Deer Mountain Trail

MODERATE 437 reviews
#11 of 179 trails in

Deer Mountain Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is best used from April until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,400 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Deer Mountain Trail is a great hike to Deer Mountain Peak that offers panoramic views from the top. The trail can be accessed at the Deer Mountain Trailhead off of Trail Ridge Road. The trail starts off in a valley and soon enters a steep forested area, dominated by species such as ponderosa pine. Once you enter the forested area, the trail has many switchbacks that ease into the elevation change. The trail is easy to follow until the last half mile or so. Finding the summit requires a steep little jaunt up to the top. Once at the Deer Mountain summit, you are rewarded with gorgeous views of Longs Peak, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, and Estes Park. This is one of the many popular hiking trails in Rocky Mountain National park and there is limited parking in the parking area. It is advised to get there early to secure a parking spot. Many people on this trail underestimate it - make sure to bring plenty of water and hiking boots!

7 days ago

Great trail. I would emphasize that if you find yourself on a single track footpath, you’re off the trail, not that I know anything about that. Would be wonderful if the horse people would take a little responsibility for the poop all over the trail.

7 days ago

Nice views overlooking Estes Park and the Rockies. Could have been nicer but unfortunately was a hazy day.

hiking
11 days ago

Moderately difficult trail with rewarding views at the summit. Saw a rabbit and lots of chipmunks but no other wildlife to note. Watch out for those chipmunks, they'll try to get into your bag of you set it down. Wish there was a sign at the top.

hiking
12 days ago

I absolutely loved this trail. I got to the trailhead about 9:30 am and there was only a handful of cars so I got a pretty good parking spot. The first mile or so is pretty flat but it definitely gets harder as you keep going. Totally worth the hike because the views you see on the way up are fantastic. Once you get to the top, you have more than enough room to sit down, enjoy the view, and eat some lunch (I got there about 11:15). I came down and was back to my car about 12:45 (lots more people were on the trail at this point so I suggest going early.) Overall a great hike and highly recommend.

15 days ago

I really enjoyed this hike. I got to the trailhead for sunrise which was beautiful! Lots of wildlife, saw Elk, deer, wild turkeys. the view is spectacular! would recommend to do this hike first as it gives great perspective of the whole area. first 2 miles we're up, next half was flat or down, followed by the last half mile a steep stair climb. very much worth it.

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful trail, a little trafficked but very scenic along the way and at the overlook at the top of the trail. Watch out for piles of horse poop every 200 ft. or so. A lot of wind as well, witch is great on a warm day but prob. miserable on a cold day. Other than the poop and people, great hike!

hiking
20 days ago

Hike was amazing! Views at the early part and a few lookout points were really cool. My only gripe about the trail is the amount of horse poop on the trail. It’s everywhere, so be on the lookout.

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful summit trail with nice wildflowers and mild switchbacks. We started around 6:50 on a weekday and didn't see too many people until maybe the last 20 minutes as we finished the hike. Took almost exactly 3 hours round trip.

hiking
23 days ago

Nothing but the facts: 58 and 50 yr old husband and wife. Missed first switchback but got back on trail, 14 switchbacks and 220 stair master stairs at the end. Two hours up and 1 1/2 coming down. Great views and good hike.

hiking
23 days ago

Gorgeous hike, with a summit hard to match. Great views, and a nice place to enjoy the moment and any company you may have. Got there early, so found parking right at the trailhead. This would be a great trail run, too.

hiking
24 days ago

A wonderful moderate Day hike for Rocky Mountain National Park. Great views, moderate not intense, and pleasantly not as crowded as many of the other sites in the park. You may have to work around some of the horseback groups that frequent this mountain.

hiking
25 days ago

We hiked this trail on a Friday afternoon. There was still street parking available near the trail head. The trial had moderate traffic but was not overly crowded. It has a definite incline and lots of switchbacks. We actually ended up off the trail the first time we attempted this hike. The first switchback is not marked at all. We went straight on what looked like the trail but when we were having to climb huge boulders we realized we were off trail and turned back. There are lots of
Places to stop and rest. Pack lots of water-each person brought 64oz and we ran low or were out entirely. It’s a beautiful view both on the trail and at the summit. Didn’t see much wildlife and no waterfalls/lakes/river on this trail but still loved it. If you’re up for a challenge then this is for you!

