Boulder – Rabbit Mountain Loop

About Rabbit Mountain

The Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain occupies 2,871 acres in Boulder County and is located just outside of Lyons. From Boulder City, it’s about a 30-minute drive. The park features several trails where you can hike, bike, or horseback ride. For hiking, the Eagle Wind Trail loop hike is most recommended by locals. This hike features wildflowers, wildlife, and views of the Rocky Mountains.

The Hike

At less than 4 miles with about 350 ft elevation gain total, it is a relatively easy hike.

Parking

The parking lot has a good amount of space. I’ve never seen it filled during weekday mornings, even closer to noon. There is also a restroom and picnic areas.

Starting Out

You start by taking the Little Thompson Overlook Trail. It passes by some rocky hills in a meadow.

Little Thompson Overlook Trail

Soon you start getting a better view of the mountains. To the right of the picture you can see the parking lot –

Little Thompson Overlook Trail

About half a mile in you get to a junction and turn left onto Eagle Wind Trail.

Approaching the junction to Eagle Wind Trail

Eagle Wind Trail

Eagle Wind Trail is the 2.5-mile portion of the hike that makes a loop.

I went with a local friend and she recommended doing the loop clockwise in order to be able to enjoy the mountain views on the way back, so we went down the left branch of the fork.

Eagle Wind Trail

The trail goes through lovely grassy and bushy meadows, marked with areas of Ponderosa Pines.

Eagle Wind Trail

Eagle Wind Trail

You can see open views of towns and farming areas to the north –

Eagle Wind Trail

And more meadows –

Eagle Wind Trail

The south side of the loop features beautiful views of the mountains and there is one bench in particular with great views –

Eagle Wind Trail at Rabbit Mountain

There is also one spot where you can see a guide to the names of all the mountains along the horizon.

And as you continue heading back, there are constant views of the Rocky Mountains –

Eagle Wind Trail

Closer to the junction there is a bushy area –

Eagle Wind Trail

At the junction, instead of going down the way we came up on Little Thompson Overlook Trail, we took Indian Mesa Trail, which runs parallel, and is much wider and flat.

Indian Mesa Trail

On HikingProject, the suggested route adds 2 miles to the trek by going out and back along Little Thompson Overlook Trail. We didn’t go that way because my local friend said it was not that interesting, but it would be a good option if you want to add a few miles to your hike.

View of the hills from Indian Mesa Trail, on the approach to the parking lot –

Indian Mesa Trail

Wildflowers and Wildlife on the Trail

Thistles

thistle

I’m not certain which type of thistle this is, perhaps a Wavyleaf Thistle or a Bull Thistle. There are many varieties of thistle growing in Colorado.

Gunnison Mariposa Lily

Gunnison Mariposa Lily

The Gunnison Mariposa Lily, or Calochortus gunnisonii, is a member of the Lily Family (Liliaceae). A native plant, it grows throughout the western mountain states from late spring to summer in pine parklands and montane meadows.

Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein, or Verbascum blattaria, is a member of the Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae). A non-native and invasive plant, it grows throughout most of North America in late spring through summer in sun, roadsides, disturbed sites, and farm fields. The flowers can be yellow or white.

Milk Snake

Milk Snake

The Milk Snake, or Lampropeltis triangulum, range through North and South America. They are non-venomous.

Recommended as a Short Hike

This loop at Rabbit Mountain is an easy, short hike that provides lovely views of the mountains. It’s best to go in the morning, or on a clear day, so that you can make sure to see the Rocky Mountain views during your trip.

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