one of the three downloadable courses that doesn't have any gliding, underwater or anti-gravity sections, the others being Excitebike Arena, and GCN Yoshi Circuit.
  • This Rainbow Road, along with its retro counterpart, N64 Rainbow Road, the new Rainbow Road and GCN Baby Park are the only courses in the game to have the map in different colors instead of just blue. They were changed to white in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
  • This is the only track in Super Mario Kart to not be used for more than one track
  • This track only appeared in every game the Fake Item Box is absent in.
Previous track:
Vanilla Lake 2
Current track:
Rainbow Road
Next track:
Previous track:
Mario Circuit (3DS)
Recently reappeared in:
Mario Kart Tour
Next track:
Neo Bowser City
Super Mario Kart courses
Mushroom Cup Mario Circuit 1Donut Plains 1Ghost Valley 1Bowser Castle 1Mario Circuit 2
Flower Cup Choco Island 1Ghost Valley 2Donut Plains 2Bowser Castle 2Mario Circuit 3
Star Cup Koopa Beach 1Choco Island 2Vanilla Lake 1Bowser Castle 3Mario Circuit 4
Special Cup Donut Plains 3Koopa Beach 2Ghost Valley 3Vanilla Lake 2Rainbow Road
Battle Courses Battle Course 1Battle Course 2Battle Course 3Battle Course 4
Mario Kart: Super Circuit courses
Nitro cups Mushroom Cup Peach CircuitShy Guy BeachRiverside ParkBowser Castle 1
Flower Cup Mario CircuitBoo LakeCheese LandBowser Castle 2
Lightning Cup Luigi CircuitSky GardenCheep-Cheep IslandSunset Wilds
Star Cup Snow LandRibbon RoadYoshi DesertBowser Castle 3
Special Cup Lakeside ParkBroken PierBowser Castle 4Rainbow Road
Extra cups Extra Mushroom Cup SNES Mario Circuit 1SNES Donut Plains 1SNES Ghost Valley 1SNES Bowser Castle 1
Extra Flower Cup SNES Mario Circuit 2SNES Choco Island 1SNES Ghost Valley 2SNES Donut Plains 2
Extra Lightning Cup SNES Bowser Castle 2SNES Mario Circuit 3SNES Koopa Beach 1SNES Choco Island 2
Extra Star Cup SNES Vanilla Lake 1SNES Bowser Castle 3SNES Mario Circuit 4SNES Donut Plains 3
Extra Special Cup SNES Koopa Beach 2SNES Ghost Valley 3SNES Vanilla Lake 2SNES Rainbow Road
Battle Courses Battle Course 1Battle Course 2Battle Course 3Battle Course 4
Mario Kart 7 courses
Nitro cups Mushroom Cup Toad CircuitDaisy HillsCheep Cheep LagoonShy Guy Bazaar
Flower Cup Wuhu LoopMario CircuitMusic ParkRock Rock Mountain
Star Cup Piranha Plant SlideWario ShipyardNeo Bowser CityMaka Wuhu
Special Cup DK JungleRosalina's Ice WorldBowser's CastleRainbow Road
Retro cups Shell Cup N64 Luigi RacewayGBA Bowser Castle 1Wii Mushroom GorgeDS Luigi's Mansion
Banana Cup N64 Koopa Troopa BeachSNES Mario Circuit 2Wii Coconut MallDS Waluigi Pinball
Leaf Cup N64 Kalimari DesertDS DK PassGCN Daisy CruiserWii Maple Treeway
Lightning Cup Wii Koopa CapeGCN Dino Dino JungleDS Airship FortressSNES Rainbow Road
Battle Courses GBA Battle Course 1N64 Big DonutDS Palm ShoreHoneybee HiveSherbet RinkWuhu Town
Mario Kart 8 / Deluxe courses
Nitro cups Mushroom Cup Mario Kart StadiumWater ParkSweet Sweet CanyonThwomp Ruins
Flower Cup Mario CircuitToad HarborTwisted MansionShy Guy Falls
Star Cup Sunshine AirportDolphin ShoalsElectrodromeMount Wario
Special Cup Cloudtop CruiseBone-Dry DunesBowser's CastleRainbow Road
Retro cups Shell Cup Wii Moo Moo MeadowsGBA Mario CircuitDS Cheep Cheep BeachN64 Toad's Turnpike
Banana Cup GCN Dry Dry DesertSNES Donut Plains 3N64 Royal Raceway3DS DK Jungle
Leaf Cup DS Wario StadiumGCN Sherbet Land3DS Music ParkN64 Yoshi Valley
Lightning Cup DS Tick-Tock Clock3DS Piranha Plant SlideWii Grumble VolcanoN64 Rainbow Road
DLC cups Egg Cup+ GCN Yoshi CircuitExcitebike ArenaDragon DriftwayMute City
Triforce Cup+ Wii Wario's Gold MineSNES Rainbow RoadIce Ice OutpostHyrule Circuit
Crossing Cup+ GCN Baby ParkGBA Cheese LandWild WoodsAnimal Crossing
Bell Cup+ 3DS Neo Bowser CityGBA Ribbon RoadSuper Bell SubwayBig Blue
Battle Courses Mario Circuit* • Toad Harbor* • Wii Moo Moo Meadows* • GCN Dry Dry Desert* • SNES Donut Plains 3* • N64 Toad's Turnpike* • GCN Sherbet Land* • N64 Yoshi Valley*
Battle Stadium** • Sweet Sweet Kingdom** • Dragon Palace** • Lunar Colony** • 3DS Wuhu Town** • SNES Battle Course 1** • GCN Luigi's Mansion** • Urchin Underpass**
+ - denotes DLC. • * - denotes exclusivity to Mario Kart 8. • ** - denotes exclusivity to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Mario Kart Tour courses
New York Tour New York Minute 13DS Cheep Cheep LagoonSNES Mario Circuit 1GCN Dino Dino Jungle3DS Toad Circuit3DS Rock Rock MountainGCN Yoshi Circuit3DS Daisy HillsN64 Koopa Troopa Beach3DS Shy Guy BazaarGBA Bowser's Castle 1
Tokyo Tour Tokyo Blur 13DS Mario CircuitSNES Rainbow Road3DS Neo Bowser CitySNES Mario Circuit 2SNES Choco Island 2N64 Kalimari Desert
Halloween Tour DS Luigi's MansionSNES Ghost Valley 1DS Waluigi Pinball
Paris Tour Paris Promenade 1SNES Mario Circuit 3
Winter Tour DS DK Pass
London Tour London Loop
Holiday Tour New York Minute 23DS Rainbow Road
New Year Tour Tokyo Blur 2
Ice Tour N64 Frappe SnowlandSNES Vanilla Lake 1
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