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Rabbit Ears Peak

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (4)

A tough, scenic climb to a local landmark, followed by a wide-open, rowdy descent.


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Map Key

2.8

Miles

4.5

KM

Doubletrack

10,552' 3,216 m

High

9,577' 2,919 m

Low

978' 298 m

Up

4' 1 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

52%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Need to Know

Snowbound until June, heavily used by jeeps and hikers.

Description

Rabbit Ears Peak's distinctive stone monoliths are a prominent landmark in the North Park/Steamboat Springs region, and have lent their name to everything from highways to hotels. An easy-to-follow jeep road provides technically straightforward bike access to great views from the top, but the thin air and steep pitches can make for a strenuous physical challenge.

From US 40, turn north onto Buffalo Park Road and bear right into CR 199. Follow that past the turn off for Dumont Lake campground, and your parking area is the next left, at the start of Forest Road 311. Get on the bike and continue on Forest Road 311 north for about 0.15 miles until your second right—this will be Forest Road 291, which you'll follow the rest of the way to the top.

291 starts off flat and smooth, exiting the woods and entering a broad, open alpine meadow. Rocky sections become more frequent after half-a-mile, and following a stream crossing around 0.8mi from the parking lot, the road begins a stair-step climb with progressively steeper and longer pitches. It snakes back into the trees about 2 miles in, and while a few flat sections offer relief, a sustained steep section at 2.5 miles is probably going to require a hike. But if you've got big enough lungs, low enough gears, and tacky enough conditions, riding might be possible.

The road flattens slightly before summit, so you can remount and pedal to the base of the summit's looming stone towers. A number of short foot trails offer climbing and panoramic views, but the peak is exposed and the area is notoriously windy, so pack a light shell if you're planning to hang around. Once you've had enough, the ride back down is blazingly fast, with more than a few opportunities to get rad off of bumps or rock sections.

Wyoming Trail leaves from the same parking lot, offering connections to other MTB favorites like Steamboat Mountain, Fish Creek Falls, and Buffalo Pass.

Contacts

Shared By:

Cosmo Catalano

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#16826

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1,449

in Colorado

#16,826

Overall
62 Views Last Month
904 Since Sep 24, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
0%
75%
25%
0%

Photos

The stone towers at the top look a lot less like a rabbit's ears up close.
Sep 25, 2018 near Steambo…, CO
The summit and several viewpoints near the top offer near 360 views—though in this case the Silver Creek Fire got in the way.
Sep 25, 2018 near Steambo…, CO
A short spin around the summit reveals this view north into the Zirkels. Flag trees indicate how windy things can get.
Sep 25, 2018 near Steambo…, CO
You can see the peak looming in the distance for much of the early part of the trail.
Sep 25, 2018 near Steambo…, CO

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Check-Ins

Oct 8, 2020
Julian scott
Pretty dusty. Climb a Jeep road. Great views. 5.8mi — 0h 50m
Jul 9, 2020
Shamus McNutt
EPIC DOWNHILL, grinder of an uphill! 5.5mi — 7h 30m
Aug 11, 2019
Chad Kline