The Catskill Combinatorial

Putting It All Together

Introducing The Catskill Combinatorial

If you've been hiking The Catskill 35, you've been participating in The Catskill Combinatorial without even knowing it. Combinations of peaks hiked in a single hiking day are the focus. The Catskill Combinatorial is based on combinations of The Catskill 35, or Combos, hiked in a single hiking day.

The Catskill Combinatorial is designed to broaden your hiking adventures in the Catskill High Peaks. Some hikers may gravitate toward the Doozies, looking for a challenge that will bring them to new heights of physical achievement. They may find the Onesies and Twosies as inefficient hurdles getting in the way of their other hiking goals. But hopefully, upon reflection, they may see these as opportunities to get creative and design a hiking experience that they might otherwise never have the motivation to embark upon.

Other hikers may be intimidated by the challenge presented by some of the Doozies. That's ok. You can focus on the parts of the Combinatorial that suit your hiking style. You can become a Onesie or a Twosie Specialist and dabble in a few Doozies that pique your interest. It's not necessary to complete the entire Catskill Combinatorial. It's easy and fun to focus on the pieces that align with your individual interests as there are Progress Reports which focus on individual regions of the Catskills as well as the Onesies, Twosies, and Doozies.

What is a Combo?

A Combo is a single hiking day spent climbing a combination of The Catskill 35 peaks. Combos can range from a single peak (a Onesie), a typical peak pairing (a Twosie), to a challenging multi peak hike (a Doozie).

Combos are the backbone of the Catskill Combinatorial. Each hiking day is its own experience: Onesies, Twosies and Doozies!

Zero Extra Effort Record Keeping

If you've been recording your peaks using the Hikers Anonymous™ Track Your Progress system, you are all set to see your The Catskill Combinatorial progress on the Progress Reports below. You must be recording all of your peaks in order to participate in The Catskill Combinatorial. This is important because with The Catskill Combinatorial the focus is on the entire hiking day and omitting peaks will artificially create Combos which you haven't actually hiked.

If you're just getting started, or have been tracking only a small subset of your peaks, consider taking advantage of the Hikers Anonymous™ Bulk Upload Assistance to get your hiking records complete and accurately represented in the Track Your Progress system.

Reports on Demand

In addition to the Progress Reports which are viewable on the website, you can request additional reports using the Reports on Demand form which will be sent to you by email.

Onesies

A Onesie is a hiking day spent climbing one single peak. That's the whole day. You can't just choose to not record some peaks and artificially create a Onesie. You must actually create your entire day's experience around the one single peak.

Twosies

A Twosie is a hiking day spent climbing commonly paired sets of peaks. Twosies make sense: the hikes are of reasonable length, and the peaks are close by one another. While most Twosies involve two peaks, there are a few three peak Twosies like the Blackhead Range and the Burroughs Range.

Doozies

A Doozie is a hiking day spent climbing a more challenging combination of peaks that may require more time, stamina, and skill to complete. For many avid peakbaggers, Doozies are the bread and butter of their Catskill High Peaks hiking. For others, Doozies may seem daunting and out of reach at first, but become more attainable as their hiking capability and experience grows.

Progress Reports - The Catskill Combinatorial

The Catskill 35

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk
Panther
3,724
Panther
P
Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B
Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW
Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH
Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT
Thomas Cole
3,953
Thomas Cole
TC
Black Dome
3,994
Black Dome
BD
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP
Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

Ideas and Suggestions

The Catskill Combinatorial is a new section of our website. We'd appreciate any ideas and suggestions for improvements as well as any additions or corrections. Please email us and let us know.

The Catskill Combinatorial is a curated list of 100 Combos based upon the actual hiking preferences and habits of the hikers who participate in the Hikers Anonymous™ Track Your Progress system. We'd be very interested in knowing if we've left out a Combo that you feel is worthy of inclusion in The Catskill Combinatorial. We'd also be interested in knowing which Combos you find unworthy of inclusion. Our intention is to make tweaks to the list and arrive at the most representative 100 Combos of The Catskill 35.

