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Plateau Mountain

Plateau Mountain

Overview of this Hike:

Distance: 7.31 miles round trip from the end of the road at the end of Mink Hollow Road in Elka Park.
Time: Average 5.25 hours round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,622 feet from Mink Hollow Road in Elka Park to the summit of Plateau Mountain.
Best Time to Hike: Anytime.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
VO Map No: Unmarked & 21
Previous Names: Stony Mountain - believed it was named for the stony climb up to the Plateau. Changed from Stony Mtn to Plateau Mtn in 1928.
Catskill Highest: #12
Peak Elevation: 3,856'
Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
Attractions: Very nice flat walk on the summit for about 1.35 miles
Attractions: Excellent views from view point #2 of Platte Clove Valley
Attractions: Excellent views from view point #3 of West kill.
Attractions: Challenging! Bragging rites that you did part of the Devil's Path.
Unattractions: Difficult climb up.
Dangers: Falling off mountain.
Common Animals: Black bears, Coyotes, birds.
Risky Animals: Rattlesnakes (moderate), Bears (Moderate)
Access Methods: Foot only



Maps, Profile, and GPS files

Plateau Mountain GPS map
Plateau Mountain elevation profile
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GDB format
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GPX format
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin TEXT format




Directions to Trail Head from New York State Thruway (Easist, not the shortest):

  • GPS Coordinates to DEC Parking Lot: N42 08.593, W74 09.479 - WGS84: 42.143217, -74.157983 - Elevation is approximately 2,233 feet
  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
  • Go approximately 3/4 mile
  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
  • Go approximately 6.6 miles to Cairo, NY
  • Take a LEFT onto Rt 32. McDonalds Rest. on corner.
  • Go approximately 7.7 miles on Rt 32
  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 23A
  • Go appoximately 9 miles to Tannersville NY.
  • At the only RED LIGHT, take a LEFT onto Rt 16 (platteclove road)
  • Go approximately 2-3 miles on Rt 16 (Platteclove Road)
  • Take a RIGHT onto Elka Park Road
  • Take a RIGHT onto Mink Hollow Road. Go approximately 1.8 miles - When you come to the end of the road, park there. Hike up the old Mink Hollow Road up to the pass.



  • Special Circumstances about this Hike

    This hike is part of the Devil's Path. The Devil's Path is one of the most difficult and dangerous hiking paths in the world. There is a good reason why they call it the Devil's Path. You better be a skilled hiker who is in good shape. If you are scared of heights, you might not want to do this trail.



    Mile Stone Chart

    Mile PointAltitudeNotes
    0.002,234 Park at the end of Mink Hollow Road.
    0.242,280 Cross Stream. Can be crossed after large rain.
    0.512,459' Follow Road to the RIGHT. Small trail on left that goes nowhere.
    0.692,591' Trail Junction. Left goes up Sugarloaf Mtn. Straight continues on the old Mink Hollow Road. Right goes up Plateau Mtn. Go RIGHT.
    1.513,520 3500' sign very high up on a tree. Most people miss the sign.
    1.593,719 Views. First sign of wildlife again.
    1.723,856 Plateau Peak.
    2.353,842 Trail Junction. Left will take you to Tremper Mtn 10.16 miles down the trail. Right will take youto Spruce Top Mtn (Private Land). Continue STRAIGHT.
    3.363,681 Plateau Mountain Peak #1. Poor view of Platte Clove.
    3.563,691 Plateau Mountain Peak #2. Excellent Views of Platte Clove and Tannersville.
    3.673,688 Plateau Mountain Peak #3. Excellent Views of West Kill. Reverse course back to your car.
    5.733,808 Views before steep descent.
    6.622,645 Trail Junction.
    7.312,284 Mink Hollow Road where you are parked.

    Hike to Plateau Mountain

    Plateau Mountain
    The picture on the left is where you will park at the end of Mink Hollow Road in Elka Park. There is a large turn-around. Park off to the side.

    Take the old horse carriage road beyond the turn-around. The old road is in poor shape, but nice to walk on. The picture on the right is a small stream that will flows like this after a large amount of rain. It is passable under all conditions. .
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    At mile post 0.51, you will come to an intersection. You want to continue to follow the old carriage road that goes to the left, and then to the right. At mile post 0.68, you will come to the col of the notch where there will be a 4-way Trail Junction. Continuing straight will take you to the other side of Mink Hollow Road on the Woodstock side. A DEC Lean-To is a short distance ahead (very near the trail junction). Left will take you up Sugarloaf Mountain. Right will take you up Plateau Mtn. You want to go RIGHT. The image on the RIGHT shows the trailhead.

    The picture on the LEFT shows you what the trail looks like in the beginning of the hike. In the beginning, the trail is very mellow.
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    After a short distance the trail will come to a steep stream that runs down the mountainside at a very steep angle. The picture on the LEFT shows what the stream looks like after a good rain. After going over the stream, the trail starts to become steeper. .

    Plateau Mountain
    As you climb in elevation, the trail becomes steeper. The picture on the RIGHT shows a difficult chimney that you will have to climb. The camera is tilted up, so the chimney is actually more difficult then it looks.

    This is the same chimney, but looking down the chimney. The chimney actually turns 90 degrees to the right as you climb. Or, 90 degress to the left as you descend.

    .
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    At mile post 1.59 and elevation of 3719' you will come to the first view point. You can see that view point on the LEFT. After this point, the steep climb comes to an end. You will continue to climb gently for another 100 feet of vertical.

    The view in the picture is of Platte Clove Valley. You can also see part of Sugarloaf Mountain.
    Plateau Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT shows what the trail looks like for the last 100' vertical feet. It is nice and peaceful. This is why people like this part of the trail. The summit is hard to find. You can pass it very easy.

    The picture on the RIGHT show what the trail looks like after the summit. There is a nice section of conifer forest across the flat top of Plateau Mtn.
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    The picture on the left is one of many nice finds. This is a Chicken Mushroom. They are very large, and can often be found in July and August.

    The picture on the right is a picture of another mushroom. These red topped mushrooms are fairly common in the Catskill Mountains.
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    At mile post 2.35, you will come to this trail junction. Left will take you to Mt Tremper Fire Tower. The entire trail is 10.16 miles to the other side of this trail. There is also a trail on the right which will take you to Spruce Top Mountain. Spruce Top Mountain is privately owned by Elka Park Association, and they do not want you to trespass on their land. They have placed brush at the entrance of the trail to keep people out. State land does extend down the trail for a short distance. You want to continue STRAIGHT down the path.

    The picture on the right is a picture of the trail to Tremper Mountain Fire Tower.
    Plateau Mountain
    Plateau Mountain
    When you get to the other side of Plateau, you will have 3 view points. The first view point is poor and is almost completely overgrown. The second view point is good, and gives you a view of Platte Clove Valley, Kaaterskill Mtn Range, Tannersville, North/South Lake, Stoppel Point, and the Blackhead Mtn Range. You can see that view in the picture above. The third view point is of Stoney Clove, Hunter-Westkill Mtn Range, and south into the Slide Mtn Wilderness area. This area is sometimes called Sam's Point.
    Plateau Mountain
    This is the third view point of Stoney Clove. Once you are done, reverse course back to your car.
    Links and References:
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike

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