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike away from the crowds if you get a reasonably early start (before 9AM). Don't turn around too soon! After about 2 miles of long switchbacks going up, the trail decends down for another half mile until you come to the summit sign. The summit has outstanding views all around. Many good spots for snack or lunch. My Garmin showed mileage at 6.4 miles round trip and total elevation gain of 1500 feet. Would definitely do this one again!

hiking
29 days ago

Went on a Monday morning and arrived about 10:30am and got to the summit about 12:30pm. It was a nice steady incline for most of the way. We took alot of breaks to take in all of the scenery. Parking was relatively full on a Monday and was moderately busy on the trail. Payoff is wonderful at the summit with lots of areas to break for lunch and snacks.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike this past weekend, on a Saturday. We got to the trailhead around 9:15am and there were lots of cars already parked all along the road. Luckily, there is plenty of space to park nearby, with lots of pull off areas near the trailhead. The hike is a bit steep in spots but is doable. The last .2 miles or so to the summit is pretty steep. The view from the top are great. It was a pretty heavily trafficked trail, but not too annoying. There was a lot of horse poop to dodge.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice little hike. Some nice views of Long Peak. Too many people at the summit to really enjoy.

1 month ago

I had to comment on this hike because it is where my fiancé and I got engaged! The views are amazing at the top, it was the perfect place for a proposal. It is definitely worth the work getting up there. Incline/switchbacks all the way.

1 month ago

Has a false summit. Don’t be fooled keep going.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was pretty long and uphill and is very steep (like a staircase) for the last 0.2 miles until the summit. Would not recommend it for little kids. That being said, I loved it. It is more like 6.0 miles round trip and it took my family (2 teens and 2 adults) nearly 4 hours total, granted, we stopped probably 40 times (no exaggeration) for pics, snacks, bug spray, etc. We got there around 10:45 am and got to the summit at 1:15. The views are to die for throughout the whole hike and the summit’s view is the best of them all (totally worth the extra haul). We each packed 24 oz of water but ran out before we got to the top. I would recommend packing a lot of extra water because we were super dehydrated coming down for it does get hot and sunny. This was my favorite hike in RMNP!

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent trail with amazing views. Only discrepancy is the Garmin used registered 6.5 miles total with a loss in GPS signal at some points so it may have been a tad longer! We trekked it without acclimating from the sea level of Southwest Florida and could definitely feel it!

1 month ago

Easy for most. Saw one deer. Nice hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail early on 4th of July. First hike in RMNP and didn’t disappoint. Nice and cool in the morning, shaded after the first 45 mins or so. Panoramic views at the top were well worth the climb. If you get there early enough, you can park directly at the trail head. Took us about three hours (not including break at the top) to complete.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice little trail. Needed a mellow day, and this was perfect. Enough distance and climbing to get the blood flowing, but not strenuous. I spent about three hours moving time; allow a little more because there are some nice photo ops along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Relatively easy hike. Took 1.5 hours to reach the summit and 1 hour to come back down. Great views from the top. If you start climbing early in the morning (8 am), you can beat the sun as most of the trail is on the western side of the mountain and doesn't get any direct morning sunlight from the east. Windy at the top. Carry a light jacket.

1 month ago

Great trail! Steady climb to the top with views of the RMNP range. Lightly trafficked in the fall.

1 month ago

Great views for a moderate amount of work. Go early as the open areas get very hot in the late morning and afternoons. Please stay on the trail and don't cut across the switchbacks!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail we started at 1:00 pm and not a lot of people

1 month ago

Great views early on and at summit. Continued down the backside of the mountain to the visitors center and only saw two people (vs 3 dozen on way up from deer mountain trailhead).

1 month ago

The number one issue I had with the trail was that it was labeled a 5.6 here and 6.0 total. I truly think that it was longer. But so worth it for the early views. The final views are gorgeous but ones you can see on easier trails.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this in 3 hours total. Get there first thing to get a good parking spot. We got to the trailhead at 6:00 AM and were the first people to the top, which meant we got the view to ourselves for a little while. The trail is mostly a lot of wooded switchbacks with nice views at the ends and a gorgeous view of the park and Estes at the top.

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