Plateau & Daley Ridge Lookout

The quickest route to Plateau’s summit — plus a second amazing scenic lookout

Hike Length: 5.1 miles (8.21 km)

Total Ascent: 2,000ft (610m)

Intensity: Difficult Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Rock Scrambles

Parent Plateau

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scenic Mountain View

View from Daley Ridge lookout

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 A very quick up-and-down / out-and-back.

Hiking Trail Description

What’s the fastest way to climb Plateau Mountain? From trailhead to summit, this route is just 1.5 miles.

I much prefer this route to the popular Stony Clove Notch route. It’s less exposed, and it’s more rugged and remote. You pass two springs and many dramatic rock outcroppings. The terrain is classic Devil’s Path. The forest has a wonderful mix of birch and spruce.

From Mink Hollow North, if you go only to the summit and back, it’s barely 3 miles total. Adding the hike down to the epic lookout on Daley Ridge adds only another 2 miles total.

With plenty of rest stops along the way, my friends and I completed this route in under 4 hours.

Mink Hollow North Trailhead & Parking

Be careful when selecting a destination on your phone for this location. There are two Mink Hollows in The Catskills, and this Mink Hollow has trailheads in two very different locations, one south and one north. Both bring you to the same junction on the Devil’s Path but, for this hike, we start at the northern trailhead.

The lot there is a large turning circle with space for about a dozen cars. It was half full at 7:30am on a Saturday morning during the October leaf-peeping season.

In winter, when Platte Clove Road is closed, use this alternate route. It brings you through Tannserville without adding any real time to your drive to Mink Hollow North.

Plateau Mountain Hiking Trail

From the trailhead, head south to the junction in the col. It’s about 6/10ths of a mile. There is no trail register to sign.

At the junction, turn right onto the Devil’s Path and follow the red blazes heading west.

rocky trail with moss and roots
Devil’s Path trail

The hike up the east side of Plateau is very steep but it’s also very short. One tough mile and you’re done. (Coming down is a little hard on the knees, though, so take your time on the way out.)

Near the top of the mile, you’ll climb through this wonderful rock chimney.

steep rocky channel
Rock chimney near the top of Mink Hollow

Above it, you’ll climb a little further before coming to a split boulder with a fantastic view across the hollow to a flank of Sugarloaf Mountain, and also to Round Top and Kaaterskill High Peak in the distance.

scenic mountain view
View from the top of Mink Hollow

This is not the summit.

Plateau Mountain Summit

After a rest and snack, continue along the trail, keeping an eye on the left for the PLA/TEAU summit marker at breast height on a spruce tree…

red plastic summit marker on young tree trunk
Plateau summit marker

From here, continue on again. The trail heads downhill a little and then turns sharply right.

Plateau Mountain Ridge

This is the loveliest section of Plateau Mountain’s amazing 2¼ mile ridge walk.

hikers walking in spruce forest
Plateau ridge walk

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Similar Hikes

Plateau is a beloved favorite mountain of many Catskill hikers; any hike along its ridge is a memorable and lovely hike.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Plateau.

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large-dish lot at the end of Mink Hollow Road, the last section of which is dirt road.

Google Maps Location: 42.143598, -74.157663

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Patchy service up high. My network is Verizon. YMMV.