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Indian Head Mountain Loop

HARD 156 reviews
#3 of 78 trails in

Indian Head Mountain Loop is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Elka Park, New York that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1656 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

old growth

rocky

From Tannersville: take route 23a to County Route 16 then make a right on Prediger Road for 1/2 miles to the parking

hiking
11 days ago

This time of year hosted a tremendous amount of flies and mosquitos so bug spray is a must. The trail is pretty difficult, but offers some fun challenges throughout. The view is beautiful, but we personally preferred the Twin Mountain view. If I had to pick, I would say if you were only going to do one, do Twin Mountain. They are pretty equivalent in difficulty, but the view at the end of Twin is much better.

hiking
18 days ago

This is a nice loop that has some challenging spots and a few nice lookout points

18 days ago

I did the east side of the loop from Platte Clove Preserve - first walked out to Codfish Point and then popped up Indian Head. I did the full loop last year from the west and I think the east side is much nicer to ascend. There are some steep rock sections but the west side is just kind of muddy and wet.
Note: the summit of this peak is hard to find. It's treed in with only a small outlook. There are a few small outcroppings that offer views on the way up; it's not bad for a workout but there are definitely other hikes in the area that are more rewarding.

hiking
20 days ago

5/31/18 wet slippery coming down the DP but beautiful trail on this rainy/misty day. No views at the lookouts but the trail made up for it. Stays true to its difficulty rating as the elevation gain is tough.

backpacking
1 month ago

The trail is wide open, well marked, and honestly a moderate grade. Multiple spots with water on trail, making for some good chunks of mud still. Would recommend adding Echo Lake to the loop, great views on the way from Indian Head over to Echo Lake.

1 month ago

Lovely, challenging trail. I recommend that anyone doing this trail bring poles--the downhill is steep & rocky, murder on the knees! Hiked this on 5/13/18, it is still muddy, but no need for spikes.

1 month ago

A gnarly hike coming down, icy and muddy. Otherwise, a beautiful view at the top! :)

hiking
1 month ago

My friends and I did this trail yesterday. It was very well marked which was great.

The snow and ice and not having spikes on our shoes is what made this trail a living hell. We came down Devil's Path and it was a slip and slide between the snow, ice, and mud. We picked up sticks to help us but it was still a very scary hike. The conditions was what made it negative but otherwise we have clamboured over this trail like nothing.

I want to do it again when there is not snow.

hiking
2 months ago

Beginner hiker here:: more like 3 1/2 stars— strenuous and intense climb to the top with a small outlook, but amazing view!

LOTS OF snow and ice. Rocky and very muddy path.

Took about 5 hours to complete the loop. My SO and I went backwards? (Stayed left and went up Devil’s path and then down Jimmy Dolan Notch) so it felt like we climbed most of the way.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND hiking boots/shoes with spikes due to the snow and ice. Bring walking sticks! My boyfriend and I used a thick branch which helped us from not falling too much.

hiking
2 months ago

I would say it was pretty strenuous hike. We did it in 3hrs 7minutes... I'd be weary of the coyotes. One or two were following us from a distance on the way down. Enjoyed the view at the top.

hiking
4 months ago

Steep climb, but the view was definitely worth it. It was a good workout with a couple rocky portions that probably account for it's difficult rating. Overall, a great time, good view and not too difficult.

7 months ago

amazimg views well worth the hard work

8 months ago

Stopped off 87 on my way to the Adirondacks to stretch my legs. Glad we did it, but wouldn’t go out of my way to do it again. I am an experienced hiker and did not find many aspects of this trail challenging. It was exceptionally muddy and other than one or two openings in the tree line the views were so/so.

backpacking
8 months ago

This was our first backpacking hike in 2017 as we were particularly busy this past summer and the mountain top views did not disappoint. The overnight camping was amazing... just deafening silence all night.
I agree with the "difficult" rating but if you want to experience a hike on some portions of the famed Devil's path, this is it. A year ago, I and my wife Annie hiked up the equally difficult ascent to Mt Plateau at the opposite end of the Devil's Path. We are just the getting ready to do the entire 24-mile / five peaks of the Devil's Path, hopefully this Fall.

