Considered by many to be the toughest day hike in the Northeast. This hike passes over 5 peaks (and the shoulder of 6th) in the Catskill Mountains from east to west: Indian Head, Twin, Sugarloaf, Plateau, shoulder of Hunter, Westkill.
Distance: 24.3 miles (Through Hike)
Total Elevation Gain: 9000 feet
Our Time: 16.5 hours
Trailheads: Prediger Rd, Elka Park, NY 12427 (East Terminus)
Spruceton Rd West Kill, NY 12492 (West Terminus)
This is a LONG through hike with seemingly endless steep ups and downs. The cols between mountains will get progressively deeper from east to west. The first half (13 miles) took us 9 hours, second half (11 miles) took 7 hours. The summit of Hunter can be added on for an additional 2.6 miles round trip if you’re feeling brave. We were fortunate to take on this challenge in a group of 5 and coordinated to leave a car at the middle (Devil’s Tombstone Campground) and end of the trail (West end) the night prior. The middle car was stocked with extra supplies to restock and also placed as a potential bailout point just in case. For those who don’t live within a reasonable driving distance, I’d highly recommend renting a room the night before and after this hike. Have fun and good luck!
Views Along the Way: