Deer Mountain Trail

MODERATE 848 reviews
#10 of 205 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 offers a number of activity options 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

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

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!

hiking
1 day ago

Not our first time doing this hike and it certainly won’t be our last. Absolutely love this trail! Easily one of the best views of RMNP and Estes by far!

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, enjoyed the views at the top & along the way. The hike is 6miles round trip & there were a few people horseback riding on the trail. Seems to be a popular hike

hiking
5 days ago

I would say this is my first actually “trail” that I paid attention to what I was doing. Like other reviewers said lots of people on the trail with tennis shoes. And they make it do able. There’s some steep inclines and loose gravel that I like my hiking boots for! It was a great first mile. We had kids so of course the complained the whole way. We stopped a lot because of them. But also got a lot of great photos! We only made it about 1.5 miles in. My anxiety of heights kicked in right at the switch backs. But I’d try this again!

hiking
5 days ago

Saw many hikers last week heading out on this trail wearing tennis shoes. Highly recommend hiking boots as there are rough, rocky portions on the trail. Some great views and vantage points along the trail.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

a good moderate hike with beautiful views all the way up. rocky in some sections, especially the last few hundred feet to the view point. definitely worth it!

hiking
8 days ago

8/10 - morning hike: I’m in my late 50’s and have knee problems but my wife and I took our time getting to the top. We made up and back in just over 4 hours with a nice but short break at the top. There were only a few spots where step ups and step downs were challenging to my knees and other than that, it was a great trail. No issues this morning with flies, mosquitoes, or horse poop! Last 100 or 150 yards was the most challenging to my knees but being that close to the top it’s easy to power through it. Totally worth it at the top! Views in all directions.

hiking
9 days ago

We did this with my 4 year old and no special equipment. It's a pretty easy hike imo. The switch backs make the ascent very easy. The flat part at the top was a good break on the legs, and the view was very nice at the top. There was some poop on the trail but otherwise, it was clean and easy to walk on. Bring water especially if you're used to a more humid environment.

hiking
12 days ago

8/6/19 First mountain hike. Arrived at trailhead at 6:15 A.M. with lots of open spaces. Several deer on trail in early morning before crowds arrive. Good views at start. After 35 minutes, switchbacks on relatively rocky trail starts through trees. Wear hiking boots, saw two injured with rolled ankles, wearing running shoes. Rock rest points about every 10 minutes of ascent, some with great views. After about 90 minutes, you will arrive at a flat area. Kind of deceiving to new hikers, but this is not the summit. Continue another 10 minutes to the 150 steps to reach summit. I am in pretty good shape, but don't be ashamed to use a few inhales of Boost canned oxygen, glad I had it near summit. Ascent takes about 2 hours. Descent same route takes an hour.

hiking
12 days ago

7/25/19- Started the hike at 10am and summited around 1pm. It's a long hike with steep switchbacks, but doable if you're in shape. There are plenty of great views. I'm from sea level and not very in-shape, but managed to summit after finding a good pace. I wouldn't attempt it if you are prone to altitude sickness, since its a relatively steep climb and the summit is over 10,000ft. The last 0.2 miles are KILLER. Steep steps lead you straight to the summit. The hike down took about an hour but we were moving very fast (storm approaching). Get there early to avoid parking issues and rain.

hiking
bugs
18 days ago

It was a nice trail but if you’re older and/or prone to altitude sickness be weary. Tons of horse poo on the trail you have to walk around, which attracted bugs and made it less enjoyable.

hiking
18 days ago

Great trail with amazing views of Longs Peak, Hallett Peak, and Morraine Park. Saw a few other groups going up around the same time as me, around 8:30am on a Sunday. Parking was nearly full when I arrived and was packed by the time I got back to the trail head. Not overly crowded like Dream Lake, but there were several groups at the summit and I saw many more groups headed up as I was headed down. If you plan on staying at the summit for a while, definitely wear sunscreen. Most of the trail is shaded but I got burned after about 90 min at the summit. My recommendation: bring snacks or a lunch and spend some time at the summit enjoying the views you worked for.

