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Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path

Sugarloaf Mountain
 
 

OVERVIEW

  Distance: 6.69 miles round trip from DEC parking lot from Dale Lane and back to the parking lot.
  Time: Average 5.50 hours round trip
  Elevation Gain: 1,761 feet from parking lot to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain.
  Best Time to Hike: Morning.
  Difficulty: Very Difficult and dangerous
  Catskill Highest: #13
  Summit Elevation: 3,810'
   
  USGS Official Names: Sugarloaf Mountain (ID: 968056)
  USGS Previous Names: Mink Mountain. Changed from Mink Mtn to Sugarloaf Mtn in 1928.
Also known in the past as Brown Mountain, Dibble Mountain, and Twin Mountain.
  USGS Summit-Elevation: 3,806'
  USGS Sugarloaf-WGS84: 42.131201, -74.150141 (DEC-WGS84)
  USGS Sugarloaf-GPS: N 42 07.872, W 74 09.008 (GPS)
  USGS Sugarloaf-UTM: 18N 570239, 4664693 (UTM)
  USGS Sugarloaf-Deg, Min, Sec: N42 07 52, W74 09 00 (Degree, Min, Sec)
  USGS Official Map: Hunter Topographical Map (free)
   
  Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
  Attractions: Good views from west of the summit
  Attractions: Good views from a number of other points
  Attractions: The "Chairs" are the best in the Catskills
  Attractions: Challenging! Bragging rites that you did part of the Devil's Path.
  Unattractions: Very Difficult climb up and down.
  Unattractions: Limited views as compared to Twin Mtn
  Dangers: Falling off mountain.
  Access Methods: Foot only

Maps

Sugarloaf Mountain GPS map


 

DIRECTIONS TO TRAIL HEAD

 
  • Roaring Kill Parking WGS84 (DEC): 42.15105, -74.131067 - Elevation is approximately 2,019 feet
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  • Roaring Kill Parking Deg/Min/Sec: N42 09 03, W74 07 51 - Elevation is approximately 2,019 feet
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  • Roaring Kill Parking GPS: N 42 09.063, W 74 07.864 - Elevation is approximately 2,019 feet
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  • Roaring Kill Parking UTM: 18N 571793 4666913 - Elevation is approximately 2,019 feet
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  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
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  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
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  • Go approximately 3/4 mile
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  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
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  • Go approximately 6.6 miles to Cairo, NY
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  • Take a LEFT onto Rt 32. McDonalds Rest. on corner.
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  • Go approximately 7.7 miles on Rt 32
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  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 23A
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  • Go approximately 9 miles to Tannersville NY.
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  • At the only RED LIGHT, take a LEFT onto Rt 16 (platteclove road)
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  • Go approximately 4.9 miles on Rt 16 (Platteclove Road)
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  • Take a RIGHT onto Dale Lane
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  • Go approximately 3/4 mile - Go Right after hotel - DEC parking lot on LEFT side of road.


  • 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.

    In the Winter months when Dale Lane is closed, some hikers will hike Sugarloaf Mountain From Mink Hollow Road. The fastest known time (FKT) for the entire Devil's Path (24.2 miles) was done in 4h 35m 57s on June 1, 2020 by Ja Shua Ried (male). The FKT for a female is Krista Rynkowski and Celia Keim Patel who did it in 8h 38m 34s on May 5, 2019. The FKT for the entire Devil's Path and back (48.4 miles) was done by Alexander Galasso in 13h 43m 10s on September 9, 20197. All unsupported.


    MILEAGE CHART

      Mile PointAltitudeNotes
      0.002,019' DEC Parking Lot on Dale Lane.
      0.222,127' Trail Junction - Take LEFT.
      0.522,376' Mini-Chairs.
      0.872,363' The Real "Chairs" with fire place and views of Platte Clove.
      1.022.381' Wooden Bridge in poor shape - use at your own risk.
      1.372,507' Large Beaver Pond
      1.752,808' Pecoy Notch - Go RIGHT.
      2.053,298' Ledge with limited views.
      2.163,405' Good views off side trail on the left.
      2.813,780' Summit of Sugarloaf Mountain - not obvious - easy to miss. (GPS: N42 07.883 W74 09.004)
      2.923,741' Trail on LEFT (Yellow Markers) to best views on hike.
      2.963,743' Ledge with views (see above)
      3.003,741' Return back to trail (blue markers).
      3.842,716' Trail Junction
      4.382,614' Wooden Bridge of nice moss covered stream.
      4.662,725' Ledge with views of Plateau Mountain.
      6.432,140' Trail Junction (close loop). Take LEFT.
      6.692,019' DEC Parking Lot on Dale Lane.