Onesies

A Onesie is a hiking day spent climbing one single peak. That's the whole day. You can't just choose to not record some peaks and artificially create a Onesie. You must actually create your entire day's experience around the one single peak.

Twosies

A Twosie is a hiking day spent climbing commonly paired sets of peaks. Twosies make sense: the hikes are of reasonable length, and the peaks are close by one another. While most Twosies involve two peaks, there are a few three peak Twosies like the Blackhead Range and the Burroughs Range.

Doozies

A Doozie is a hiking day spent climbing a more challenging combination of peaks that may require more time, stamina, and skill to complete. For many avid peakbaggers, Doozies are the bread and butter of their Catskill High Peaks hiking. For others, Doozies may seem daunting and out of reach at first, but become more attainable as their hiking capability and experience grows.

Most Hiked Combos

This report lists the most commonly hiked combos among the combinations that are named and included in the Combinatorial: the Onesies, the Twosies and the Doozies. There's also a section containing the most commonly hiked combos which haven't been named and included in the Combinatorial.

This is interesting and useful as a way of seeing trends and patterns in the actual hiking habits of hikers using the Hikers Anonymous™ Track Your Progress system. Keep an eye on this section for ideas for inclusion into the Combinatorial based upon the actual hiking habits of hikers using the Hikers Anonymous™ Track Your Progress system.

Slide Mountain Wilderness

The Onesies

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk
Panther
3,724
Panther
P

The Twosies

Burroughs Range

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W

This is the classic Catskill trail hike which is frequently hiked as a car-shuttle traverse between the Slide Mountain and Woodland Valley trailheads. Each direction offers a unique experience. It can also be hiked out and back or in a loop from either trailhead.

About 9 miles; 3,400' ascent

Cornell, Wittenberg

Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W

More often than not, this combo is hiked as an out and back trail hike from Woodland Valley. Challenging scrambles and awesome views.

About 8.5 miles; 2,900' ascent

Friday, Balsam Cap

Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC

While these are technically untrailled peaks with canisters, hiking them out and back from Moon Haw is a very trail-like experience. You'll hike on woods roads and the "rim trail" unless you get creative. There's lots of elevation gain on this one.

About 6.5 miles; 2,800' ascent

Rocky, Lone

Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L

This is a twosie to two of the most remote peaks in the Catskills. Get out your map and compass and have an adventure. Some hike along the Neversink to the foot of Rocky and loop it, but in deep snow conditions you might choose an out and back route and climb Lone twice.

About 11 miles; 2,200' ascent

Table, Peekamoose

Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk

This is a trail hike with lots of elevation gain. The mile or so between the peaks is beautiful. You can choose to begin from the Denning or Peekamoose trailheads or even a car shuttle traverse for a different experience. Consider hiking this one as part of the spring or fall trail maintenance trips with the Catskill 3500 Club.

About 9 miles; 2,850' ascent

The Doozies

Woodland Valley Quartet

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Panther
3,724
Panther
P

Of course you don't actually need to start from Woodland Valley to hike this combo, but that's usually how it's done. Hikers set out for the 15 mile Burroughs Range loop and take a side trip out and back to Panther on the return leg. It's a doozy of a day, but you'll love it!

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

Aspirant DoubleShot (S-P)

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Panther
3,724
Panther
P

The quirky rules for membership in the Catskill 3500 Club require climbing four of the peaks twice with at least one climb in the winter season.

When the Winter Peakbagging Frenzy starts on December 21, you may find yourself dragged into one or more of these Aspirant DoubleShots by goal-oriented aspirants. Go along, have some fun, and give a lift to an aspiring Catskill High Peaks peakbagger.

About 11.7 miles; 3,500' ascent

Aspirant DoubleShot III (P-B)

Panther
3,724
Panther
P
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

Another Aspirant DoubleShot inspired by the quirky rules for membership in the Catskill 3500 Club.

You'll want to get an early start to grab a parking spot since the trailheads for these four peaks get busy during the Winter Peakbagging Frenzy.

About 11.4 miles; 3,350' ascent

Aspirant DoubleShot II (S-B)

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

Another Aspirant DoubleShot inspired by the quirky rules for membership in the Catskill 3500 Club.

