Friday Mountain and Balsam Cap from Moon Haw Road

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Slide Mountain Wilderness

Friday Mountain and Balsam Cap from Moon Haw Road is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Phoenicia, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November.

Length5.6 miElevation gain2,923 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeBlowdownOver grownRockyOff trail
Description
Waypoints (2)

This is a bush wack hike, not an official trail. Please note that there is private land nearby this route, so please respect private property and do not venture onto it.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (243)
Photos (321)
Activities (259)
Completed (307)
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Derick Kopff
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Hiking

Terrific day. GPS of some nature is recommended. Trail could be difficult to follow without it.

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Tommy John
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddyOff trailSnow

This is truly a "bushwacked" trail. Not marked and very hard to follow the first time out. It is nice to get on trails like this that aren't over-hiked or groomed. Lower half of the trek was dry with areas of run off from the melting snow. Above 2,900' the conditions got messy with deeper snow which slowed progress. Snowshoes, at this point, would have been helpful (I only had micro-spikes). Without snowshoes every few steps you would sink in over your knees...a few hidden tree wells had me up to my waist in snow. This made the hike somewhat arduous. The final ascent to Friday Mt was steep with snow and ice. The dense pines at the top made it difficult to find the canister and blocked any sort of view from the summit. The ascent to Balsam Cap had a lot of deep snow in spots which made things difficult and a little frustrating. However, overall it was a great/challenging hike. Disappointed in my GPS as it put 3 errant points on my map (which I didn't hike). Actual mileage was ~7.1 miles.

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Eric Rosenfeld
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Hiking

Hiked 03/14. The drive along Moon Haw Road had little to no snow, making me question all the gear I was bringing. Don’t let that fool you about the conditions on the mountains - there is still a huge amount of snow up there. Mostly hard packed trail in the morning, the route up to Friday was nothing but difficult. Finding the canister was impossible, I got turned around after zigzagging all over the summit and still tried to no avail. Be careful on the way down from Friday summit, it’s quite steep with some icy / mushy / mashed potatoes like trail conditions. The trail to Balsam Cap was straightforward and led directly to the canister. Spikes fared better than snowshoes today but if it was a bit warmer I would’ve put on the snowshoes I carried the entire time affixed to my pack. A huge wind and snowstorm came roaring in when I was about to head to rocky / lone, that’ll have to wait for another day. As I finally approached the parking lot, the sun started shining. C’est la vie.

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maria desimone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 14, 2021
HikingSnow

Slow and steady ascent. The limited views were amazing. I chose to go to balsam cap first and then Friday. Easy to follow the herd paths in the snow. Took it easy on the way down as it was slippery even with spikes.

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Timothy Newell
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Hiking
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cynthia listort
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Hiking
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William Perazzo
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February 24th,2021 ...The lower half of the trail had a nice stomped out trench to follow...but that all changed half way up ... when the trench was totally non existent. Heavy thick sticky snow about thigh deep , made it difficult to ascend . The ascent to Balsam cap was sketchy at best with hardly any trail to follow the All Trails map and location helped ...but summited Balsam cap late and was impossible to find the canister so we went down and found Friday's canister with little sun light and wanted to get out before dark but we got caught in the mid point of the way down without sunlight ...Butt slide alot of the way down. SNOWSHOES A MUST...

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nicholas topple
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SnowshoeingSnow

it was a great day. the sun was out all day. only needed balsam cap but after I finished I figured that it was such a nice day with nothing else going on why not hit Friday as well. met a couple from long Island who were super nice im sorry I already forgot their names . but he brought his own beer and cider that he made. coming down someone must've slid most of the way down a day or two before and it was like a luge I fell 2 or 3 times. other than that it was a perfect winter hike.

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Ryan Plut
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Hiking
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Brooke Schepetin
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Hiking

Snow shoed for 3 hours and went 2miles and turned back hehe

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Yuri Esperson
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Hiking
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Lee Shelley
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SnowshoeingOff trailOver grownSnow

Bushwhacking- 3500 club

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Robert Berry
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HikingIcyOver grownRocky

Took 5 hours to do Friday and BC in low visibility. Ledges going up Friday were icy, and we switched from microspikes to strap on crampons to go up and back to junction.

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Dr. David Ness
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Hiking
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Yun Park
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Hiking
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Stephanie Dworkin
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HikingOff trailOver grownRocky

The ascent from the woods road to the ridge is a true bushwhack though not terribly overgrown in November; shortly after reaching the ridge I found a herd path to follow all the way to Balsam Cap; there is a view just left of the trail shortly before the summit. Friday Mountain is much more challenging and there is no continuous path. After turning uphill off the main herd path at a pair of landmark trees and ascending right along the base of cliffs, the route to Friday flattens out. At that point, turning left through the evergreens above the cliffs leads in 1 minute to the best view of the day, a great 120-degree view east, overlooking the Ashokan Reservoir with the East Hudson Highlands & Berkshires visible on a clear day. Above that, the final ascent to the Friday Mountain summit and canister is a true treasure hunt that required me to negotiate dense evergreen thickets and steep ledges.

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David Ribera
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HikingOff trail

Beautiful country but literally no markers for a trail. Rained the entire time unfortunately so very slippery on the fall leaves.

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Crystal Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

Another excellent adventure! Hiked with Dan, Sammy, and Rich B. Left one car at Woodland Valley Campground, then drove to Moon Haw Road to start the hike.

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Laurence Wattrus
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Hiking

Challenging altitude but a beautiful, very isolated hike. Its a challenge to navigate with the fall leaves so be sure to not wander off trail. We had a few spots of confusion. Didnt see a single other hiker on a weekday.

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Rachid Hamid
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Hiking
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