    Hike to Sugarloaf Mountain

    parking area for Sugarloaf Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT is the DEC parking lot for this hike. It is directly on Dale Lane. The parking lot is directly next to the road. The road is a seasonal road that is closed in the winter.

    The picture on the RIGHT is the start of the trail. The registration box is a very short distance from this picture. Make sure that you register. Funds are allocated to the trails that get the most traffic for maintenance. If very few people register, then the trail can be permanently closed.
    parking area for Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The image on the LEFT shows how the trail starts.

    At mile post 0.22, you will come to a trail junction. At the end of the hike you will come to this trail junction to complete the loop. LEFT will take you to Pecoy Notch (Twin and Sugarloaf). RIGHT will take you to Mink Hollow (Sugarloaf and Plateau Mtn). I believe that the best way to hike the loop is from East-to-West. The east side of Sugarloaf has 600' of very difficult climbing, where the west side has 1,000' of difficult climbing. Therefore, I believe that you should go LEFT to Pecoy Notch.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 0.55, you will encounter the mini-chairs. These are not the official "Chairs". This is pictured on the LEFT.

    There are a few sections that can be muddy You can see one of the muddy sections on the RIGHT. Many of the muddy sections have rock in them Good hiking boots would always be recommended for this hike.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Stone chairs below Sugarloaf Mountain House
    At mile post 0.87, you will encounter the real "CHAIRS". They are pictured on the LEFT. These are probably the most elaborate rock structures in the Catskill Mountains. The "Chairs" have multiple Chairs, fire place, patio, oven, towers, etc. They also have an excellent view over Platte Clove Valley. It is a worthy visit.
    bridge to Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 1.02, you will encounter the wooden bridge you see in the pictre on the LEFT. The bridge has been rebuilt after this picture was taken.

    At mile post 1.37, you will come upon a large beaver pond. The picture on the RIGHT is the first view of the beaver pond. The mountain in the background is Twin Mountain.
    beaver dam below Sugarloaf Mountain
    beaver dam below Sugarloaf Mountain
    As you walk down the trail a little further you will come to the beaver's dam. You can see that dam in the picture on the LEFT. The mountain in the background is Sugarloaf Mountain.
    pecoy notch between Twin and Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 1.75 (elevation 2,808') you will reach Pecoy Notch.
    trail junction to twin mountain
    The picture on the LEFT shows the sign for climbing Twin Mountain from the West side.

    The picture on the RIGHT shows the sign for climbing Sugarloaf Mountain from the east side.
    trail junction to Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The trail starts climbing steeply almost immediately. The picture on the LEFT shows the beginning of the trail where it turns steeper. The next 1/2 mile will be one of the most difficult sections you will probably ever hike on. Take your time, and be careful.

    Now you will be on the Devil's Path. This entire path is difficult. There is nothing easy about this path. It has every possible kind of difficult hiking obstacle. Dangerous cliffs, big rocks to climb, cliffs to climb, deep mud, chimneys, loose rocks, trees, slippery rocks, moss covered rocks, water running over the path, etc. You will swear that only the devil could make a trail this difficult. Hence, the name, "Devil's Path".

    The picture on the RIGHT shows one of many difficult sections. The camera is tilted upward, so the slope is actually steeper then it looks in the picture. You need to hang onto the roots to climb this section. This climb is about 30 vertical feet.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT is another one of the difficult sections. The section has a vertical climb of about 50-60 vertical feet. You need to take your time and choose the best path for climbing this section.

    The picture on the RIGHT is an interesting section of the trail. It is a "T" section of the trail. You walk thru the cracks in the rock. It is one of the few "fun" sections of this difficult section.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    When you get to an elevation of 3,405 feet (mile post 2.16). There is a side trail that will take you to the view point. It is a nice place to stop and catch your breath, and get a little reward for your efforts.