About 10.7 miles; 3,350' ascent

The SIX

Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk

This is a bread and butter hike for avid Catskill High Peaks peak baggers folding three days of hiking into one with a very small incremental extra effort. It's usually hiked as a car-shuttle traverse with Friday first and Peekamoose last. It's fun going backwards too.

This can also be hiked as a loop from the Denning trailhead for a vastly different experience.

Peekamoose Parking Permits

Here are ways to avoid the parking permits required at the Peekamoose trailhead from May 15 to September 15.

  • 1) Park at Moonhaw, get dropped off at Peekamoose and go backwards.
  • 2) Hike the loop from Denning.
  • 3) Hike The NINE or The OCHO instead.
  • 4) Hike a traverse from Moonhaw to Denning (NOTE: this is a 55 minute car shuttle!).

About 11.5 miles; 4,000' ascent

The Nine

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk

Along with hiking the Devils Path Traverse, this is one of the longer, more challenging hikes that the Catskill Forest Preserve has to offer. It even has its own Fastest Known Time (FKT) page.

Any way you approach it, you'll need excellent navigation skills and endurance. If you're after a FKT you'll have to hike a full loop with Denning being the most common starting and finishing trailhead. Slide Mountain trailhead and Moon Haw are other options.

You can reduce the mileage by employing a car shuttle. The StraightLine NINE starts at Peekamoose and ends at Slide. Either direction between Slide Mountain trailhead and Denning are even more feasible with a shorter drive between trailheads and less elevation gain.

If you'd really like to kick it up a notch, consider the Romer Nine which adds Cross, Pleasant and Romer mountains and ends at the Lane Street trailhead in Phoenicia. Of course, none of those peaks "count"!

About 16 miles; 5,000' ascent

The OCHO

Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk

This is a Hudson Valley Hikers (HVH) classic. When you see it get posted, jump on it - it's a hoot!

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

Moonhaw Four

Cornell
3,857
Cornell
C
Wittenberg
3,782
Wittenberg
W
Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC

This is easily one of the most fun combos in the Catskills. Do your research and find your way through an amazing loop. This hike may be your entry point into navigating the Dink which will prepare you for some of the longer adventures in this area like The OCHO and the NINE. You may encounter some of the steepest slopes you've ever climbed on this one.

About 8.8 miles; 3,400' ascent

Denning Four

Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L
Table
3,825
Table
Ta
Peekamoose
3,819
Peekamoose
Pk

This combo is usually hiked as a loop from Denning and is evenly split between trail and bushwhack. Clockwise, counterclockwise or with an out and back section, you'll have a great time exploring these beautiful peaks in the Slide Mountain Wilderness. Each of them has a great vista if you take the time to find it.

About 12.5 miles; 2,600' ascent

Fisherman's Four

Friday
3,692
Friday
Fr
Balsam Cap
3,608
Balsam Cap
BC
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro
Lone
3,700
Lone
L

These peaks line up nicely along the east side of the Neversink and they all have canisters. Hiking this combo might be a chance to follow the Fisherman's Path further up than you've been before. Who knows, you may find some relics along the way.

About 13 miles; 2800' ascent

High Low

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Rocky
3,487
Rocky
Ro

Combine the Highest (Slide at 4,184') and the Lowest (Rocky at 3,487') and you have the High Low. With an elevation difference of 697', you have quite the pair!

This combo is a throwback to the heyday of the fun-loving Rip Van Winkle Hiking Club when they would conjure up wacky stunts like this just for the fun of it. Pick a day, make a plan and you're almost guaranteed to trek through a part of the Slide Mountain Wilderness you've never visited before. If you're lucky, you may hear the giggles of Rips echoing in the Neversink.

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

Big Indian Wilderness

The Onesies

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

The Twosies

Fir, Big Indian

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI

Usually hiked out of the Biscuit Brook trailhead, it's a loop evenly split between trail hiking and bushwhacking.

