A multiple switchback ascent out of Cooper's Gap, this climb is definitely not the easy way to the top. There are lots of roots and rocks, with a few steep pitches thrown in. However, it's pretty much the only way up at that end of the valley.
The first stretch from Cooper's Gap up to the unnamed haul road used to be called "Long Cut", basically because it takes a long time to go a short distance. Once you cross the haul road, you've got a short steep climb before you get to Deer Tick proper. Be on the look out for a sharp right, as it's easy to miss. If you do miss it, the trail loops around and doubles back in about 75 feet. It's probably the only trail with a cul de sac.
The climb up is very cool, as it crosses through multiple forest stages and opens up into a nice hard wood forest. There are some great rock formations and if you look over your shoulder, you can catch glimpses of Big Valley off in the distance.
Shared By: Frank Maguire