This is an easy and accessible run with good views. Wildflowers are abundant in the spring/summer and there are some pretty autumn colors in the fall.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Need To Know
Be aware of rattlesnakes in the warmer months. Mountain lions and bears have also been reported in the area, and while you likely won't see them, be smart about running around dawn/dusk.
Rocky in places, so watch your footing. There is nothing too steep, but you might find yourself stubbing your toes as you try to take in the views and forget about watching your footing.
From the parking lot, hop on the Eagle Wind Trail
to start your climb up Rabbit Mountain. The grade is more gradual as opposed to the start of Indian Mesa Trail
as the singletrack countours along the side of the slope versus heading straight up the hill. You'll be running through a mostly open meadow that has beautiful wildflowers in the spring and early summer.
About half a mile in, you'll come to a three-way intersection with the Little Thompson Overlook take a right to continue on the Eagle Wind Trail
. This section of the trail runs along the flatter "top" of Rabbit Mountain which is really more like a small mesa on this side. The trail rolls in and out of some small stands of ponderosa and juniper with some great views of the Front Range with the snow-capped mountains in the background.
The Eagle Wind Trail
will curve back around to form a loop, with views to the northwest from the other side of Rabbit Mountain. Continue back the way you came to the intersection, but this time head out for a short out and back on the Little Thompson Overlook. This trail contours north along a steep faced hogback. The terrain is quite rocky as it ascends to an overlook, which reveals views off to the north and the plains to the east as well as the Little Thompson River in the valley below you. There are two benches placed strategically to capture the best views from this trail and the hillside meadows are full of wildflowers here in early summer.
After you have enjoyed the scenery at the overlook at the end of the trail, retrace your steps to Eagle Wind Trail
and follow it back down to the trailhead to complete your run.
Flora & Fauna
Mule deer and coyotes. Birds such as magpies, meadowlarks, robins, bluebirds, sparrows, wrens, and hawks. Rattlesnakes in the summer.
A great variety of plants with the highlights being prickly poppies, locoweed, asters, larkspur, coral bells, and sage. Some ponderosa pine and juniper up on the hillside.
History & Background
This area used to be known by locals as Rattlesnake Mountain - although the name change to the much friendlier (and fluffier) Rabbit Mountain may make it seem more friendly, I haven't seen either rattlesnakes or rabbits in my travels in the area.