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Slide Mountain (west access)

Slide Mountain

Overview of this Hike:

Distance: 5.86 miles from Rt 47 (Oliverea Road / West Branch Road).
Time: Average 3.50 hours round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,749 from Rt 47 DEC parking lot.
Best Time to Hike: Noontime.
Difficulty: Intermediate
VO Map No: 47 & 55
Catskill Highest: 1
Peak Elevation: 4,182'
Digital Mapper: Topo Terrain Satellite
Attractions: Great views from ledge before summit
Attractions: Highest Mountain in the Catskill Mountain
Unattractions: Ledge after peak is almost overgrown now. It used to be one of the best views in the Catskills
Common Animals: porcupines
Risky Animals: Bears (Low)
Access Methods: Foot & snowshoe



Maps, Profile, and GPS files

Slide Mountain GPS map
Slide Mountain elevation profile
Click here to download the GPS file in Garmin GDB 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: - Elevation is approximately 2,433 feet
  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 19 (Kingston).
  • Take a right out of the NYS Thruway toll booths onto Rt 28.
  • Go approximately 30.4 miles west on Rt 28
  • Take a left onto Rt 47 at Big Indian
  • Go 9.4 miles South on Rt 47
  • The DEC Parking lot is on the LEFT side of the road, just after Burroughs Historic Sign.



  • Special Circumstances about this Hike


    This trail can be very busy during the weekends. The parking lot fills up very quickly.

    After a big rain storm there are two streams right near the trailhead that can get 1-2 feet deep. After a significant amount of rain, the two streams are unpassable.


    Mile Stone Chart

    Mile PointAltitudeNotes
    0.002,433 DEC Parking Lot
    0.422,700 Turn right at top of steps.
    0.602,755' Water source from pipe.
    0.682,776' Trail Junction - Turn LEFT
    1.293,159 Trail to Campsite - easy to miss - symbol on downhill side - 150' off trail.
    1.593,500 3,500 limit for summer camping
    2.003,811 Unofficial Bushwack Trail on 2nd sharp turn - follows ridge down the mountain.
    2.243,945 Trail Junction - continue STRAIGHT.
    2.734,141 Best view spot just before summit.
    2.844,173 Summit - where you see a concrete pad in the middle of the trail.
    2.884,143 Ledge that used to overlook the Ashokan Reservoir - now overgrown with trees.
    5.862,460 Return back to DEC Parking Lot.

    Hike to Slide Mountain

    Slide Mountain
    The DEC Slide Mountain Parking Lot . While the parking lot is big (25 cars), it does fill up quite quickly on the weekends.

    The trail starts at the middle of the parking lot near the DEC billboard. Make sure you check in to the registration box.
    Slide Mountain
    This is the trail sign showing the distances.

    The picture on teh RIGHT shows the first of two stream you need to cross. After a rain storm these two streams can be 1-2 feet deep, and can be difficult to cross. After a major rain storm (4-5") the streams can be unpassable. The stream in the picture was 1-2 feet deep.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    The trail starts out flat like the picture on the LEFT.

    After about 1/4 mile the grade starts to increase in elevation. This picture was taken just before a sharp 90 degree right turn.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    At mile post 0.42 miles, you will come up a series of steps. At the top of the steps you will take a 90 degree RIGHT. If you look at the tree you will see a sign with an arrow on it. For the next 1/4 mile, the grade on this old carriage road will be almost flat.

    At mile post 0.60 miles, you will come to a water spring. It is a pipe sticking out of the ground. It is on the LEFT side of the trail.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    At mile post 0.68 miles, you will come to this trail junction pictured on the left. Straight will take you to Curtis-Ormsbee Trail. Left will take you to the summit of Slide Mountain. Take a LEFT.
    Slide Mountain
    The picture on the left shows the trail junction Slide Mtn and Curtis-Ormsbee Trail. Both are old carriage roads.
    Slide Mountain
    The picture on the right side of the page is an example of what the trail looks like. It continues uphill for the next 1.25 miles and will climb steadily for the next 1,000 vertical feet.

    At mile post 1.29 there is a side trail to a campsite. It is very easy to miss this side trail. On the way up, it is on the RIGHT side of the trail. There is a DEC yellow campsite marker, but you can only see it on the way down the mountain. The picture on the left shows the marker on the uphill side of the trail. You cannot see the marker while climbing uphill.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    This is the side trail to the campsite. It goes for approximately 150 feet.

    The picture on the right shows the campsite. There is a fire pit around the logs. Unfortunatley you cannot see the firepit in this picture. The camping site is not level, so it is not the best camping site.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    At mile post 1.75 the trail will decrease slightly in the grade, but will continue to climb in elevation. This will happen just after an old gate, which is hard to see. The trail takes a sharp left hand turn just after the old gate. At mile post 2.00 (elevation 3,811') the trail will take a sharp right. If you look carefully you will see a faint herd trail on the left. Some experienced hikers take this path down the mountain and follow the ridge line. After this second sharp turn, the trail will level off, and start to climb thru some conifer forest. When the leaves are not on the trees, you can catch a few views off to the left.

    At mile post 2.24 (elev 3,945') you will come to a Trail Junction. This trail junction is to the Curtis-Ormsbee Trail.

    The trial will continue on a fairly level grade. Once you approach the summit, the grade will start to increase again. This means you are very close to the summit.
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    At mile post 2.73 (elev 4,141') you will come to a ledge on the LEFT side of the trail. This is now the best view point on Slide Mountain. It overlooks Woodland Valley. On the left side of the picture you can see Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain. In the center of the screen is Woodland Valley. On the right side of the screen is Wittenberg Mountain. On the right side of the picture near the sky is the Indian Head Mountain Range with the Devil's Path.

    Panther Mountain is center of a meterorite hit millions of years ago. If you look at the mountain ranges that circle Panther Mountain, you can see the rim of the meterorite strike. It is a little confusing because Panther Mountain is at the center of the strike, and the rim is very large. But, Panther Mountain rose AFTER the meterorite strike millions of years ago. There are a few links on the bottom of the page that get into more detail of meterorite strike. This meterorite strike
    Slide Mountain
    The picture on the left is an enlarged view of Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain.

    The picture on the right shows the summit of Slide Mountain. It is at mile post 2.84. Years ago there was a fire tower here. In fact, there have been multiple fire towers over the years. I recommend that you continue past the summit to a ledge near the summit
    Slide Mountain
    Slide Mountain
    This picture is the ledge that is just past the summit of Slide Mountain. Years ago, the trees below the ledge were not there, and the view was spectacular. Now the trees block the view. In a couple years, the view will be completely gone. The water you see in the picture is the Ashokan Reservoir.
    Burroughs Plaque on the summit of Slide Mountain
    This picture of John Burroughs Plaque. It is located just past the summit of Slide Mountain on the ledge that used to have a good view over the Ashokan Reservoir. But, over the years, they have stopped cutting the view point. Years ago, many people climbed Slide just for this view point. The plaque was located at the bottom of the ledge. You will need to walk around to the bottom of the ledge to see it.

    Once done, you can head back.
    Links and References:
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike
    Panther Mountain Meterorite Crater Information
    Panther Mountain Meterorite Crater Information
    DEC Information on the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area


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