Indian Head Mountain Loop

A relentless trail run to the summit of Indian Head Mountain.

Trail Running Severe

Distance
9.7 km
Ascent
536 m
Descent
536 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
623 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
14˚
Indian Head Mountain Loop Map

This trail run connects the first segment of the infamous Devil's Path with the Jimmy Nolan Notch Trail. Unique rock formations, picturesque boreal forest, and dramatic views line the way and make this one of the best in the region.

Description

Begin your run at the trailhead along Prediger Road, accessible via Platte Clove Road. This seasonal road is both steep and narrow and should always be driven with caution. There is plenty of parking, and a turnaround for larger vehicles.

Complete the loop in either direction. Counter-clockwise, follow the red-blazed Devil's Path to the first intersection with Jimmy Dolan Notch Trail. This is the most direct route to the summit of Indian Head Mountain and subsequently, the most challenging. This also serves as a popular route to access Twin Mountain, known for its sweeping views of the surrounding Catskills.

When you reach the notch, you will intersect the Devil's Path again. Keep left and follow the red blazes to the summit of Indian Head Mountain. For some particularly spectacular views, look for an unmarked spur to the south from the notch. Difficult to find, you'll descend to a rocky overlook and a great place to soak in the view.

From here, a tremendously steep climb separates you from the 3,500-foot summit of Indian Head Mountain. As the trail treks across the mountain, views will be limited, though the high mountain terrain still brings a beauty of its own. Near the highest point, look for a spur trail offering partial views to the west.

A relentlessly steep descent leads off the northeastern corner of the mountain and will demand the use of both your hands and feet at times. Finish your run along the north slope of the mountain, passing unique rock overhangs and other formations along the way. At the junction with Jimmy Nolan Notch Trial, keep right and make your way back to the trailhead.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IndianHeadMountain(NewYork) https://www.challengedhiking.com/2016/05/14/best-hikes-twin-mountain-on-the-catskills-devils-path/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27sPath(hikingtrail)#Easternsection

Difficulty

Severe

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area