About 10.2 miles; 2,300' ascent

Big Indian, Doubletop

Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D

Depending on your preference between bushwhacking and trail hiking, you'll choose either a loop option which maximizes the bushwhacking component, or a trail hike to Big Indian and an out and back to Doubletop. The loop is significantly shorter, but not necessarily easier especially when water levels are high and the stream crossings are difficult.

About 12.6 miles; 2,750' ascent

Big Indian, Eagle

Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E

You can hike these as a T-Bone from the Seager trailhead.

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

Eagle, Balsam

Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

This is true trail hike in the Big Indian Wilderness which can be initiated at ether the Rider Hollow or McKenley Hollow trailheads. There are nice route alternatives which cut down the mileage with a bushwhack segment or two.

About 9 miles; 2,400' ascent

The Doozies

FirBBiE

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

The FirBBiE (pronounced Fur-bee) is a nice long traverse in the Big Indian Wilderness with many route options. Although three of the peaks have canisters, you'll spend a lot of the time on trails. If you can coordinate having hot dogs and fresh pretzels ready for you at either the McKenley Hollow or Rider Hollow leantos, then you've hiked a True FirBBiE.

About 14.5 miles; 3,400' ascent

Burnham Hollow 3

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E

This is a favorite loop hike when a FirBBiE might be a bit too much. Once you get started on the clockwise journey it's a beautiful medium length loop with a nice trail section bookended by nice bushwhacking in mostly deciduous forest.

The signage in and around the DEC Burnham Hollow parking area is missing and/or misleading so we produced this helpful guide to getting started at Burnham Hollow.

About 9.2 miles; 2,900' ascent

Triple Biscuit

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D

This challenging loop hike is one of the great things that happened when the Gould Family closed access to their property. By starting from the Biscuit Brook trailhead, we now have one of the more challenging hikes in the Catskills. Hikers who've hiked it seem in unanimous agreement that it is more challenging than The SIX and requires superior navigation skills.

If you're considering this one for the first time and you'd like to hike with a group, contact us and we'll try our best to get you in touch with some Triple-Biscuit-Experienced hiking buddies.

About 11.8 miles; 3,250' ascent

Biscuits and Gravy

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

By far, this is the most challenging combo in the Big Indian Wilderness. You take the Triple Biscuit and add some Eagle and Balsam gravy. You'll likely want to use a car shuttle for this one. Another way to look at this combo is that it's a FirBBiE with a quick out and back to Doubletop in the middle.

About 17 miles; 4,800' ascent

Pine Hill Trail Triple

Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

This is a nice long trail hike in the Big Indian Wilderness. Yes, you're right, there are canisters on two of these peaks, but it's really just a trail hike with minimal to zero bushwhack navigation skills required.

About 13.2 miles; 3,400' ascent

Double Beaver

Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL

This is a fantastic way to combine two Onesies into an interesting DoubleShot from the Beaverkill parking area and put an interesting twist on your Catskill 35 round.

You'll hike an interesting route to Doubletop from the west by hiking a few miles in on the Neversink-Hardenburgh trail and bushwhacking an infrequently used route to Doubletop. Upon return to the Beaverkill parking area, top off the day with an easy hike to the Balsam Lake fire tower and have a picnic lunch.

About 14.3 miles; 3,125' ascent

Double Balsam Plus

Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

The trailheads are close to one another but far from you, so maximize your driving effort by hiking this DoubleShot.

Treat yourself to a Balsam and Eagle hike from Rider Hollow and cap off the day with a trip to the Balsam Lake fire tower from Mill Brook Road.

About 14.9 miles; 3,500' ascent

Double Balsam

Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

The trailheads are close to one another but far from you, so maximize your driving effort by hiking this DoubleShot.

Treat yourself to a Balsam loop hike from Rider Hollow and cap off the day with a trip to the Balsam Lake fire tower from Mill Brook Road. With a bit more time and effort, you could try the very similare Double Balsam Plus which adds Eagle to the mix.

About 11.1 miles; 2,700' ascent

Panther, Balsam Lake

Panther
3,724
Panther
P
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL

This DoubleShot combo is hiked more often than you might think. It's two trail hikes that may just complete the Slide Mountain Wilderness and the Big Indian Wilderness for your Catskill 35 round.