hiking
20 days ago

Showed up at 8:15am. Parking lot was full but there was still room on the shoulder. A couple cars pulled out* of parking lot as we were getting ready. With a 9- and 6-year old it took us a total 5.5 hours, counting 30 minutes on top for picnic lunch. Seemed a neat sample of what RMNP has to offer. Chipmunks and many summit visitors are too friendly with each other. Asked to rate their experience on a 1-10, one child gave it a 5 and the other a 3.14.

hiking
20 days ago

We arrived @ 7:45am on last Sunday and we took the last parking spot. ARRIVE EARLY! The first half of the hike was chilly temps but pleasant with tons of wildlife and wild flowers. A little busy on the trail but manageable. Nice hiking sticks were left at the trail head in abundance and I used one for the hike and it was quite helpful. The elevation gain was manageable but tough at times - I cannot imagine doing this hike in the middle of the day - would be much harder in the heat. Great trail for the average hiker that wants a little bit of a challenge. The summit was beautiful! Worth it for the wildflower and summit alone. Took us about 3.5hours total with lunch @ the top.

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

I saw people hiking this in converse and chacos! We did the 6 mile out-and-back to the summit and back to the trailhead. Bring plenty of water, a rain later, and a warm layer for the top, and make sure to start early enough to avoid a summer thunder and hail storm. Still, it was beautiful when we got caught in a storm on the way down. At the top, DON’T FEED THE CRITTERS. We were harassed by overly-comfortable chipmunks sniffing around for hand-outs when we paused for lunch.

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

great trail , if you come from the Estes Park side literally no people , until you get to the summit ...

hiking
30 days ago

Great hike and easily accessible from the road. Get to RM early for a parking spot. Beautiful views and well worth the moderate incline! Took about 2.5hrs

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the exhausting hike. Steep switchbacks but the view from the summit is amazing!!

hiking
1 month ago

Up up up and down down down! Lots of fun. Recommend early start to avoid the sun and heat (and parking problems).

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Hello I’m Zoey I went on this hike on Monday with my family and it was great all though we didn’t make it too the top we made it pretty high up. It had amazing views and it wasn’t very steep so it would be great for families. I loved this trail and I think you should try it out. Anyway not much to say goodbye and have a wonderful day.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike if you are looking for something relatively close to the Estes Park RMNP entrance.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiking boots, sunscreen, water! I’m not an experienced biker but I was determined. With a few breaks it was totally worth it! At the top it flattens out and I imagined it would lead to a view but there was a steep staircase leading to the view. Unbelievable! Arrived at 8am left around 11:30. Limited parking unless you park on the shoulder. Well traveled but not an irritating amount of people!

1 month ago

Great Views!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this earlier today. Arrived at 8:30, last car in parking lot. Great hike, a good workout. Not too challenging by any means. Able to hold conversation 80% of time limited due to SOB. Great scenic view at top. Well worth it. Not heavily traveled.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely bring good hiking boots if you intend to do the entire trail. I gave this four starts only because I got to a point where the trail marking was not clear, and I got lost and then returned to my car. I ended up doing 6 miles and had amazing views, I just was not on the trail the whole time. Absolutely gorgeous - parking is somewhat limited so I would suggest arriving before 730/8am if you don't want to worry. In general I would suggest getting to the Rocky Mountain park around 7am so as to avoid the heavy traffic that sometimes build up at the entrance.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

I would highly recommend this trail, we got there on a Wednesday around 11am, parking was limited but we found a spot along the side of the road. It is a nice switchback climb up, the terrain was mostly rocky. The last .2 miles of the hike was the hardest, lots of climbing but the view at the end is worth it. Going down was not bad, just be careful of your footing. The loose gravel caused us to slip. We did pass quite a few people along the trail but I wouldn’t consider it crowded. If you’re taking the hike mid-day in the summer wear sunscreen. A good majority of the trail is shaded but there is still sun. It took us 3hrs 15 mins round trip but we did have a snack and take in the view at the top for about 30 mins

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great trail, but can be very underestimated. The rocky incline and rugged terrain definitely calls for hiking boots. It is a busy trail, but well worth the views from the top! Excellent hike!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome hike- beautiful views !!

hiking
1 month ago

Not my favorite. Pretty boring/monotonous and the views never really change. Much better when done near or before sunrise as the views are more pleasing then.

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