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Deer Mountain out-and-back

Hiking trail
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Macs Adventure Ltd Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Trailhead
    / Trailhead
    Photo: Shan Nagar, Macs Adventure
  • / Overlook
    Photo: Shan Nagar, Macs Adventure
  • / Halfway vista!
    Photo: Shan Nagar, Macs Adventure
  • / View from the top!
    Photo: Shan Nagar, Macs Adventure Ltd
m 3000 2900 2800 2700 2600 8 6 4 2 km
A rewarding out-and-back hike just a short drive from the park gates, providing beautiful views of Longs Peak and the town of Estes Park.
Distance 9.9 km
2:30 h
415 m
413 m
This hike starts with a mile or so of moderate switchbacks (with plenty of places to stop and enjoy the view) that get your heart pounding nicely! The trail then mellows out as you walk along the side of the mountain, ending with a short, steep push to the top! From the peak, there is a beautiful overlook to stop for a snack and enjoy views of Longs Peak, Moraine Park valley, and the town of Estes Park. After enjoying the view, you head back down the way you came!

Author’s recommendation

This hike is quite popular, and has limited parking! Start nice and early; this hike will only take a few hours, so you can explore the park on your own in the afternoon.
Profile picture of Shan Nagar
Shan Nagar
Update: July 16, 2019
Highest point
3,051 m
Lowest point
2,708 m
Best time of year

Tips and hints

Points of interest


Longs Peak

The only 14,000ft mountain (or "14er", to use the local lingo) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak is a Colorado Classic. It's one of the more difficult 14ers to summit in the Front Range region, and has several route optoins in varying difficulty. One of the more difficult is "The Diamond", the sheer and prominent east face of Longs Peak, visible from the summit of Deer Mountain.


Food & drink

Stock up on food and water before you start the hike! Carry at least 2 liters of water per person, along with snacks and a packed lunch. Estes Park is the only place to stock up before you start the hike, so make sure to stop by a market or grocery store before leaving town.


Deer Mountain Trailhead (2,717 m)
40.387100, -105.609829
40°23'13.6"N 105°36'35.4"W
13T 448240 4470901


Deer Mountain summit

Turn-by-turn directions

0.0 mi. - Today's hike starts at the Deer Mountain trailhead. At the trailhead, you can park on either side of the road in the parking areas on the shoulder of the road. There is a kiosk at the start of the trail that says "Deer Mountain"; start the hike with the kiosk on your left, and continue STRAIGHT ON to start the hike.


450 ft. - At a branch in the trail, you'll see a wooden sign indicating the "Aspen Glen" campground on the left, and the Deer Mountain summit straight ahead. Continue STRAIGHT ON to continue towards the summit.


2.7 mi. - At another fork in the trail, you'll see another wooden sign on the right-hand side of the trail. THe bottom sign points towads "Estes Park" on the left; the top sign points to the "Deer Mountain Summit"; TURN RIGHT to follow the trail to the Deer Mountain summit.


2.9 mi. - Congrats, you reached the summit! Enjoy the beautiful views, drink some water, and have a snack. Then, turn arround and head back down the way you came!


3.3 mi - You'll come back to the trail junction you passed on the way up; this time, TURN LEFT to follow the sign for "Deer Ridge Junction".


5.6 mi. - Once again, you'll come to another branch in the trail that you passed on the way up. Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the trail taking you back to the trailhead.


5.7 mi. - Congrats, you've returned the trailhead! You've completed today's walk.


all notes on protected areas


40.387100, -105.609829
40°23'13.6"N 105°36'35.4"W
13T 448240 4470901
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


We recommend wearing hiking boots that are well broken-in, plus a rain jacket and waterproof trousers in wet weather, as well as taking sun cream and a hat on nicer days.

In your information pack, you’ll find a detailed list of all the required hiking gear, including some good hiking boots, appropriate clothing, a rain jacket and a backpack.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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9.9 km
2:30 h
415 m
413 m


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