About 12.1 miles; 2,850' ascent

Balsam Lake, Windham High Peak

Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP

These two trail hikes are on opposite ends of the Catskill Forest Preserve, but this DoubleShot combo might be just the thing to introduce a new visitor to the area. Each hike is one of the easier ones, so have a morning hike, a long drive with lunch on the way, followed by a nice afternoon stroll to a peak with amazing views.

About 12 miles; 2,550' ascent

Retired Combos

Graham Mountain is no longer accessible since the Gould family no longer allows hikers to visit their 5,457 acre private forest parcel. Hence, these popular combos are no longer available to the hiking community.

Graham, Balsam Lake (retired)

Graham
3,868
Graham
G
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL

This was a very popular trail hike led by many 3500 Club hike leaders from Mill Brook Road.

Off Limits Twosie (retired)

Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Graham
3,868
Graham
G

This was a favorite bushwhack out of Seager with a challenging section between the peaks with beautiful, fun and steep sections on the west side of Doubletop and the east side of Graham.

Mill Brook 3 (retired)

Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Graham
3,868
Graham
G
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL

A favorite three peak traverse, spectacular in either direction.

CrazyCombo™ West Cats 5 (retired)

Fir
3,629
Fir
Fi
Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Graham
3,868
Graham
G
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL

This was the Big Indian Wilderness's answer to The SIX.

CrazyCombo™ Balsam to Balsam (retired)

Big Indian
3,699
Big Indian
BI
Doubletop
3,855
Doubletop
D
Graham
3,868
Graham
G
Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Eagle
3,583
Eagle
E
Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B

Back when we were Rip Van Winkles, this was one of our longer CrazyCombo™ series of hikes. From Balsam Lake to Balsam: a short car shuttle but a long hike!

Spruceton Valley

The Onesies

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

The Twosies

Spruceton DoubleShot

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru

This DoubleShot is hiked so frequently that it's classified as a Twosie. Two short and steep "bushwhack" hikes not too far from one another.

About 6.3 miles; 3,250' ascent

Sherrill, North Dome

Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND

These peaks require the trickiest navigation of the Spruceton Valley bushwhacks. There are many possible routes with some benefitting from a car shuttle.

About 10 miles; 2,150' ascent

Hunter, Southwest Hunter

Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

Think of this as a trail hike even though Southwest Hunter has a canister. The path to Southwest Hunter is one of the nicest sections of trails in the Catskills. Many hike it as a loop from one of the parking areas near the end of Spruceton Road. Do you prefer clockwise or counterclockwise? Other options include short car shuttle routes using the Notch Lake and Becker Hollow trailheads. You could forego the shuttle and hike a loop with a mile long road walk on Route 214.

About 10 miles; 2,150' ascent

The Doozies

Rusk Hunter Loop

Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

Hiking this loop usually includes summiting East Rusk, at 3,686' a peak well over 3,500', which won't "count". The navigation is pretty straightforward, but you can avoid most of it by hiking Rusk up and down and spending more miles on the trail.

About 11 miles; 3,000' ascent

CrazyCombo™ Spruceton StraightShot

Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We

The CrazyCombo™ name is throwback to the days when we hiked as the Rip Van Winkles, but by current standards this is not so crazy anymore. Best hiked as a straight line from Shaft Road to the end of Spruceton Road, getting the bushwhacking portion finished early and ending with a trail hike, it's also routinely hiked in the opposite direction Under certain conditions a DoubleShot approach may make sense.

About 11.3 miles; 4,200' ascent

Spruceton ScatterShot

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru

You might be tempted to call this a TripleShot, but anything beyond a DoubleShot is a ScatterShot. In this case, it's a trio of single peak hikes, two with canisters and the third a nice trail hike to cap off the day.

About 12.7 miles; 5,050' ascent

Spruceton Trail Triple

Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

This is a nice, long trail hike at the end of Spruceton Road. It's a great hike for those not comfortable with navigating bushwhacks on their own who desire a full challenging and productive day.

