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Colorado Trails

Meander Through Rocky Mountain Meadows on this Chill Colorado Hike

Wildlife, wildflowers, and views await on this short but sweet Colorado hike.

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 1 day
  • Elevation gain: 421 feet

Rabbit Mountain, part of Boulder County Open Space, is a hidden oasis less than half an hour from the city. This 3 mile round-trip hike heads through gentle switchbacks, with views of 5,851-foot Rabbit Mountain and the Little Thompson River. The mellow trail winds through stands of junipers and ponderosa pines between open, grassy meadows, which in spring and summer fill with colorful wildflowers. Mule deer and coyotes are often spotted along the route; near dawn and dusk bears and mountain lions can occasionally also be seen. A more likely hazard, though, is rattlesnakes, which are common along the trail (locally known as Rattlesnake Mountain), so watch your steps carefully. On sunny days be prepared for heat, since there is no shade along the trail.

Start from the Rabbit Mountain trailhead. Head uphill through a few small switchbacks, then turn left at the Y-intersection at mile .5. Just .1 mile later, turn left onto the Little Thompson Overlook Trail. Contour along a rocky hogback to two benches at mile 1.5, overlooking the river, plains, and the angular hogbacks of the foothills rolling into the blue distance. Golden eagles can sometimes be spotted on the cliffs here; keep an eye out for their 6-8 foot wingspans.-Mapped by Genny Fullerton

Gallery: Hiking the Little Thompson Overlook

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Heading past a few ponderosas

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The view from the overlook

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A bench by the overlook

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Some of the ascent can get rocky