Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw

A long, lovely, difficult bushwhack best hiked with a fun, solid crew.

Hike Length: 8.9 miles (14.32 km)

Total Ascent: 3,870ft (1,180m)

Intensity: Hardest Catskills Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Herd Path, True Bushwhack

Parent Lone

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Rocky and Lone from Moonhaw in the Catskills

Happy hikers after a big win

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 A long, steep, tough out-and-back bushwhack

Hiking Trail Description

Beginning at Moonhaw Road, this out-and-back route to Rocky and Lone mountains passes over the summit Balsam Cap. 

This route makes for a long day, but the trailhead is conveniently located on the eastern side of the range, not far from the Ashokan Reservoir. For a lot of us, this means less time driving and more time hiking.

If you want to make this day longer and harder, you can add in the summit of Friday Mountain, as well as the B-25 bomber wreck that lies in a gully between Friday and Balsam Cap.

Lots of excellent adventures in this part of The Catskills—but please bear in mind that you must have solid backcountry navigation skills to tackle these steep, densely forested and unforgiving mountains.

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Hike Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw

This Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw route includes…

  • An immediately steep and unrelenting climb up Friday Mountain
  • Fantastic views from all mountains
  • Confusing herd paths galore
  • No water sources
  • A deep backcountry wilderness experience
  • You must have very strong backcountry navigation skills to tackle this hike

A full breakdown is provided in the hike notes below, with 17 crackin’ photos from the route.

Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw Hike Time

Allow 8-10 hours for this hike.

Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw Elevation Gain

The elevation gain for this hike is 3,800 feet (apx 1,150 meters).

Rocky & Lone from Moonhaw Trail Notes & Gallery

This was a very special hike for me. Rachel and Jack reached out via my Instagram as they were planning their 3500 finish on Rocky and Lone and asked if I would accompany them. Well, it was a super fun day for all of us, an honor to accompany them, and a delight to document their finish.

Climbing Friday…

Rocky and Lone from Moonhaw via Balsam Cap in the Catskills
Rachel and Jack heading up Friday Mountain

There are so many great points and views along this route…

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Similar Hikes

These peaks can also be hiked from the west via the incredible Fisherman’s Path.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Lone.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

Your comments are welcome here…

Trailhead Info for this Hike

Small trailhead with unreasonably good cell service (Verizon)

Google Maps Location: 41.983882, -74.327352

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

The trailhead for this hike is in a hollow that faces east toward Kingston so there is good cell coverage down low. However, you will lose and regain coverage many times on this hike, depending on the exact patch of terrain you’re in. My network is Verizon. YMMV.