Hiking Little Thompson Overlook & Rabbit Mountain Loop
Just as the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up, my husband and I took to the trails to relieve some of the stress. We picked Rabbit Mountain Open Space because it’s relatively close (within Boulder County) and features beautiful views.
On most weekdays there is plenty of space for parking at the trailhead, but when we went on a Sunday afternoon, it was busy. Many people, including ourselves, had to park on the roadside outside of the parking lot.
With only 600 ft elevation gain over 5.8 miles, this is a moderate hike. If you do one half of the hike or the other, I’d categorize it as an easy hike and say that it’s family friendly.
To start out, take the main trail out from the trailhead.
As you can see, the trails were quite popular this day!
As you climb up for half a mile, you can see nice views of the rocky landscape around you –
Little Thompson Overlook Trail
I have been to Rabbit Mountain twice before with friends. Each time my friends said to me that Little Thompson Overlook Trail is not that interesting. After finally going there, I wonder whether they were just trying to keep me in the dark about this beautiful trail! Seriously, when we got to the overlook, we met a woman who was saying “Let’s keep this place a secret!”. Maybe everyone has the same idea!
Little Thompson Overlook Trail Heading Out
After hiking half a mile uphill, you turn left onto Little Thompson Overlook Trail. This trail is 1 mile in each direction.
This trail is a bit rocky, with a slow incline.
As you keep going along the trail, you start to see hints of dramatic ridge formations.
Little Thompson Overlook
This is the view from Little Thompson Overlook. We thought it was a great view for a place so close to Boulder and Longmont. The ridge formations reminded us those that you see at Coyote Ridge and Horsetooth Reservoir near Fort Collins.
Panorama from Little Thompson Overlook –
Rabbit Mountain Loop
After coming back, we headed towards the Eagle Wind Trail loop along a half mile connector.
View of where the connecting trail meets the loop –
Eagle Wind Trail
The Eagle Wind Trail loop is 2 miles long. It goes around in a gentle circle with a variety of scenery.
No doubt, the best parts about the Eagle Wind Trail are the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains from multiple points along the trail.
There are a couple benches along the way where you can sit and enjoy the view –
Indian Mesa Trail
The way back is simple, and you can go back down the way you came, or on Indian Mesa Trail. We took Indian Mesa Trail back down for variety.
Recommended as a Moderate Hike
Rabbit Mountain is a popular hike in the Lyons/Longmont area that seems to have gained popularity in the pandemic environment. With its moderate difficulty, family-friendly trails, and great views, this is not surprising.
*When recreating, please be sure to keep a safe distance from others and wear a mask. As a reminder, the current “Safer at Home” Executive Order from the Governor of Colorado says residents should limit recreational travel no further than 10 miles from their residence (see page 3 of the order).*