About 14.4 miles; 3,400' ascent

Spruceton Horseshoe

Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

This is a challenging horseshoe shaped four peak hike at the end of Spruceton Road. It's mostly on trails but with the addition of Rusk, there's an off trail component. Hikers can choose to traverse over East Rusk to Hunter or drop down from Rusk and take the trail to Hunter.

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

SIX West

Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW

There's no longer only one SIX in the Catskills. SIX West is a new one that we've quickly come to enjoy. It's a long challenging day, so you might consider stashing some water at the midpoint around Diamond Notch falls.

About 20.5 miles; 6,950' ascent

Westkill, Rusk

Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru

This is another DoubleShot combo in the Spruceton Valley. Although Rusk has a canister, hiking this combo is very much like hiking two trail hikes back to back.

About 9.5 miles; 3,350' ascent

The Shaft

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND

If you're using the Shaft Road parking area for your North Dome and Sherrill hike, why not tack on Halcott which is right across Route 42. Of course, you could drive down the road and hike Halcott on the well traveled route, but treat yourself to the alternative of hiking the ridge from the Shaft to Halcott sometime. If you time it to when the blackberries are in full fruit, you'll enjoy some delicious snacks along the way.

About 9.2 miles; 4,100' ascent

Spruceton Hybrid Doubleshot

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We

A short and steep bushwhack combined with an awesome trail hike, it's the Spruceton Hybrid DoubleShot.

About 9.1 miles; 3,950' ascent

Spruceton Bushwhack Doubleshot

Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru

Combining two of the bushwhack hikes, it's the three peak Spruceton Bushwhack DoubleShot.

About 9.6 miles; 3,500' ascent

The Other Nine

Sherrill
3,558
Sherrill
Sh
North Dome
3,605
North Dome
ND
Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Hunter
4,030
Hunter
H
Southwest Hunter
3,753
Southwest Hunter
SW
Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH

This one caught our imagination when a pair of our hikers took on this splendid challenge and claimed the FKT. Since then, others have followed. This hike is like a super charged Devils Path traverse including two trailless peaks, North Dome and Sherrill, which were originally considered to be included in the Devils Path. Oh yeah, they added in two quick out and backs to bring Hunter and Southwest Hunter into the mix as well!

Newer combinations like these are exciting because the route possibilities are still being worked out and experimented with. Some are even considering adding Rusk to the mix to make it a ten peak Catskill High Peaks traverse.

FKT Route: 30.72 miles, and 11,535' ascent

Platte Clove

The Onesies

Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH
Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT

The Twosies

Plateau, Sugarloaf

Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su

These are the taller pair of peaks on the easern half of the Devils Path. The typical peak bagger T-Bone route starts at the end of Mink Hollow Road, but you could also hike these as a traverse between the Notch Lake trailhead on Route 214 and the Roaring Kill trailhead, setting up a visit to Dibble's Quarry along the way.

About 5.2 miles; 2,700' ascent

Twin, Indian Head

Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH

Mostly hiked as a pair from Prediger Road via the infamous Jimmy Dolan trail, sometimes you might take a longer loop option that brings you past several nice viewpoints on the east side of Indian Head.

A traverse using the Platte Clove parking area is easier on the feet and takes you through the Platte Clove Preserve and past Plattekill Falls. Sherman's Lookout is a particularly nice viewpoint that makes a great destination for a sunrise breakfast hike, just sayin'.

About 6.8 miles; 2,100' ascent

Kaaterskill High Peak, Roundtop

Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT

The addition of Roundtop to the Catskill 35 has added so much variety and interest to the hiking in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest.

Aficionados of the Majestic Roundtop have rediscovered the DEP parking lots on Gillespie Road (Gillespie One and Gillespie Two) and have found relief from the busier scene at the Platte Clove parking lot. So many route options are possible when planning to hike this pair that we'll leave it up to you to find your own favorites.

About 6 miles; 1,600' ascent

Sugarloaf, Twin

Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw

Hiking the middle pair of eastern Devils Path peaks offers an alternative to the more common pairings of Plateau with Sugarloaf and Indian Head with Twin.

