Mars is really one of the hardest planets to observe properly. Mars can be well observed only for a couple of months on either side of opposition, and these occur at intervals of two years; moreover, we are now passing through the unfavorable aphelic stage.
However even at a near approach the most details will be seen with at least a 8-inch to 10-inch reflector, smaller telescopes
will still show a few details. A small telescope
(4-6 inches) will show the polar cap with its dark band, and the Syrtis Major and other prominent features, but further details may be difficult to observe.
Nevertheless it is fascinating to gaze at the warm, reddish-ochre disk with its tiny throne of ice and to reflect that here, at least, life still lingers on. Mars, tiny though it is, is the most openly absorbing of all the planets as most of us have pondered if indeed there is any life to be found there, similar to our home.