Explore Fire Tower Challenge - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Fire Tower Challenge Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
4 hours ago

Unable to reach by car after Dec 1. Snowmobile access only.

hiking
4 hours ago

Another incredible firetower. This is the tallest in the Adirondacks at 3,899' (only 101' from being a High Peak). I chose to hike it in tough snowy conditions to give its name some respect (and so glad I did)!! The first 2.5mi are a walk in the woods; easy. The last mile, and especially the last 0.5mi, were grueling in the heavy snow. Some steep sections to finish strong.

If you're hiking Snowy in the winter under harsh conditions, be prepared for deep snow. Coming down can be extra difficult when your weight punches thru the top layer. You'll be knee deep many times, just be careful. Snowshoes can be used, but they can be a burden on steep sections. I wore mini spikes & did fine. Enjoy!

Unable to reach by car after Dec 1. Snowmobile access only. Nearest parking is 4mi from trailhead.

I'll continue the theme of 'spectacular' & 'stunning'! Today the trees were heavy snow covered and the firetower ice blasted. Come with some spikes, and be prepared for the firetower wind. Find yourself a clear morning & enjoy!

Great view from the top and the ruins are awesome to explore. It is however extremely congested with riff raff from the city. Even on a 0 degree day people were everywhere. That definitely takes the adventure out of a hike.

The first 30 minutes are tough it’s all uphill, there was snow which made it harder but the hotel and the view at the top were worth the hike!!!

Amazing trail, took me and my wife 7 hours. Did loop anti clockwise. Better idea. There was lot snow today on dec 1. 6-8 inches. Climbing through devil path red was easier than what felt from clockwise

Spectacular hike! Snow covered trails and heavy snow and ice draped pine trees made this a winter wonderland... amazing views at the top ..makes for a terrific sunrise hike. Spikes are a must!

It was relentlessly gradual, but beautiful and quiet with a lot of views through the trees. Hiked from lot 1 on Spruceton, up the horse trail. Snow all over trail, but the trail was broken and the snow was compacted and I was able to summit with just my regular boots in under two hours.

Negative 15 degrees on the summit, but the fire tower was spectacular

winter was in full swing, the road is not being plowed so be prepared for extra mileage. god bless the the ten people who broke the way Saturday. the old trail was not broken out and i like the switch backs on the new trail. toward the top if you leave the trail 3 feet deep. took us 5 hours up 2 hours and 10 minutes down. we met the group that maintained the trail thanks for your service. excellent day you know that you earned this one.

Took me 4.5 hours total in snowy conditions. Excellent views on top + you can climb the tower for even better views. Trail is well-traveled and very well marked. Parking is plowed. There was 12-18 in of snow today. Spikes were not required, but snowshoes yes (to not damage the trail).

This was TOUGH! (Rating is accurate). My heart beat 100 miles a minute as it was all uphill! But I made it, glad I did. Had a great time with niece, nephews and neighbor! Glad I can say been there done that!

We hiked up today (nov 12). It was a nice thin snow cover but very icy towards the top. Pretty low elevation gain and not too difficult besides the ice. The view on the top of the fire tower was beautiful and panoramic. I would recommend crampons and or sticks if you are going later in the winter but we made out just fine in backpacking boots in early nov. perfect for a quick day hike

Did this one as part of the Catskill Firetower Challenge. The biggest challenge is perhaps just making it to the trailhead as it’s rather remotely located. The hike was a very quick jaunt to the top to see the observers cabin, luxury outhouse and of course the tower. The views were good from the tower.

I consider this hike to be like a salad and steak type of hike. The road to the top (which is 2.5 miles making this actually a 5 mile hike) is rather mundane. However, when you get to the hotel ruins, it’s fascinating to explore. You then do the last pitch up to the summit to see a great Firetower and without a doubt the best views in the Catskills. We got there at 8:00 and got good parking. We were back at 10:15 and the parking lot was full. There is more parking 1/2 mile up the road, but this will add a mile to your hike. The best Firetower hike in the Catskills.

I’m probably not giving this trail the best review I could because I did this one right after hiking Hunter. The trail, while reasonable, just seemed to go on and up forever. It was also incredibly windy and bitingly cold. The Firetower is in good shape and the views were good. I’d like to try this one without having done something like Hunter first.

We did this trail on the weekend as part of the Catskill Firetower Challenge. The actual out and back (you don’t have to do the loop) is more like 7 miles. It’s a steady rise for the first part up a road/horse path, then pitches a little steeper for the second half. The trail is o good shape, no great views though. We got to the summit and were greeted with a blizzard white out, so now views from the tower. I’d suggest that if you’re not up for the 2000 ft in 2 miles elevation of the other trail, this is a great option.

Awesome views!!! Really bummed about the communication tower. However, it did sound like a passing helicopter, HA! It was a very nice hike, other than that. The stream is just beautiful. It was very wet today, maybe it’s not always like that, but we didn’t mind at all. We just changed socks at the top and we were all just fine. Trail was easy to follow and will be back in the summer.

I really liked this hike, although the trail goes up, up and up some more. I did Hunter just before Tremper, so perhaps I didn’t get a fair assessment of it. It was extremely cold and blustery on the summit. Great views. No microspikes needed quite yet, lots of mud/water at the lower elevations. A great hike though.

Did this one today from the Spruceton Road Trailhead. This route is 7 miles round trip with 2000 + feet of elevation. The summit was in blizzard like conditions, but I never needed microspikes, although I had them. No views due to snow squall, but a great hike nonetheless.

The ruins were really cool to see and the view from the top is beautiful

Hiked on November 3rd. Absolutely beautiful trail. A couple tricky mini scrambles, that would've been less tricky if they we're as wet and slippery. Views are amazing, as expected. A bit of snow closer to the top.

Basically walking up a driveway. The hike itself isn't that visually stimulating but the views from the top are what make this a 5 star hike.

An exceptionally beautiful area and stunning views. The tower and summit were frozen and with ice along the upper parts of the trail on the rock scrambles, microspikes are a necessity. A great hike all around.

A great hike that would’ve been a lot easier had it not been for the frequent mud jumping. The views from the tower were stunning and I even saw a guy hiking in sandals

Hiked out and back on Tremper Mountain. Stopped to see the first lean-to. Very cool hike. Not very easy and not much to see on the way up. Fire tower was locked on Nov. 4, was told by other hikers that the tower is unlocked only on Summer Weekends when the groundskeeper is there.

Great hike on a gorgeous day after leaves have almost entirely fallen. We went up on the new trail & down on the old one. Surprised that the snow increased from a dusting at the trailhead to as much as 3" midway up, but it was sunny & calm. Made for great photos at the snow-frosted summit overlooking the brown trees & blue lakes in the surrounding plains. The fire tower had 2" wind-blown frost crystals on the edges, but was not slippery. Does anyone have a reference for the old ski trails?

hiking
1 month ago

Snowy, muddy and slippery today but still a great hike. Gradual climb with lots of bridges and stairs.

hiking
1 month ago

As other reviews state quite rocky and steep right from the get go. Ankle support and good tread this time of year is necessary. If you’ve hiked before it should be no problem. My husband had a hip replacement a yr ago and we made it up in an hour and 15.

Hiked on 10/24. Great hike, it was raining and then snowing so absolutely no view but great nonetheless. Took us 5 hours. Spikes needed near and on the summit.

Load More