Western Summit Rabbit Ears Pass
30820-30854 U.S. 40
North Walton Peak Trail WonderIt's impossible to capture the scene with a photo. As you move along the well-marked trails on the Western Summit side of Rabbit Ears Pass, the trees appear to lean in and study you as you go.
There are seven set trails to choose from at the parking area & trailhead if youre looking to cross country ski or snowshoe. We'd had so much recent snowfall when I went out for this jaunt, I knew it'd be slow going and five miles would feel more like ten, so I chose the seven mile round trip option that included South Summit Loop and North Walton Peak Trail.
In the four hours I was out there, I greeted only two other people- it was an absolute escape. I make it a point to never have music in my ears when truly trying to experience a place of wilderness and it amazed me how I felt I could hear every nearby fox's footprint and each snow pile's fall from a heavy branch. Left alone only with my internal, on-going life and work to-do-list and an incredible sense of awe, I tromped through this literal winter wonderland.
Careful on the drive out of Steamboat if it's been snowing recently and make sure you bring a spare set of socks and gloves with you, in case you happen to step (chest high) into a few huge holes of soft snow (as I did several times). Water, snacks and extra layers are crucial and be sure to let someone know where you'll be, since you won't have cell signal out here. Welcome to Colorado. Be ready to lose (and find) yourself in ways you maybe never quite expected.