Indian Head Mountain

Phoenicia, New York 12464

Indian Head Mountain

Indian Head Mountain Professional Review and Guide

"Drumroll, please! In-n-n-troducing, the hardest hike in our book! Yes, folks, this route leads up the western side of Indian Head Mountain, traverses the thickly wooded summit ridge, and drops down the eastern slope. This is one of those mountains you hike just because it is there, or just because it is the toughest hike we’ve included, or just because you had three desserts yesterday and feel a need to work them off. Of course, there’s more to this hike than the challenge. Along the way you’ll find a sturdy shelter known as the Devil’s Kitchen Lean-to, numerous streams, bridges, small caves, rocky scrambles, and several lovely overlooks. This hike can be compared to Oscar the Grouch. Even though Oscar grumbles, yells, frowns, and complains, even though he’s extremely hard to like, for some reason kids do like him, perhaps because when he does say or do something nice, it’s so unexpected that it is especially delightful. When the stern and formidable Indian Head relents and offers you a grand view (a brief one, mind you) or a delightful brook (just for a quick crossing) or a stand of ancient hemlocks (pass through tout de suite), you celebrate!"

More Indian Head Mountain Professional Reviews and Guides

"Featuring an interior forest hike to a boreal summit with exciting views, Indian Head is among the Catskills’ most popular peaks."

"West of Saugerties, this loop rewards with a classic Catskill setting, vistas, and challenge. Central to this hike are the 500-foot cliffs of Indian Head.

Wildflowers, fall foliage, and wildlife sightings lend to the attraction. Above the 3,000-foot elevation, a rare spruce- fir complex claims part of the journey."

Indian Head Mountain Reviews

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8/16/2009
Nice hike. We made the hike in reverse. The start was nice, then got steep. We had a slight problem with the dogs traversing some of the steep parts of the trail heading down, (up if you follow this guide), the Indian Head peak. If you have dogs on this hike, you may want to bring rope and harness for them. Steep drop-offs at the trails edge are breath taking. Beautiful hike!
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8/10/2008
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5/6/2008
Very good veiws of Albany areas. Not too rockky conditions. Very enjoyable.
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9/23/2007
I don't know whether anyone has ever attampted this hike with children but if so, I'm very impressed! My husband and I took this hike recently and although we thourougly enjoyed the trip it was really very challenging at times. Some of the steps almost seemed to big for our legs to take and I don't know how children would cope. If you do want to go on this trip, make sure that you have very good hiking boots! We didn't and slipped and fell a few times. But then, maybe we're just wimps and perhaps there are very fit children who can do this hike. It's absolutely beautiful so from that point of view, worthwhile. I'd love to hear what other's think!
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5/21/2007
did this hike in mid may. extremely green and fresh. beautiful and were almost by ourselves.
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10/28/2006
Great trail - but recent rains have made it a creek all the way up and down. We turned back before the summit because it was getting dark fast, so we didn't see the final part of the trail, but something like 90% of the trail that we did see was underwater.
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2/26/2006
As mentioned by others, this is a very rewarding loop, especially if you appreciate scrambling up steep rock sections. I did this in late February, and I would add that crampons are a good idea this time of the year. I did it without them, but I don't recommend it. In fact, there were only crampon tracks on the trail on the steep sections toward the summit.
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8/8/2005
Great trail for advanced hikers. This was by far the most diffecult trail in the Catskills that we have hiked. It had some very diffecult climbs but the toughest sections where the decents. By the time we got back to the trailhead our legs where burning and we where fearing what the next day might bring. Use caution when climbing the very steep (almost veticle) ascents, they are tough. A thunderstrom arrived just as we hit the high point, this was scary and also made for a very diffecult route down. Allow almost 4 hours (our time was 3:30) if you are in good shape becuase this one was tough.
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4/15/2005
We did this hike some time in April. There was still plenty of snow on the top, which made the ascent and especially the descent pretty challenging. Those of us who came in sneakers had a hard time. The views were very rewarding, and it was a great first hike of the season.
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Trail Information

Phoenicia
Nearby City
6.6
Distance
1,700 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Day hike or overnight; 7 hours
Duration
May to October
Season
NY-NJ Trail Conference Map 41
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018