Deer Mountain Trail

HARD 56 reviews
#4 of 26 trails in

Deer Mountain Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Ketchikan, Alaska that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.7 miles
2801 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers





The trail is comprised of gravel sections, wooden bridges, and natural rock sections. It starts in a muskeg with a boardwalk and climbs through heavy timber into lighter timber and eventually alpine. The trail can be quite wet after recent rain, but is very nice after dry weather. Loose rocks are probably the greatest safety challenge. Early in the climbing season (May or June) one might encounter blow down from the winter storms which frequent this area. It is important to stay on the trail as there are many steep (cliff) areas which have been the demise of several unfortunate hikers in the past.

3 months ago

Uphill the whole way. Oof. Great views from the top, of course. Did round trip in 6-ish hours, including summiting, visiting shelter, eating lunch, and taking photos.

9 months ago

It's not easy.

9 months ago

Amazing hike!!

11 months ago

Awesome hiking in Ketchikan, sure beats a cruise excursion. We overestimated how steep the hike was, as a result we only made it to the first lookout.

11 months ago

Tough hike. Constant elevation gains. Great if you are in shape and looking for a tough hike

11 months ago

Great way to spend the day off a cruise ship! If you're coming in on a ship and are going to be to tight on time I'd recommend taking a taxi to to trailhead. We are in decent (but not super amazing) shape and it took us about 4 hours and 15 mins round trip, including lots of stops for photos. Lovely views from the outlooks and the top.

11 months ago

Beautiful outlooks. Well maintained.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hiked this trail at least half a dozen times in 2016 and camped at the A-frame shelter at the top. There's an outdoor head up there too. I want to attempt the 14 mile traverse but the day I went for it, it was too foggy and misty to find the trail so I turned around before getting too lost.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Amazing views and just an all around awesome hike! No matter how many times I climb that mountain it never gets old!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Beautiful at the top! One of my favorite hikes I have ever done but yea it is pretty steep on way up and down

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Save this hike for a sunny day because the outlook at the summit is gorgeous! Make sure you bring lots of water. The hike down is tougher than going up. Always people on the trail and there is a cabin at the top that is first come, first serve.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

My Kids and I hiked this trail in an excursion while on a cruise. Strenuous hike. We didn't make it to the top as I didn't want to miss our ship departure. Several mile hike from the dock to the trailhead. We could have had the time but watched salmon in Ketchican. I didn't have phone service to track the hike so not sure how close we were to summit. Definitely a climb but beautifully wooded.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Great views!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

6 hour hike roundtrip which included walking from Tatsudas to the trailhead, geocaching, two sandwiches and a long stop at the summit. excellent hike! Definitely a tough one with a lot of stairs and uneven terrain but the views are worth it. you can see all of the Tongass Narrows, ketchikan, surrounding lakes, metlakatla, Prince of wales, etc!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great and hard!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Great! For us it was cloudy, so it was slightly disappointing view from the summit (all white), but the trail itself is beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Amazing!! I'm new to hiking in Alaska, and so Dear Mountain was my introduction to what Ketchikan and AK has to offer. I've read that Dear Mountain is one of the most climbed mountains in all of SE AK because Ketchikan is the first stop in AK and because of the high volume of cruise ships and tourists coming through. It's pretty common to pass several people on the way up or down the trail. Dear Mountains elevation is 3,000 feet, so it's just a baby compared to most AK mountains, and it's a great place to start for anyone who is moderately fit and serious about hiking. That said, it is a challenging hike. It's about 3 miles to the top and 3 miles back, not to mention all the roots, mud, rock, etc, so I recommend taking your time to enjoy it. I would take a whole day to do this hike if I were you -- otherwise you're rushing and missing the point. There is also a junction near the summit where one trail leads to the summit and the other trail leads to an A-frame shelter which is available on a first come first served basis. After the shelter, the trail continues on to the Blue Lake shelter at Blue Lake and onward to The Silvis Lakes. That section is called The Silvis Lake Traverse and it's nearly 15 miles of trail. I haven't don't that section yet, but I look forward to attempting it soon. Will report back on that later.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Hard but very beautiful :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Steep and difficult. But the summit makes it well worth the climb. Great views from the top. Absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It was an amazing overnighter backpacking. Got a good workout and the views are worth it!
Some of us even swam in Blue Lake! Northbird is worth summiting. The mountain goats are sweet to see as well!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Very nice hike up to some great views. Easy for seasoned hikers to complete off of a cruise ship, as we did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, and I still enjoy hiking up this beautiful mountain! The reward is worth the struggle, because it really is breathe-taking. The beginning of the trail is a bit rugged, tall steps, and a lot of switch backs w/o much view, but after the first lookout you are home free! It only gets better from there.
If you are on a cruise ship and only have limited time, I would recommend taking a cab up to the trailhead just to make sure you have enough time to reach the top!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Great trail and one of my favorites hikes in Alaska. The whole time going up your doing incline lunges and it is a moderate hike. Beautiful area and scenery. Don't forget to get the fish and chips after you've completed it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Truely beautiful forest. Very mature forest as well. One of the areas while i was there had been taken out by an avalanche earlier in the year I'd assume. In that area there is no topsoil. It is just layered moss that trees,shrubs, etc grow out of so an avalanche took it down to bare rock with large trees piled at the bottom of the mountain. Beautiful area.

Monday, November 28, 2011

At 9:00 am we stepped off on the Deer Mountain trail head, it was 36 degrees with scattered clouds. As we left the parking area the trail was partially covered with snow. We walked for about 45 minutes under the cover of trees before we came to the first landing where we could see ocean. The sun was coming up over the clouds casting a beautiful reflection off the ocean. We walked under the cover of trees for another hour a half before the snow got too deep. We were able to make it approximately three quarters of the way up the hill before we had to turn around. This was the first hike I have done in the snow and it was very challenging. I would like to do this hike in the spring when everything is green.

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