You'll certainly become aquainted with the Roaring Kill parking area where a T-Bone route or a loop around Sugarloaf is a fine choice, but you could also consider a traverse, bringing the parking areas at Prediger Road or Mink Hollow Road into play. Dibble's Quarry, here you come!

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

The Doozies

DPE4

Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH

Hiking the four peaks on the eastern Devils Path is one of the true pleasures of rugged trail hiking in the Catskills. Best hiked as a traverse with a car shuttle, it can also be tackled as an ambitious DoubleShot or an outrageous out and back hike.

Hiking the Devils Path route precisely as a traverse from the Prediger Road trailhead to the Notch Lake trailhead on Route 214 is the first half of the Devil in a Day challenge.

Experienced Catskill peak baggers come to know that tackling them biggest to smallest (Plateau to Indian Head) is the best recipe for a successful and pleasurable trip. They may even have a few shortcuts up their sleeves to spice thing up a bit.

About 8.8 miles; 3,900' ascent

CrazyCombo™ Mink-Gillespie Horseshoe

Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH
Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT

If you think, as we do, that every cluster of Catskill peaks should have a challenging horseshoe shaped combo, then you'll come to love this one which we think is the most challeging of the bunch. You may tend to agree when you see the elevation profile of the traverse route.

It may even prompt you to consider hiking this combo as a DoubleShot. It's just a DPE4 traverse plus a KHP, Roundtop combo: a pretty full hiking day for sure!

About 17.5 miles; 6,200' ascent

Devils Path Peaks

Westkill
3,898
Westkill
We
Plateau
3,835
Plateau
Pl
Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH

These are the peaks you'll summit if you hike the full Devils Path Traverse which just happens to be the Catskills entry on the New England Ultra 8 (NEU8) challenge.

If you're not up to that challenge, you could consider hiking this combo as a DoubleShot, saving some mileage.

Distance and elevation? Let us know.

High Peaks DoubleShot

Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT

This is a nice DoubleShot option for the two "High Peaks". They are not too far apart and each of them has a great view.

About 12.1 miles; 3,050' ascent

Sugarloaf, Twin, Indian Head

Sugarloaf
3,783
Sugarloaf
Su
Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH

Hiking these three together is a shorter traverse option which leaves Plateau for another day. Perfect for when you're planning your Plateau Onesie hike.

About 7 miles; 2,725' ascent

Platte Clove FOUR

Twin
3,650
Twin
Tw
Indian Head
3,573
Indian Head
IH
Kaaterskill High Peak
3,652
Kaaterskill High Peak
KHP
Roundtop
3,465
Roundtop
RT

This is a nice DoubleShot option that will complete the Platte Clove peaks when you've hiked the Plateau Sugarloaf Twosie.

About 12.8 miles; 3,700' ascent

Blackhead-Windham Wilderness

The Onesies

Thomas Cole
3,953
Thomas Cole
TC
Black Dome
3,994
Black Dome
BD
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP

The Twosies

Blackhead Range

Thomas Cole
3,953
Thomas Cole
TC
Black Dome
3,994
Black Dome
BD
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH

The trail network in the Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness offers a nice selection of routes for hiking the three peaks of the Blackhead Range.

You can hike a traverse route and include the Caudal and Camel's Hump into your itinerary by hiking from the Barnum Road trailhead. From the parking area at the end of Big Hollow Road, you can loop around Blackhead by hiking up Batavia Kill and ascending the steep approach on the Escarpment Trail. The ever popular T-Bone route through the Lockwood Gap is the shortest of the bunch and highly recommended in winter, just sayin'.

About 7.7 miles; 2,900' ascent

The Doozies

Windham-Blackhead Horseshoe

Thomas Cole
3,953
Thomas Cole
TC
Black Dome
3,994
Black Dome
BD
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP

You can hike all four peaks in the Windham-Blackhead Range Wilderness by adding Windham High Peak to the three peaks of the Blackhead Range.

The legacy route would be a horseshoe shaped trail hike between the Barnum Road and Peck Road trailheads. This is a fabulous hike and perhaps the best of the "horseshoes" in the Catskills.