    From this point forward, the steepness of the trail will level off and the hike become much easier. The next 300 vertical feet will be much easier. You will still have a few harder sections, but nothing as difficult as you just climbed. You will also start to see animals again. Mainly birds, porcipines, etc.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    At an elevation of 3,450' you will encounter this sign. You cannot camp above 3,500' feet between March 21 and December 21.

    The picture on the RIGHT is another small section near the summit. It is an easy climb.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    summit of Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 2.81 (elevation 3780' - GPS: N42 07.883 W74 09.004) you will reach the summit. The summit is not obvious, and very easy to miss. It is very level on the top of Sugarloaf Mtn, so it is very easy to miss. NO views from the summit peak. But, good views 550' down the trail, so don't worry!

    At mile post 2.92 (elevation 3741') you will encounter a Trail Junction on your LEFT. This trail is about 200' feet long and has a Yellow trail marker. Go LEFT.

    At mile post 2.96, you will reach the ledge in the picture on the RIGHT. This is the best view point on Sugarloaf. A good place for lunch or a well-deserved break. The lake in the picture is Cooper's Lake in Woodstock, and Ashokan Reservoir in the background. On your right is Plateau Mtn and the ridgeline to Tremper Mtn.

    At mile post 3.00 you will continue down the trail. The trail steadily gets steeper-and-steeper as you go down. The steep downhill grade on this side of the mountain is about 1,000 vertical feet.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    One of the many difficult section on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path.

    The picture on the RIGHT is another one of the many difficult section on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    One of the many difficult section on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path.

    The picture on the RIGHT is another one of the many difficult section on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path. Some consider this section the scariest part. The picture doesn't really show it well. But, it is a section of large rocks stacked upon each other. If you slip off one of the rocks, you will take a bad fall. Hiking this section In the winter this is one of the reasons they call it, "Suicide Mountain".
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    You don't have to climb this cliff, but you will walk under it. There is a considerable overhang.

    The picture on the RIGHT is another one of the many difficult section on the west side of Sugarloaf Mountain on the Devil's Path.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT is a "fun" section of this hike. You have to duck under this natural rock bridge. But, the fun doesn't last long. The trail continues do descend after the Natural Rock Bridge.

    At mile post 3.84 (elevation 2716') you will come to this trail junction. Straight will take you to Mink Hollow, Mink Hollow Road, Plateau Mtn, and the continuation of the Devil's Path. RIGHT will take you back to your car and complete the loop. The picture on the RIGHT is a picture of this trail junction. From the summit to this Trail Junction, the trail drops 1,000' in elevation and is about 1 mile long.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT will show you what the trail back to your car will be like. The beginning section of this trail can be a little difficult. It is easy hiking, but it is very easy to walk off the trail. The trail follows streams, so sometimes the stream appears to be the trail. The trail is long, but has many beautiful sections and features.

    At mile post 4.38 (elevation 2614') you will come to this wooden bridge. The bridge has been rebuilt since this photo was taken. It has a very beautiful stream with moss covered rocks below it.
    water falls below Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    The picture on the LEFT will show you what the steam below the bridge looks like. I like to stop here for a break to enjoy the stream and scenery.

    At mile post 4.66 (elevation 2725') you will come to a Ledge with the view in the picture on the RIGHT. Before you get to this ledge, the trail will turn uphill, and you will have to start climbing in elevation again. The first time I did this trail, I was annoyed that the trail designer was making me go uphill for no reason what so ever. But, after I get to the ledge I then understood. The view from the ledge is of Mink Hollow with Plateau Mtn in the background.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    If you take the time to look around while you are hiking back to your car, you might be able to enjoy some of nature's finest moments. Here are just two:
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Just before you get back to the Trail Junction that will complete the loop, you will come to a section of the forest floor that doesn't have any vegetation. We don't know why it is like this.

    At mile post 6.43, you will come back to the Trail Junction in the picture. You have now completed the loop. Take a LEFT back to your car.

    At mile post 6.69, you will arrive back at your car.
    Sugarloaf Mountain

    LINKS & REFERENCES

    NYS DEC information on Indian Head Wilderness
    DEC Indian Head Wilderness Map
    USGS Topographical Maps of Hunter Quadrangle
     


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