8 months ago

Great fun in between moderate and strenuous. Hiking with no technical climbing other than a very small and easy rock scramble.

hiking
8 months ago

This was a tough but enjoyable hike. Great views at the top. I'm not the most experienced hiker and I was able to complete this Loop in about 4&1/2 hours. That includes stopping quite a bit along the way to take pictures.

hiking
9 months ago

Be expected to spend the whole hike avoiding mud. I wouldn't say this hike was hard or that fun. It's relatively flat and gets steep for about 10 min then back to flat. Views were not great... When you get to the highest point, there is no view and you will hit 2/3 outlook after it. The first was not impressive, the second one was better. Took us a bit over 3 hours.

hiking
9 months ago

Really nice views at the end, and would rate it a decent moderate. It's about 5 miles out and back with some steep inclines, but generally a steady uphill. A warning: don't park on the gravel pull off just outside of the parking lot. I parked there on a Saturday, with about 6 other cars, because the lot was full. I got a $75 ticket for "parking on the road," even though I was completely off the road, just on the side.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. We finished the loop in under 4 hours from the Prediger parking lot. Steep and rocky, but fun. The trail was far more interesting and varied on the way up towards Indian Head. We didn't see a waterfall. On a Monday morning, the trail was basically empty, which was lovely!

9 months ago

Great hike. Did the T from Prediger Parking lot. Indian Head and Twin. Some tricky rock work, very crowded with day hikers.

backpacking
9 months ago

Great hike with challenging (steep) scrambles. The trail was muddy in places, but the views of the mountains were worth it! We were unable to find water to drink on the higher elevations of the trail. There was no waterfall as mentioned in the description. Overall, worth the trip!

9 months ago

I didn't think this trail was very difficult, my 90 lb dog and I did it with ease. There are steep parts, but it's not technical, and there's plenty of level ground to balance out the steep climbs. It rained two nights ago and I hiked it today and it was still really muddy in a lot of areas, but that's hiking for you. The views are really pretty.

trail running
10 months ago

Very wet and tons of loose rocks making it dangerous. Wouldn't recommend this one. Jews are totally obstructed.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

very difficult hike but rewarding and enjoyable, do not attempt in the snow unless you are well prepared and well acclimated for the journey ahead, if youve done devils path, you can tell anyone on any other trail that youve slayed the beast! not for beginners. great day trip

hiking
11 months ago

This was a challenging hike (i don't know about the hard rating)- there were definitely some steep sections but they were short. I started up jimmy Dolan notch trail and came down the other side - this was nice because it was steep going up, but by the end there was a nice flat section leading back to the trail head. I will agree with others that it got very buggy, especially closer to the top, but nothing unbearable.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Very enjoyable hike!! It was very muggy which in turn led to limited views because the fog was so thick. Went up the west side and came down the eastern side which by the looks of the folks I passed that were coming up the east side told me I made the right choice!!

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Overall a very intense workout; brought my 8 and 15 year old ... they handled it well; the "cliff" was intense though. Very rocky and very muddy overall. Glad I didn't bring any of my younger children. A solid 4-5 hours. Bugs weren't too bad.

hiking
Saturday, May 27, 2017

This was a wonderful hike. Just the right amount of challenge! The views were really great. There was no clear "summit" but three different overlooks. The second one was the best in my opinion. Our 9 month old puppy did the whole hike without a problem, only needing a little assistance on one of the rock scrambles. The reason it's not getting 5 stars from me is because the knats and flies were HORRIBLE! Even dosing ourselves in Deet did barely anything against them. They get better once you start reaching the summit and have more sunlight on you. Otherwise, a great hike. (LOTS of mud when we were there as well, so I recommend hiking boots)

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