RMNP: Deer Mountain (10,013′) | Colorado | 12/06/20


Deer Mountain (10,013′) | Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park, CO | 12/06/20 | 6.19 miles | 1,397′ gain


Deer_Mountain

If you’ve ever driven into Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) from the main Beaver Meadows entrance station, you’ve certainly seen Deer Mountain. It’s a low, forested peak on the right hand side of the road. If you don’t remember seeing it, your gaze was probably on the soaring, snow capped high peaks to your left. (Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to pay attention to a “hill” when the big boys like 14er Long’s Peak are visible.) But if you ever get back to RMNP and want to climb a mountain (a shorter one) with great views, you might take a second look at Deer Mountain.

Diana and I started from the Deer Mountain Trailhead. This is the shortest and easiest way to climb Deer Mountain. In the summer months, the trailhead can be packed full all along the road, but there were few people around on a December Sunday. The trail stays mostly in the forest as it climbs the west side of the mountain, switchbacking a number of times before reaching the top of the broad ridge.

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Longs Peak (14,255′, the tallest peak just left of center) and numerous 13ers are visible from the Deer Mountain Trail

There are great views all along the climb, ensuring that I always had something beautiful to look at when I stopped to catch my breath. The trail had some snow and ice but it was easily manageable.

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Mount Chapin (12,454′), Mount Chiquita (13,069′), and Ypsilon Mountain (13,514′) – these are the first high peaks I ever climbed back in 2012!
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One of the many switchbacks

Once we reached the top of the switchbacks, the trail flattened out and then descended slightly before curving to the south and heading to the summit. The last bit is pretty steep with a number of stairs, but if you’ve made it this far, the summit views are worth the climb!

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The summit! View to Longs Peak
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RMNP’s many 13ers

We had great weather so we ate our snack on the summit and enjoyed the beautiful view. After our break, we retraced our steps back to the car. Another awesome RMNP hike in the books!


Chelsea


7 thoughts on “RMNP: Deer Mountain (10,013′) | Colorado | 12/06/20

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