Mount Katahdin Loop

HARD 80 reviews
#1 of 23 trails in

Mount Katahdin Loop is a 17.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Millinocket, Maine that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
17.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7782 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

This steep and difficult trail loop summits Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park. This is the highest mountain in the state of Maine and a popular alpine hiking destination in northern New England. It's also the ending place for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers finishing their trek from the starting point in Georgia. The trail loop follows Hunt Trail to Knife Edge Trail where hikers ascend Baxter Peak, Mount Katahdin,South Peak, Chimney Peak and Pamola Peak. Continuing on Helon Taylor Trail, hikers will make their way along Keep Ridge to the Roaring Brook Campground. The return trip follows Chimney Pond Trail to Basin Ponds, Great Basin and South Basin via Cathedral Trail and Saddle Trail, and back to Hunt Trail. The trailhead is located at the Katahdin Stream Campground.

hiking
2 days ago

This was one of the more memorable hikes of my life. I did it late in the season (knifes edge had just iced over a bit), and was the only one on the mountain. And no bugs! I would highly recommend doing this early winter, if of course the park ranger says it’s not too dangerous. There aren’t many days in life that are memorable, but I’d imagine for most that hiking this mountain is one.

hiking
2 months ago

Best view I’ve ever seen. Make sure to go on a day with good weather or you won’t even be able to see the view and path can get narrow. If you go in late summer you might be lucky enough to see some Thru Hikers! Took us about 3 1/2 hours total up the AT trail and down knives edge. May take longer and we were in top shape.

2 months ago

My boyfriend and I went in early July of 2017. We did not get there earlier enough to complete the trail and walk along knifes edge. It was an incredible trail with awesome scenery. Living in MO I was blown away by the beauty of Maine and what this trail offered.
It was very rainy the day we went, hiking poles would have been nice. We were unsure on what to expect on this trail and if we ever get the chance to return will be more prepared.

3 months ago

Such a beautiful hike dudes

hiking
3 months ago

"EPIC!!! Just EPIC!!!"

To all the people who are in love with hiking and living in the eastern part of North America, you sure don't want to miss the opportunity to hike this amazing mountain that is the Mt Katahdin! What an adventure! I woke up at 04h30am on a Saturday of August and I was the first to put my name on the sheet at the ranger station that day! Perfect weather, all geared up with my backpack and my gopro, nothing was going to stop me from reaching the top! WOW, what a view!!!

hiking
3 months ago

October 2, 2017, Totally spectacular views during an extremely difficult hike. Took 13 hours on a beautiful sunny day, tshirt weather. Did the loop

hiking
3 months ago

This was a very difficult climb with some amazing views. Very much worth how difficult it is. Almost gave up just before the summit ridge coming through the boulder field. Glad I pressed on and made it to the top.

4 months ago

Completed Kilimanjaro earlier this year but this Katahdin climb felt more physically demanding than any of my 6 days on Kili, save perhaps summit day. This is a tough but very fun climb! Took Helon Taylor up to Knife's Edge to Baxter Peak then down Saddle to Chimney Pond. If you have knee issues or weak back straps the granite may begin to kill your feet on descent. Recommend high quality insoles in your boots. Had to stop to pray for some of the dingdongs climbing in tennis shoes. Take 3.5+ litres of hydration, you'll use it all.

5 months ago

I'm glad to see this is no longer listed as "moderate" , as it is anything but, if for no other reason than the trail is incredibly remote and storms crop up easily. But there's a lot that makes it difficult. I've done multiple summits in Utah and Nevada but none of them compare to the strenuous joy of bagging this peak. My dad and I summited Katahdin two years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. From the Helon Taylor trail, it immediately gains elevation--there's a lot of scrambling and light bouldering for most of the trail, and very uneven footing. Take a break once you get above treeline--the views are spectacular. Negotiating the Knife Edge involves a class 3 scramble, sheer drop offs on either side. Be mindful of your descent. Your two best options (for a day hike. Otherwise, continue to Hamlin ridge and descend via the Chimney Pond trail) are either the Cathedral Trail or the Saddle Trail. Both are knee-crushing steep, but the Saddle Trail is the lesser of the two evils. Even so, be prepared for major quad burnout on the way down over slick rocks and boulders. As opposed to scrambling back down a ridge and getting on a trail, the trails in BSP are so primitive, these descent routes don't even out for a while. Get ready for butt-sliding and taking time to lower yourself safely. When you get off the trail, go eat a meal in the Appalachian Trail cafe, have a beer, and book a massage.

hiking
5 months ago

Tough. Not for the average hiker. Had to turn around at monkey bars at 4 miles on the 5.2 one way hike from trailhead parking lot.

6 months ago

Maybe my favorite mountain.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing hike!

7 months ago

What a tremendous experience! Also, to agree with some of the other hikers who posted, NOT MODERATE. This is a difficult trail. That said, I saw plenty of 60+ year olds at the top, but they were in good shape and experienced hikers.

hiking
8 months ago

I have done this trail and under NO circumstances should it be considered moderate. This takes in the Hunt Trail hich is difficult, also Knife Edge which is very strenuous as well as Cathedral Trail. Both of which are listed as Difficult. This trail needs to be listed as DIFFICULT....so no one underestimates this and ends up severely injured or worse. This sentiment is reflected in most of the comments. - Diamond

9 months ago

I did this trail many years ago and highly recommend it for its beauty.

hiking
11 months ago

This was a bucket list hike I completed with my daughter in September 2015 before her wedding. I've been coming to Maine since I was a child and my grandfather had often challenged me to do the Katahdin hike.....now I've done it! Beautiful through and through....by far, one of the most physically demanding due to the many Boulder and rock fields. The Knife Edge is thrilling!

11 months ago

Good hike and a little bouldering. The place is a lot more crowded compared to when I was a kids hiking there. I grew up not far from the mountain.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Took the Helen Taylor trail up to Pamola, hiked the knife's edge to katahdin and turned around and took Helen Taylor back. I'd recommend doing saddle on the way down (from what I heard it's much easier) because you won't have to do knife's edge twice. Hike took my girlfriend and I 9 hours and we were beat. Best hike I've done

Friday, October 21, 2016

This was such an adventure with wonderful people!

backpacking
Monday, October 10, 2016

We did the Hunt Trail up and down, and I have to say nothing prepared us for the amount of bouldering that we encountered. The boulders go on for miles. Bring plenty of food for energy!!! The summit is amazing and well worth it, just be prepared for the workout on the way up!

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