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Plateau Mountain on the Devil's Path

Hunter Mountain
 
 

OVERVIEW

  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
  Catskill Highest: #12
  Peak Elevation: 3,856'
   
  USGS Official Names: Plateau Mountain (ID: 973359)
  USGS Previous Names: Stony Mountain (changed in 1928)
  USGS Summit-Elevation: 3,845' (USGS)
  USGS Hunter-Summit-WGS84: 42.1378671, -74.1743088 (DEC-WGS84)
  USGS Hunter-Summit-GPS: N 42 08.272, W 74 10.459 (GPS)
  USGS Hunter-Summit-UTM: 18N 568234, 4665414 (UTM)
  USGS Hunter-Summit-Deg, Min, Sec: N42 08 16, W74 10 27 (Degree, Min, Sec)
  USGS Official Map: Hunter Topographical Map (free)
   
  Acme 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 on the steep climbs up the mountain.
  Dangers: Rattlesnakes (low risk)
  Access Methods: Foot only

Maps

Plateau Mountain GPS map


 

DIRECTIONS TO TRAIL HEAD

 
  • Mink Hollow Road Parking WGS84 (DEC): 42.143217, -74.157983 - Elevation is approximately 2,233 feet
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  • Mink Hollow Road Parking Deg/Min/Sec: N42 08 35, W74 09 28 - Elevation is approximately 2,233 feet
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  • Mink Hollow Road Parking GPS: N 42 08.593, W 74 09.479 - Elevation is approximately 2,233 feet
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  • Mink Hollow Road Parking UTM: 18N 569578, 4666021 - Elevation is approximately 2,233 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 2-3 miles on Rt 16 (Platteclove Road)
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  • Take a RIGHT onto Elka Park Road
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  • 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.

    Back around 2010, several people saw Timber Rattlesnakes on or near the trail. Since then we are unaware of any other sightings of them. While it is highly unlikely that you encounter one, it is not impossible.

    You can also hike Plateau Mountain from Rt 214 near the Stoney Clove Notch. You have to pay to park at the DEC parking lot near the large pond (by the campground). The elevation to the Summit of Plateau Mountain is twice as much as from Mink Hollow Road. But, if you are up for a challenge, then you can consider hiking it from Rt 214. The mileage will be similar.

    You can also hike Plateau Mountain from the south side of the Devil's Path from Mink Hollow Road in Ulster County. It will add about 1.85 miles to your hike (one-way). There is a Lean-on on this portion of the trail near the Trail Junction of the Devil's Path.

    For those who need to camp in this area, there is a DEC Lean-to near the Trail Junction in the col of Sugarloaf Mtn and Plateau Mtn. It is located just south of the Trail Junction. It is called the Mink Hollow Lean-To.


    MILEAGE CHART

      Mile PointAltitudeNotes
      0.002,234 Park at the end of Mink Hollow Road (North side of the Devil's Path in Greene County.
      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. There is a Lean-To just down the trail on the south side of the Devil's Path. 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
      1.723,856 Plateau Summit.
      2.353,842 Trail Junction. Left will take you to Tremper Mtn 10.16 miles down the trail. Right will take you to Spruce Top Mtn (Private Land). Continue STRAIGHT.
      3.363,681 Orchard Point - Poor view of Platte Clove.
      3.563,691 Orchard Point - Excellent Views of Platte Clove and Tannersville.
      3.673,688 Orchard Point - Excellent Views of West Kill. Reverse course back to your car.
      5.733,808 Views before steep descent.
      6.622,645 Trail Junction: LEFT to Mink Hollow Road (North side in Greene county); Straight to Sugarloaf; RIGHT to Mink Hollow Road (South side in Ulster county).
      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 0.69, you will come to the col of the notch where there will be a 4-way Trail Junction (pictured on the LEFT). 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 RIGHT shows you what the trail looks like when you turn onto the Devil's Path to begin the ascent to the summit of Plateau Mountain. In the beginning, the trail is very mellow, but quickly turns to a very steep ascent.
    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
    view point on 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 vertical feet.

    The view in the picture is of Platte Clove Valley. You can also see part of Sugarloaf Mountain.
    summit of 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.
    summit of Plateau Mountain
    mushrooms on 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.
    mushrooms on 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.

    There are many people who mistake this trail juction for the Summit of Plateau Mountain. It is NOT the summit. The true summit is on the east side of Plateau Mountain. The difference is small. Less then 10 feet.
    trail to Tremper Mountain
    views from Orchard Point on Plateau Mountain
    When you get to the other side of Plateau, you will have 3 view points. This is called Orchard Point. 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.
    view from Orchard Point on Plateau Mountain
    The third view point is of Stoney Clove, Hunter-Westkill Mtn Range, and south into the Slide Mtn Wilderness area. Once you are done, reverse course back to your car.

    LINKS & REFERENCES

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


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