Deer Mountain Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 80517

Distance3.0mi
Elevation Gain1,939ft
Trailhead Elevation8,920ft
Top10,021ft
Elevation Min/Max8920/10021ft
Elevation Start/End8920/8920ft

Deer Mountain Trail

Deer Mountain Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Larimer County, Colorado. It is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is three miles long and begins at 8,920 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,939 feet. The Deer Mountain Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also a waste basket and an information board. Along the trail there is an information guidepost. The trail ends near Deer Mountain (elevation 10,007 feet). This trail connects with the following: North Deer Mountain Trail.

Deer Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Deer Mountain is a good hike for those wanting a short lung buster with great rewards—the views! Use this hike as a conditioning hike or as a first summit hike for newbies. An early start on a weekday will help avoid the crowds, horses, heat, and afternoon summer thunderstorms."

"The Continental Divide and Longs Peak are the magnificent backdrop for this trail when you fix your gaze on the southwest horizon. To the northwest is the Mummy Range with the soaring massif of Chapin, Chiquita, and Ypsilon mountains.

Best of all, the views are immediate. Wander only 100 yards from the trailhead to enjoy the spectacle, making this ideal for flatland visitors and for families with young children looking for short excursions. Hiking all the way to the top is a nice moderate climb for more ambitious hikers."

"Deer Mountain is aptly named, but hikers also enjoy expansive views of many higher mountains. Mule deer do seem to be unusually easy to spot on Deer Mountain, together with red deer, also called elk or wapiti. Red deer, however, is a European name, and elk were not so common on Deer Mountain in the 1880s, when the name appeared in Frederick Chapin’s book Mountaineering in Colorado.

Doubtless, mule deer were the “red deer” named in Chapin’s book. Technically unimposing, Deer Mountain is fortuitously located for views of much higher peaks, from the Mummy Range around the Front Range to Longs Peak."

"There’s a hike, a scenic drive and wildlife viewing all for your pleasure on this outing to a Colorado natural treasure. Rocky Mountain National Park is a wonderful, natural treasure, just two hours from Denver by car. Filled with gorgeous lakes, impressive high mountains and clearly marked trails, the park is very popular with tourists, but should not be overlooked by Coloradans. An entrance fee is required.

The Deer Mountain trail is one of the easier summit routes in the park and is highly recommended for families. Finished with your hike? Don’t head home just yet. Take a short drive to the intersection 100 yards west of the trailhead and continue west up Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the world and one of the most beautiful byways in Colorado. You will be thrilled by the above treeline views in every direction. Or go north from the intersection and drop shortly into Horseshoe Park, the best location in the park to view wildlife. Elk and mule deer are frequent visitors. But the thrill is in seeing bighorn sheep attracted down to a mineral lick."

Deer Mountain Trail Reviews

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9/22/2018
Intermediate difficulty, nice views along the hike and some steep sections, especially the last steps to the summit. The view from the top is great. The park, Estes Park and all around from 10,000 feet up
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6/18/2010
We started to take our 3 yr old on this hike while staying in Rocky Mtn. We only got a a mile before turning back -but some of the overlooks and views even just a 1/2 mile or so up the trail were spectacular. Trail is nicely maintained, and one of the more crowded trails we went on.
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6/9/2010
This was a great hike, challenging enough that you felt accomplished and gentle enough that you can do it. People of all ages made it to the summit which was well worth the step stairs at the end (there was a nice downhill grade to rest up before the steps). Beautiful views the whole hike and lots of wildlife, just don't feed the chipmunks at the summit
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6/18/2009
The hike to the summit of Deer Mountain is a great way to introduce kids to hiking. My 7 year old son and I climbed this mountain and were rewarded with great views of the National Park as well as Estes Park from the peak. We started from the Deer Ridge Trailhead around 9:30am. The first mile is a fairly easy walk through meadows. The second mile is steeper, with about a dozen switchbacks as you climb up the western slope. The final mile is much easier, walking along the broad mountaintop. The final 0.2 miles is steep with a lot of stairs, but the view from the top is worth it! We made it to the top in 2 1/2 hours, spent a 1/2 hour at the top eating lunch, then made it back down in about 1 1/2 hours. It was a great day!
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Deer Mountain Trail Photos

Trail Information

Rocky Mountain National Park
Nearby City
Rocky Mountain National Park
Parks
Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Skiing
Additional Use
Rocky Mountain National Park Backcountry Office, 1000 US 36, Estes Park 80517; (970) 586-1242; www.nps.gov/romo
Local Contacts
USGS Longs Peak; Trails Illustrated Longs Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018