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The classic route allows you to warm up slowly over fairly level terrain, then takes the super-fun turn up the eastern side of the mountain.
Hiking Trail Description
Indian Head is the smallest peak on the infamous Catskills Devil’s Path trail, but it’s also the most delightful.
The other five mountains are wonderful too, of course, each in their own way — the scale! the drama! the views! — but hiking Indian Head is a special, intimate, and rewarding experience.
Fantastic terrain, epic views, a beloved cliff ascent, a long boreal summit, a steep and rugged descent, and an easy walk out through beautiful woods — this is my absolute favorite single-mountain hike in the Catskills.
There are multiple locations named “Indian Head” in New York State. The most famous and scenic is Indian Head in the Adirondacks. This trail guide is for Indian Head in the Catskills, on the Devil’s Path.
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Indian Head Catskills Hiking Trail
The Indian Head Catskills hiking trail includes…
- The eastern terminus of the infamous Devil’s Path trail
- Original growth hemlock stands
- Sherman’s Lookout
- A giant Devonian panini press
- A wonderfully do-able rock chute climb
- One of the great Catskills scenic views
- A boreal summit
- My favorite Catskills boulder
- A classic Catskills notch
- A beautiful walk-out
Allow 3-5 hours for this hike. A full breakdown is provided in the trail notes below, with 30+ breathtaking photos.
Indian Head Catskills Trail Notes & Gallery
The parking area at the end of Prediger Road is a generous loop, with lots of space for cars, but this is a popular destination — even on frigid weekends the lot can fill up early.
Note: Between November 1 and April 15 every year, the eastern end of Platte Clove Road is closed. Use this alternate route to Platte Clove Road.
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Similar Hikes to Indian Head Catskills
For more of a low-key-day, try Balsam Mountain. If you’re not sure about tackling the Devil’s Path, try Balsam to feel yourself out.
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The parent mountain for this hike is Indian Head.
If you do this hike, LMK how it went…
Trailhead Info for this Hike
The circular parking area is quite large but fills up quickly on weekends.
Google Maps Location: 42.133939, -74.104120
The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead
Indian Head is somehow in a decent spot for cell service, but coverage is flaky. For the first half of the hike, you’ll wander in and out of service. From the summit, you can get a weak signal. When you start heading down Jimmy Dolan notch, the signal drops more often than not. However, back at the trailhead, I was able to get texts out from the parking area. My network is Verizon. YMMV.