Road Trippin': A foggy, rainy, amazing hike up Deer Mountain Trail

Published: May. 21, 2018 at 12:25 PM AKDT
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On a clear day, Deer Mountain in Ketchikan dominates the skyline. The popular hike can be intense with unpredictable weather. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Ketchikan averages about 165 inches of rainfall each year, which will impact the trail conditions.

After leaving the parking lot, the trail begins to steeply incline. Almost instantly, you'll be deep within the rain forest. The trees here are stunning-- tall ones that are hundreds of years old and massive, decaying trees that have fallen over spark new growth.

The first 2.75 miles of the trail gain more than 2,000 feet of elevation. Along the route there are switchbacks and converted old logs as staircases. At times, you'll have to jump over small breaks in the trail where water cuts into it.

Be sure to bring water and layer up-- snow can be near the top even into spring.

Deer Mountain Trail:

Length: 2.75 miles one way, about 3.5 hours, one way.

Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet