Rabbit Ears Peak Trail Report
It’s been a week now since we got an unexpected two feet of snow! But does a summer snow storm deter us from having a good time? Not here in Steamboat Springs! If you’re up for a challenging adventure that is right in our own backyard, I’d recommend attempting to summit Rabbit Ears Peak Trail.
Rabbit Ears Peak Trail Description
That’s right, we’ve all seen those ears as we drive over the pass. You know you’ve thought about making that hike before. Steamboat’s Rabbit Ears Peak Trail is a 5.5 mile out and back trail just outside of town. It’s usually a lightly trafficked area. Although, if you were to go now, I doubt you’d even see anyone. In prime time summer it’s known for its beautiful wild flowers and jaw-dropping views. But in our current summer, it’s a mix of lightly flooded meadows with a transition into a beautiful winter wonderland just a couple of miles in. This trail offers many different activity options at the moment and is best used from June until August.
I’ve been living here for almost 5 years now, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said I was going to make that hike. So a couple of days ago, my boy, Blue, and I finally went to check out those ears. At my usual pace, I can make a 5.5 mile out and back trail in under two hours. But with the current conditions, it took me about 4 hours.
Now don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of things I did wrong. For starters, I got on trail much later than I wanted to. I started just after 8, and by the time I got to the back snow fields a couple of miles in, I was doomed. I honestly didn’t know what to expect along this trail so I just went for it. But the last 2 ½ hours consisted of breaking trail and knee deep post holes, so I basically high kneed my way to the top. I still had a great time, but I figured out how I would do better next time.
So, based on what I learned along the Rabbit Ears Peak Trail in its current condition, I would strongly urge you to start much earlier than I did. If you get started around 5 or 6 you’ll most likely make it back before the slush fest begins. Also, I would definitely carry some snowshoes or skis. You’ll have to pack them in the first couple of miles. Lucky for you, the elevation gain is forgiving for the first mile or two. But once you need them, you’ll be glad you have them.
Again, I do want to say, this isn’t the easiest hike at the moment. It’s known as a moderate hike, but you will face a few extra obstacles. Although, if you’re like me, and you enjoy standing at the top of something, hours after you questioned whether it was possible or not, you’ll enjoy this one. So as always, be smart, stay safe and get out there and crush it!
Happy Trails, folks!