Deer Mountain

View from Deer Mountain
View from Deer Mountain

Rocky Mountain is a very busy park! By the time we got ourselves out in the morning, and that wasn’t very late, the signs for the car parks at the popular Bear Lake Trailhead were already indicating full. We headed for the Deer Mountain Trailhead instead.

Climbing Deer Mountain is a 6 mile round trip and you end up at over 10,000 feet. Before you get too impressed, I’ll confess that you actually start around 8,900 – but some of it is very steep, especially at the end. My knees didn’t like that section one little bit.

Here are some views from the way up.

Just before the summit we stopped to get our (well, my) breath back and I made the acquaintance of this little guy. I think he was begging, but I didn’t give him anything. Too many titbits is probably what made him so bold, and animals should not be encouraged to become dependent on humans for food. But he was cute.

On Deer Mountain On Deer Mountain On Deer Mountain On Deer Mountain

Pressing on to the summit, we could see right back down to our hotel on the edge of Estes Park.

Then it was time to retrace our steps, stopping for a quick picnic on the way.

In the afternoon, we took the one-way gravel Old Fall River Road which winds uphill for 11 miles and 3000 feet to Fall River Pass. The short trail at Chasm Falls made a pleasant stop on the way.

At the pass, we had a very welcome hot coffee at the Alpine Visitor Centre – it was cold up there and still had pockets of snow. Information boards told us more about the road which opened in 1920, and until 1932 was the only motor route across the park. Then it was replaced by Trail Ridge Road, our route back down.

The views from Trail Ridge were stunning.

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road

We were really sorry to have only one full day in Rocky Mountain, but the next day we were off to Denver  – and we were really excited about that.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks where this week she takes us on a stroll around Lucca.


  1. Fantastic hike. The views are breathtaking, and 10,000 f is a very impressive altitude even if you start from 9000 f 😉
    The little chipmunk is a charmer. I don’t think he depends on humans. He just found a way to make his diet more exciting. The way he trusts humans is adorable.


  2. Great post! This is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit and this has made me want to go even more! Love the bit about the squirrel – it brought back memories of my own trips to national parks, being plagued by begging squirrels was a part of most picnics! 🙂


  3. I love mountain areas Anabel though I usually try and go up on a train or cable car! An intrepid trek rewarded with some amazing views and I love your little friend – chipmunk? He looks so appealing – that look reminds me of my dog when he holding out for a better offer!


    • Ha ha, he probably ran off so quickly because he saw someone who looked like a softer touch! A better offer as you say. We do use cable cars when available for very big climbs but this one wasn’t too bad apart from the very steep bit at the end. No option anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I so miss the mountains…and snow. As we pulled into the anchorage this morning I was like ‘oh look, another beach with palm trees. Meh! I guess I have gotten a bit spoiled spending multiple years sailing the tropics. How I would love a walk in the mountains again (and to meet cute little chipmunks) as you have here. Delightful to experience it with you virtually. Enjoy your travels.


  5. What fabulous views . . .but oh the chipmunks.

    Remember going up one mountain in Canada and there were about 20 of them begging. Really not good, and of course what they are fed by humans isn’t good for them either. Much much prefer it when you only catch a glimpse, although saying that I would have found him very cute too!!!

    Is that a queue of cars I can see in one of your pictures?


  6. Another great area! I had to take a double-take at your pictures, thinking you’d made a mistake and posted the same picture twice, but then I noticed the cheeky little critter crawling all over you, lol. I definitely would have jumped up and screamed!


  7. Awww, you made a chipmunk friend! It reminds me of the squirrels in Brompton Cemetery…people feed them even though there are signs up explicitly telling you not to, so they run right up to you, practically begging for some food. Chipmunks are probably cuter than grey squirrels though.


    • Yes, same in Glasgow Botanic Gardens – parent encourage the kids to feed the squirrels but it’s not a good idea. Grey squirrels are considered vermin but I still quite like them, though I get nervous when they sit on my window sill and stare in at me. Ok just now, but not in summer – not had one in the house yet but I’ve had birds crapping everywhere. Yuck!


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