The most efficient way to bag all 35 Classic Catskills High Peaks is to do as many of them in groups as possible. These lists of pairs and triplets combine the Catskills in their most common groupings. Minimize your travel. Maximize your peak-bagging!
This is one of the most entertaining hiking trails in the Catskill Park, leading up to one of its grandest panoramic views — but it also contains what is maybe the Park’s most challenging, technical and potentially dangerous trail sections.
The Devil’s Path is famous for being one of the most difficult hiking trails in the US.
This brand new trail is un-blazed but it’s based on old roads and logging trails so it’s easy to follow. Although it’s short, it’s steep, and there are three unmarked turns along the way. I’ve included key photos in the post, and all major waypoints are included in the GPS track, which you can download.
This is a great hike if you crave solitude among mountain laurel and pitch pines, as well as interesting geology — but also enjoy solid scenic views!
The parking area is the same lot used by visitors to Bash Bish Falls (which are currently closed to the public due to COVID-19).
This is the hike I recommend to anyone who’s never hiked in the Catskills before, or is wondering if they’d even be able to handle a mountain hike. (Yes, you can.) It’s a short and easy hike — but it’s also very beautiful and so rewarding.
I didn’t think too much of Halcott when I did it last spring, but this hike changed my mind. There’s a lot to see: the woods are spectacular, the ravines are beautiful and, at sunset, the summit is a Catskill photographer’s dream.
Indian Head is the smallest mountain on the infamous Devil’s Path trail. But it’s also the most delightful. The other five peaks are wonderful too, of course, each in their own way — the scale! the drama! the views! — but hiking Indian Head is a very special, intimate, and rewarding experience.
This route combines the easiest ascent to any summit in the Catskill Park with a much more interesting (and far less trafficked) descent down the south side of the mountain. I also tried to find the scenic view, and visited a lean-to.
It’s quite easy to drive past the parking area for Balsam Lake because it’s directly after a curve on Millbrook Rd.
This hike is mostly very easy, with about 75% on well-marked trail. However, the bushwhack to the scenic lookout on the south side of Plattekill is extremely difficult, and presents some dangers. If you just want to peak-bag Plattekill, the herd path will get you most of the way there.
The parking area at the north end of the Mink Hollow trail is marked on the NYNJTC maps in gray, which signifies “roadside parking”. In fact, it’s a dead end/cul-de-sac that look like it functions as a snow plow turnaround. There’s ample space for cars but be thoughtful about your parking during snow months.
KHP’s summit is a Catskills classic with a spectacular view from Hurricane Ledge. This route takes in two eerie plane wrecks, and there is much to see on the long trek in and out. This a tough, muddy, rewarding hike.