Kaaterskill High Peak Trail

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Kaaterskill Wild Forest

Kaaterskill High Peak Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Elka Park, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,938 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
flooded
icy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Use GPS for this one. The final scramble was too icy without cramp-ons as of 4/5

hiking
icy
scramble
snow
2 months ago

From the south there was minimal/no snow and trail was easy to follow. We went up via the north and the top section was a sheet of steepish ice. Even in crampons it was scary. I don’t own an ice axe but would have benefited from one. Do it from the south if you’re there in next few weeks or bring good traction options.

hiking
icy
3 months ago

I’ve planned to hike this a few times. Today was the day. I looked in town for crampons, but no store in the Catskills seems to carry them. A couple luckily hiked up before me and let me know they took the north approach using only spikes and rope coming down. I didn’t have rope, but there were lots of roots to hold onto in icy spots coming down. That being said it was sketchy and felt unsafe at one spot on the return loop. It was misty snow for the majority of the hike. Pretty day, a couple lookouts. Icy. Took 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

hiking
icy
scramble
snow
3 months ago

Great trail, like others said, a nice hike till you get to the last mile of bushwhack straight up to the peak. Luckily the six inches of snow made the icy ascent not bad and made the descent quite fun! I should’ve brought my snowboard, was out of the bushwhack in 10min. flat! Micro spikes are all you need. Incredible views from Hurricane ledge and just before you summit high peak.

hiking
icy
snow
3 months ago

Great day out on Kaaterskill. Started at Platte Clove trailhead and were the only people signed in to head to KHP. (Only one other car in lot at the time). Really straight forward and easy hike until the last steep section that approaches the summit from the north. Lots of ice on the ledges with some crusty snow on top. Having the crusty snow layer was nice because we were able to kick in some steps when ascending the icy ledges. Nervous about descending this section later. Made it to the summit and were the only ones there for a bit. Signed the register in the canister and two other guys each came from separate directions (didn’t know each other). We made the decision to follow them down the east ridge of the mountain as it would avoid the spicy, icy ledges we came up. One short section I needed to glissade down some ice/snow this way but other than that very straight forward descent. Great day out and met some cool guys as well. Post hike food&brews in Tannersville @ Last Chance. Also after reading some other reviews on here for this route, I just to suggest that no matter the trail you’re doing it’s always a good idea to have GPS and/or a compass to aid in route finding. This route was very easy for me to follow with the aid of my AllTrails recording during our hike. Even the bush whack section to the summit in snow.

A good day to hike this peak is after snow and on a sunny day as trails will not be wet. However, the last 0.5 mile is always a problem because of slippery steep slope. Canister is easy to find. Not many views from the peak point, but there are other locations to get views of north and south.

hiking
blowdown
icy
muddy
over grown
rocky
snow
washed out
6 months ago

Trail is mostly easy up until you take the left to head up the Bushwack to the summit. There are a few blue blazes, but trail can be easy to lose at times. Flat parts aren’t fully frozen yet, a lot of mud and water underneath still. Still a great hike, albeit not the best summit views but always enjoyable and serene. Brian @roulette_travel

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

The first 4 miles are easy the last part is steep! Make sure to Navigate that part carefully and hike over the summit to the scenic photo point on the map. On the way down a hike partner broke her ankle. I recommend to BE CAREFUL! It can be slippery.

hiking
7 months ago

I went a few days ago and I have to say the foliage and scenery was beautiful that changed along the way which was refreshing. It wasn’t a straight hike up and down either which allowed for a nice break on the knees. HOWEVER, I’m rating 1 star because I want to draw people to read this review. Be careful and be prepared. The hike ended up being 19 miles in 11 hours. The blue blazes were clear and abundant but we only saw a sign for MaiLi’s Lookout so we thought we had to keep going. We ended up in back of someone’s property while still following the blue blazes. We decided to head back into the woods because the properties we started walking past were posted ‘no trespassing’ There were 7 destinations on this trail and we only saw a sign for 1 of them. On the way back- we saw forks in the paths and had to guess which way to go. The signs just read Trail <- or. Trail -> It was dark when we arrived back to the car. Also, when you are coming down after you see the wooden walkway (about 20 minutes) make a LEFT to get back to the parking lot- also unmarked. My last tip, screen shot notes and maps of this trail. We had an AT&T and T-Mobile phone with no service. Attempting to make phone calls and pull up maps/gps drained our batteries and we needed the batteries to use as flashlights. We have both hiked trails on many mountains and have never seen one this poorly marked. It is beautiful but potentially dangerous.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

Amazing challenging trail! Unbelievable waterfalls both lower and upper. Absolutely beautiful - looked like waterfalls from the tropics! Even got to swim under the falls!

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