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Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

Overview of this Hike:

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
VO Map No: 23-to-21-to-24
Catskill Highest: #13
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.
Peak Elevation: 3,810'
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 (trail #23)
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 Indian Head Mtn
Dangers: Falling off mountain.
Common Animals: Black bears & Deer on Trails #23 & #24 - birds on the summit.
Risky Animals: Rattlesnakes (Low), Bears (Moderate)
Access Methods: Foot only



Maps, Profile, and GPS files

Sugarloaf Mountain GPS map
Sugarloaf 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: N42 09.063 W74 07.864 - Elevation is approximately 2,019 feet
  • Take New York State Thruway to Exit 21 (Catskill).
  • Take a left out of the NYS Thruway entrance road.
  • Go approximately 3/4 mile
  • Take a right onto Route 23 West
  • Go approximately 6.6 miles to Cairo, NY
  • Take a LEFT onto Rt 32. McDonalds Rest. on corner.
  • Go approximately 7.7 miles on Rt 32
  • Take a RIGHT onto Rt 23A
  • Go appoximately 9 miles to Tannersville NY.
  • At the only RED LIGHT, take a LEFT onto Rt 16 (platteclove road)
  • Go approximately 4.9 miles on Rt 16 (Platteclove Road)
  • Take a RIGHT onto Dale Lane
  • 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. If you are scared of heights, you might not want to do this trail.



    Mile Stone Chart

    Mile PostAltitudeNotes
    0.002,019 DEC Parking Lot on Dale Lane. GPS: N42 09.063 W74 07.864
    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 (from #21 to #24.
    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

    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.
    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
    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.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 1.02, you will encounter the wooden bridge you see in the pictre on the LEFT. When we last viewed the bridge in July of 2009, the bridge is rotting and not safe. We walked thru the stream to continue on the trail. If the stream is raging, you may decide to take your chances with the bridge.

    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.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    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.
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    At mile post 1.75 (elevation 2,808') you will reach Pecoy Notch. The notch is very similar to Jimmy Dolan Notch inbetween Indian Head Mtn and Twin Mtn.
    Sugarloaf 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.
    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
    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 is good, but is missing one of it's railings (July 2009). It has a very beautiful stream with moss covered rocks below it.
    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 vegatation. 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 and References:
    CatskillMountain.com Forum - Ask questions, talk about your experience with this hike
    USGS Information

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