|Placed Date||Oct 19 2003|
TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
It is a fairly short hike, but it does involve a little scrambling near some small cliffs. My nine year old daughter made it just fine, but use your own judgement, as individual comfort levels vary a lot when it comes to high places. If you have a little spirit of adventure, this box will be worth it.
To get to Rabbit Mountain open space, take Hwy 66, which runs east-west from Platteville to Lyons crossing I-25 and 287 along the way. The turn-off is at the west end of 66, almost at Lyons, north on 53rd St. A couple of miles brings you to the parking lot. There are a couple of great day hikes here, and a really nice moderate mountain bike loop, if that's your thing. There is a restroom and a picnic shelter, but no water, so make sure you come prepared.
Take the main trail for 1/2 mile to the fork. Go right on the Eagle Wind trail, which crosses a dirt access road which is closed to the public, and then climbs gradually south for about 1/4 mile to the top of a south-facing rim-rock outcrop. Pass a wooden bench on the left and proceed to a point where the trail makes a decisive turn away from the rim to the northeast. Stop. (If you get to where the trail forks to make the loop, you have gone too far.)
From the bend where the trail turns away from the rim, go about 40 steps on a compass heading of 200, or more or less south, to a juniper tree on the edge of the rocks. Watch out for cactus! Go around the right side of the juniper and scramble about 10 feet or so downhill to the west. Now look south and see a human-sized tunnel through the rock formed by a detached pillar capped by flat boulders. Carefully pick your way across the rocks, some looser than others, and go into the tunnel. Once inside, squat down and look on the right side for a slit just big enough for a rabbit to fit through. Once you remove the letterbox, you can look through the slit to a beautiful westerly view of Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker framed in Dakota sandstone.
There's not much chance of being observed while stamping in, but be careful not to drop anything down the cracks. It could be lost forever down Alice's rabbit hole.
As always, please regard the usual disclaimer about the dangers of being in nature with critters and weather and rocks and such. I have seen a rattlesnake on the road there once, so be aware. Anytime you go offtrail, even just a hundred feet, act as a guest in someone else's home, because you are.
Have fun and be vewy quiet hunting for wabbits.