Sunset Rock Trail (Taconics)

A short rugged, riparian hike to a stunning Taconic scenic spot.

Hike Length: 4.0 miles (6.44 km)

Total Ascent: 1,028ft (313m)

Intensity: Moderate Taconics Hike

Route Type: Lollipop

Includes: Blazed Trail, Rock Scrambles, Stream Crossing

Parent Dugway Hill

Similar Entries In: Taconics, The Moderate Hikes, The Most Popular Hikes, , , , , .

sunset rock in the taconics, covered in snow and seen at sunset

Sunset Rock at Sunset

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 A sweet Taconic loop with a quick side trip to Sunset Rock.

The short moderate hike to Sunset Rock really packs a punch: beautiful stream crossings, varied flora, a great lookout, and a beautiful pine woods on the way out.

I did this hike immediately after visiting Bash Bish Falls. It uses the same large parking lot — which also serves the north end of Alander Mountian.

Allow 2-2½ hrs to enjoy everything this trail has to offer.

This is excellent Taconic hiking. (There’s another “Sunset Rock” in the Catskills.)

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Sunset Rock Taconic Hiking Trail

The Sunset Rock hiking trail includes…

  • Multiple sweet stream crossings
  • Rugged terrain (you’ll need proper hiking footwear)
  • A wide array of plant life
  • A fantastic view into the Hudson Valley floor
  • Lots of junctions (bring some nav with you)

This hike is short and not-too-steep but it should be taken seriously — all hikers should be well-prepared with appropriate footwear and The 10 Essentials.

This trail guide is new. The hike was completed on 1/13/2022 under which date this page will eventually be filed.

Sunset Rock Trail Notes & Gallery

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From the parking area, cross to the opposite side of the road and look for the entry point to the Cedar Brook Trail…

trail signage for cedar brook trail
Cedar Brook Trail

Follow the blue blazes. The trail rock-hops across Cedar Brook several times.

Cedar Brook on the way to Sunset Rock
Cedar Brook in winter

There are lots of hemlock trees along the trail, and I noticed some Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA).

Cedar Brook on the way to Sunset Rock
Cedar Brook in winter

At points, the trial is quite narrow. In winter, you’ll definitely need microspikes or better for traction and safety.

Cedar Brook on the way to Sunset Rock
Cedar Brook in winter

Minor Reroute

Near the back of the hollow, the trail has been rerouted (compared to the 2015 NYNJTC Taconics map I use). But just follow the blue blazes and you’ll be fine. You can also download and follow my GPS track above.


At the first junction, turn right and being your climb to Sunset Rock. The blazing here was not great, so keep watch for the red and white painted blazes.

At the second junction, you’ll find a rock cairn and a trail sign for Sunset Rock.

rock cairn in snow
Cairn at junction

Sunset Rock

The trail descends through a mix of mountain laurel and pitch pine to Sunset Rock.

Sunset Rock in winter, snow
Sunset Rock

Sunset Rock in winter, snow
Sunset Rock

The view looks down across the Hudson Valley to Stissing Mountain and the Eastern Catskills.

Descent and Return

Return to the second junction, and turn left. Hike back down to the first junction and then, instead of turning left, continue straight.

Follow the white/red blazes for 0.6 miles to a third junction. This trail section is steep. You should turn back if it’s icy and you don’t have good traction.

forest junction for Sunset Rock descent
At this junction, turn left and head into the woods

Enter the woods, following the white blazes, find your way down to a road, turn left and make your way back to the Bash Bish trailhead and your car.

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The parent mountain for this hike is Dugway Hill.

If you do this hike, LMK how it went…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large popular lot also serves Bash Bish Falls and Alander Mountain.

Google Maps Location: 42.117534, -73.508240

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

You will have cell service for most of this hike, but there are patches in the hollow where my signal was weak or non-existent. My network is Verizon. YMMV.