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Deer mountain offers some of the best bang-for-your-buck views in the national park.
Located close to the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, it’s one of the first trailheads you’ll reach on Trail Ridge Road.
Hiking to the top takes some work, but views are good all along the way, and especially at the top. Starting uphill through spacious ponderosa forest, the trail approaches the base of the mountain and then gets steeper.
There’s about a mile of steep and rocky switchbacks, sometimes in shade and sometimes on sunnier slopes.
After gaining about 1,000 feet, the trail levels out, and even goes a bit downhill before tipping up again at the end.
A set of stairs takes you to the summit, and the panorama unfolds.
You’ll see the hulking Longs Peak, set on a horizon of mountains that form the Continental Divide.
You can see Beaver Meadows and Moraine Park, plus part of the town below. This hike can be good at any time of year.
Due to its lower elevation and sunny slopes, the trail has a generally longer snow-free season than most of the park.
It can be snowy in winter and early spring, however, when spikes or even snowshoes might be necessary. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/hikes.htm https://www.mycoloradoparks.com/things-to-do/deer-mountain-trail