With the addition of some newly acquired DEP parcels, a shorter circular route can be considered. Short bushwhack sections at each end of the hike replace the trail mileage to the traditional trailheads and the circular shaped route avoids the need for a car shuttle, so this route can be hiked solo if necessary.

Many hikers choose to use a DoubleShot approach to hiking this combo which allows you to refresh your water and supplies at your car.

About 13.8 miles; 4,350' ascent

Escarpment Peaks

Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH
Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP

If you hike the full Escarpment Trail traverse, these are the peaks you'll summit. That's a long day for just two peaks, but the traverse is a magnificent hike that is a real treat. Truly adventurous hikers could add an out and back segement to reach Black Dome and Thomas Cole, but isn't that really just a very long way to hike the Windham-Blackhead Horseshoe?

Aspirant DoubleShot IV (S-BH)

Slide
4,184
Slide
S
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH

You must really want to help out your aspiring hiker friend if you're hiking this one. Don't you think the trailheads are a bit too far apart for a reasonable DoubleShot?

About 13.2 miles; 4,650' ascent

Aspirant DoubleShot V (P-BH)

Panther
3,724
Panther
P
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH

You must really want to help out your aspiring hiker friend if you're hiking this one. Don't you think the trailheads are a bit too far apart for a reasonable DoubleShot?

About 12.3 miles; 3,200' ascent

Aspirant DoubleShot VI (B-BH)

Balsam
3,607
Balsam
B
Blackhead
3,940
Blackhead
BH

You must really want to help out your aspiring hiker friend if you're hiking this one. Don't you think the trailheads are a bit too far apart for a reasonable DoubleShot?

About 10.2 miles; 3,350' ascent

Bearpen State Forest

The Onesies

Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

The Twosies

Bearpen, Vly

Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

These peaks are in the Bearpen State Forest which is outside the Blue Line which surrounds the Catskill Forest Preserve and what a quirky pair they are!

Vly is a short and steep hike to a peak with a canister although you'll likely be following an unmaintained trail marked by blue painted blazes.

Bearpen is a hike on snowmobile trails to a peak with several awesome viewpoints to the north and west. Be sure to find the rusted relics which served the "liftline" rope tow for the Princeton Ski Bowl which once existed here. Look to the north to see Huntersfield, the highest point in Schoharie County and west to the ski center on Plattekill Mountain and the towers atop Utsayantha Mountain. To the northwest, try to spot the upper reservior of the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project.

About 6.4 miles; 1,900' ascent

The Doozies

HalVly

Halcott
3,509
Halcott
Ha
Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

You've driven to the northwest corner of the Catskill 35, so why not add Halcott to your itinerary?

Unfortunately, there is private property preventing a traverse of these three peaks on public lands, but you can hike Halcott as a DoubleShot add on. With a longer drive, you can hike Halcott as most do from State Route 42, but why not take advantage of the proximity of the Elk Creek Road or Turk Hollow Road approaches to the Halcott Mountain Wild Forest and have a different Halcott experience this time? You might also consider hiking to the Catskill Hundred Highest peak Sleeping Lion from these alternate approaches.

About 9.6 miles; 3,600' ascent

Rusk, Bearpen, Vly

Rusk
3,686
Rusk
Ru
Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

Vly and Bearpen being a short combo can be combined with other peaks in a DoubleShot to extend the day's itinerary. Adding Rusk is one popular option.

About 9.5 miles; 3,450' ascent

Balsam Lake, Bearpen, Vly

Balsam Lake
3,729
Balsam Lake
BL
Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

Vly and Bearpen being a short combo can be combined with other peaks in a DoubleShot to extend the day's itinerary. Adding the westernmost of the Catskill 35, Balsam Lake Mountain, is another popular option.

About 12.3 miles; 3,000' ascent

Windham High Peak, Bearpen, Vly

Windham High Peak
3,525
Windham High Peak
WHP
Bearpen
3,587
Bearpen
Bp
Vly
3,541
Vly
V

Vly and Bearpen being a short combo can be combined with other peaks in a DoubleShot to extend the day's itinerary. Adding Windham High Peak is an option, but requires a rather lengthy drive between trailheads.

About 12.5 miles; 3,350' ascent