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.


73 thoughts on “Deer Mountain

  1. Susan at FindingNYC March 20, 2017 / 12:08

    Some beautiful views – and your little friend was so cute! I agree with you about not feeding wildlife though.


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:18

      He has obviously been encouraged by other hikers which isn’t good. Someone else might have freaked out when he ran up their back!


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eunice March 20, 2017 / 12:19

    Some great views there, and the chipmunk (?) looks so cute I would have found it hard to resist him. I would have though – just 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:20

      I think chipmunk! I never like to commit myself as there are a lot of similar small mammals.


  3. hilarymb March 20, 2017 / 12:32

    Hi Anabel – it must be magnificent … but I’d hate the loads of people … so I guess a quick run through would suit me – as I’m not the world’s best walker, and definitely not a hiker … fun to see you both – and that little chap … cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:21

      Deer Mountain was relatively quiet – I dread to think what the other trail with the full car parks would have been like!


  4. nomad, interrupted March 20, 2017 / 12:39

    That hike sounds like a tough one, but what beautiful views you found at the top. I would have been huffing and puffing for sure! I hate encountering crowds out in the wilderness. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:23

      It was only really steep at the top. I think we chose well to avoid the crowds – most seemed to head elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ellen March 20, 2017 / 13:26

    What an adorable chipmunk! I love watching their antics, although I’m not sure I’d want one crawling on the back of my neck 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:30

      As long as he didn’t take a nibble I was fine! It was all very quick so kudos to John for getting the sequence of photos.


  6. roughwighting March 20, 2017 / 13:28

    Incredible photos. Huge mountains and tiny cute chipmunks somehow go together. 🙂 I’ve not been to the Rocky Mountains, but your photos give me the urge to go sooner rather than later.


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 13:47

      Thank you! It was lovely, though I’m not sure it’s one I would go back to just because it was so busy.


      • Suzanne et Pierre March 20, 2017 / 14:08

        You are right that it is indeed a very popular park so we try to go in the Spring or in the Fall which is often much better than in the middle of summer…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Liesbet March 20, 2017 / 14:37

    Cheeky chipmunk! We can’t advocate enough that feeding wildlife is bad, for the animals in the long run and for people when the more dangerous animals don’t fear humans, and vice versa, anymore. Another great day trip. I love hikes with views and picnics along the way.


  8. Helen C March 20, 2017 / 16:23

    The moment I saw your title, my heart skipped a beat, Anabel. What a lovely post and beautiful photos. We took a bus tour to Canadian Rockies last year. The problem with bus tour is that you don’t get a chance to hike. Even though I am not in a good shape as I would like to be, in my mind I couldn’t help but hiking with you 😉
    Have a wonderful day.


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 17:42

      Thanks Helen! We will be going to the Canadian Rockies later this year and hiking will definitely be involved.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo March 20, 2017 / 16:50

    What a bold little fella! Gorgeous, but I’d probably have jumped out of my skin 🙂 Your John always looks so smiley and happy, but I do know what you mean about the knees 😦 Many thanks for the link, Anabel. It’s appreciated.


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 17:44

      It was a bit of a shock but it caused great hilarity for other hikers. I don’t know why I was obviously regarded as a soft touch. Perhaps he could smell my sandwiches!


  10. March 20, 2017 / 17:27

    What a glorious hike! We will be taking a trip later this year to a few areas that will provide a lot of hiking opportunities – your pictures are helping to get me in the mood! Cute chipmunk, but you are so right not to feed them. It is definitely not in their interest to eat human food or to become dependent.


  11. Jemima Pett March 20, 2017 / 18:49

    I did Deer Mountain too! And used the same 10,000 ft line as well lol


  12. Su Leslie March 20, 2017 / 19:08

    Gorgeous photos. I’m glad you found a park that wasn’t full of visitors and got to enjoy the walk. The scenery is stunning.


  13. Donna March 20, 2017 / 19:50

    Stunning views! And very cute chipmunk! It would have been hard to resist giving him a treat….glad that your willpower was strong!


    • Anabel Marsh March 20, 2017 / 20:28

      It was all very quick! Anyway, I wanted my sandwich more than he did 😉


  14. the eternal traveller March 20, 2017 / 22:39

    Wow, what wonderful views. I’m glad your knees held out. That chipmunk is cute but I wouldn’t want him running up my back.


  15. Birgit March 21, 2017 / 04:31

    This looks like a wonderful walk seeing the falls and the mountains. That chipmunk is cute but, yes, he has been fed and has no fear of humans.


    • Anabel Marsh March 21, 2017 / 07:40

      It was beautiful, Birgit, but I agree the chipmunk was too tame. Not good for him!


  16. Ann Coleman March 21, 2017 / 13:21

    Gorgeous views! The climb may have been hard on the knees, but the views looked worth it. As an aside, when we were visiting Colorado once, I was amazed at how many chipmunks came right up to people and how many people were feeding them. It really isn’t good for wild animals to depend on humans for food!


    • Anabel Marsh March 21, 2017 / 15:06

      No it isn’t good for them – we also saw lots of daft behaviour around much bigger wildlife which is dangerous for us too. The climb wasn’t so bad, apart from the last steep stretch. I moan about it probably more than is warranted, as John might tell you!


  17. goannasnake March 21, 2017 / 22:24

    Gorgeous pics. Looks like (another) beautiful part of the world. I completely agree we shouldn’t feed the wildlife. Some human food isn’t good for animals and it makes them dependent, turns them in a nuisance and ultimately can make them dangerous.


    • Anabel Marsh March 21, 2017 / 23:33

      Thanks, this chipmunk had definitely been over indulged. Caused plenty of amusement though!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Blue Sky Scotland March 21, 2017 / 22:39

    For me that’s one of the great pleasures of going abroad is all the different wildlife you encounter. Never been many programmes about real life chipmunks despite them being a cute subject to film.


    • Anabel Marsh March 21, 2017 / 23:34

      Wildlife of all sizes – chipmunks to buffalo! Though we’d left them behind by this stage.


  19. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) March 22, 2017 / 10:00

    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.


    • Anabel Marsh March 22, 2017 / 11:36

      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!


  20. Marcia Strykowski March 22, 2017 / 21:37

    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!


    • Anabel Marsh March 22, 2017 / 21:40

      Yes, he scuttled up to my neck then ran down my backpack again when I tried to shake him off!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. BeckyB March 23, 2017 / 08:44

    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?


    • Anabel Marsh March 23, 2017 / 09:21

      Yes, too cute! The row of cars is taken from the visitor centre looking back at Old Fall Road. I think there must have been a wildlife sighting.


  22. lisadorenfest March 25, 2017 / 10:19

    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.


  23. Ann March 25, 2017 / 17:10

    I stopped by your blog today.
    Beautiful pictures.


  24. clicksclan March 25, 2017 / 21:48

    It looks beautiful and your little friend is adorable. 🙂


  25. rosemaylily2014 March 26, 2017 / 04:25

    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!


    • Anabel Marsh March 26, 2017 / 07:48

      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

  26. galwaygirlabroad March 26, 2017 / 20:04

    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! 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh March 26, 2017 / 20:14

      Thanks for visiting! There are so many beautiful National Parks in America. This has to be the cheekiest creature – we’ve had them begging before but one has never run up my back like this!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. inesephoto March 26, 2017 / 21:59

    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.


    • Anabel Marsh March 26, 2017 / 23:06

      I’m glad you are impressed! I could never climb 10000 feet all at once so it’s nice to get help.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy March 28, 2017 / 19:43

    Great views – and I appreciate the comments about Estes Park in the previous post. Paul and I are thinking about Colorado this summer, and I haven’t been to the Estes Park area since I was a little kid, when I didn’t have to think about things like where to stay and crowds. I’ll keep that in mind if we head that way!


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