3500 Series: Kaaterskill High Peak

Overview
Pack List
Intensity Level
Drive to Meet Option
FAQ

No. 23, Elevation: 3,655 feet


WHAT WE LOVE

  • Stunning views from Hurricane Ledge
  • Challenging scrambles
  • Observe unique wildlife
  • Learn the region's history

YOUR DAY

Kaaterskill High Peak (KHP), known as "High Peak", stands at 3,655 feet and is the 23rd highest peak in the Catskills range. Dominating the view from the Hudson Valley, it's easy to see why early surveyors and mountaineers mistook it for the tallest mountain in the Catskills leading to the misnomer. This trail is packed with history and physical challenges. We'll hike roughly 8.25 miles, encounter an old Mohawk Indian Camp, gain nearly 1,800 feet of elevation, and see the remains of two plane crashes dating back to the late 1980's. We'll brave an unmaintained network of footpaths and social trails to bag our summit, where we'll lunch on the famed Hurricane Ledge and enjoy the hard-earned spectacular views.

Depending on trail conditions, snowshoes or microspikes may be required. If so, they will be provided by your guide.

Perfect for: Experienced hikers, fit adventurers looking for a challenge


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Pack List

BRING
  • Your lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least two liters of water
  • A thermos of hot soup, tea, or coffee is recommended
  • A backpack. Need a recommendation? Check out Deuter!
  • Weather-appropriate clothing. For a great selection, visit our partners.
  • Hat, gloves, an extra pair of wool socks
  • Trekking or ski poles are recommended
  • Hand / Foot warmers
  • Chapstick
  • Camera
  • A dry set of clothes and shoes for the ride home (can be left in the van)
WEAR
  • Ski or snowboarding gear, including a warm, waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Waterproof hiking boots with wool socks (required)
  • Gaiters are recommended to keep snow out of your boots
  • Hat, gloves, scarf
INCLUDED
  • Expert guides
  • Transportation
  • Snowshoe rental and instruction
  • Park permits

Intensity Level

Level 7

VIGOROUS — FOR INTERMEDIATE PARTICIPANTS WITH BASIC SKILLS

On Level 7 trips you’ll encounter some of the steepest elevations and technical terrain available within a day’s drive. These trips are for athletic types and those who wish to push their physical abilities.

ACTIVITY

You can expect to be active for six to eight hours. You can best prepare for a Level 7 trip by maintaining your intense fitness regimen, trying to get your mile time below eight minutes, and hiking consistently on the weekends.

DISTANCES

Level 7 hikes can be anywhere from ten to thirteen miles.

SURFACES

We will be on mountainous, exposed terrain and steep, uneven trails. Most hikes will require not only hiking boots but also additional gear like hiking poles and headlamps.

ELEVATION CHANGE

Up to 2,500 feet per day.

ALTITUDE

Up to 12,000 feet.

 

Drive to Meet Option

If you chose the "Drive to meet" option, you will meet your guide and the group at the Plattekill Travel Plaza at 8:15 AM. From there, you will follow your guide to the trailhead. Once you enter the Catskill Mountains, most cell phones do not work. You will be given your guide's cell phone number should you need to reach us the morning of the trip.

 

FAQ

This is my first trip. What should I expect?

Your guide will meet you at the departure location in a Discover Outdoors shirt and will be driving a passenger transport van. After introductions, you'll drive to your hiking location. The drive can be anywhere from one or one and a half hours (for most trips) to two and a half hours (for trips to the Catskills). Your guide will have lots of helpful information and lead you along the trail. You can expect some great views, interesting facts about the area, and lots of great conversations with your fellow hikers. After your trip is complete, you'll be dropped off at the same location as your departure.

What if I'm running late to the pick up?

We know how tough it can be to get around this city sometimes, but our trips depart on time. As a courtesy to your other adventurers and guides, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to your pick-up location so we can depart at our scheduled time. You're more than welcome to bring coffee and breakfast along to enjoy on the road.  If you are running late, please contact your guide (whose phone number you'll receive via e-mail the week of your trip). Unfortunately we do not offer any trip credit for a missed departure due to late arrival.

What should I wear and bring?

All the information on what to wear and bring can be found on the trip's site in the pack tab. We recommend dressing in layers to allow you to adapt to changing temperatures. Avoid cotton in favor of synthetic fabrics. Your base layer should be wool or a moisture wicking fabric, with an insultaing layer such as a fleece, and a warm, waterproof ski jacket on top. Waterproof hiking boots with wool socks are required for all winter trips. You can contact us (212-579-4568 or [email protected]) for more information on trip conditions.

You should pack plenty of water (2-3 liters) and snacks, as well as a hearty lunch. It's also a good idea to bring an extra layer, a camera, a hat, and sunscreen in your pack. Oh, and don't forget to bring your sense of adventure!

I've never snowshoed before, should I sign up?

Of course! Our guides will provide a brief intro to the equipment and will help you get set up before your hike. Snowshoeing is easy to learn and is a great workout. Snowshoeing trips are rated on a level of 1-10, just like our hikes, so you can be sure to find a trip that's appropriate for your skill and fitness level. You can find any trip's intensity on its main page, with a detailed description in the "intensity level" tab. We recommend that you review this information so you can be prepared for your day. If you have any doubts, please call or e-mail our office and we can provide more information on any trip's difficulty.

How many people will be there?

Our groups for hikes usually range from 8-14 people. Your group will have either one or two DO guides, depending on the trip.

Will I be the only solo traveler?

No way! Many individuals sign up to join our trips solo. The best part of a DO trip is meeting new people and being part of a group. Even if you show up as a party of one, you'll be leaving with lots of new friends.

What if I'm the slowest one?

We hike as a group, but sometimes people move at different paces - and that's completely ok! Our guides will always have your safety in mind and be keeping attentive track of the group. On longer or more difficult hikes, we'll have a sweep guide as well. As long as your group is keeping on schedule, there's no pressure to move fast; enjoy the trip!

Will there be bathrooms?

Once we get to our trailhead, nature is your bathroom! Your guide will brief you on leave-no-trace guidelines for using the bathroom responsibly. Always tell someone when you're stepping off trail to go.

What if I don't feel well?

Our guides receive medical training and are all certified Wilderness First Responders, so you're in good hands, but communicating is key. Please notify your guide if you don't feel well, are worried about a blister, or any other concerns. Also notify them in advance if you have any medical conditions or allergies.

What if there's not enough snow?

Our desinations tyipcally get much more snow than we do in the city, but sometimes trip conditions aren't ideal. If conditions do not allow for snowshoeing, we'll enjoy a winter hike instead or will opt to use microspikes if it's icy. Your guide will have all necessary equipment.  If no equipment is needed, you'll be refunded the price of rentals as DO trip credit.

How much should I tip our guide?

If you have a great day, a tip is a great way to thank your guide for their work.  On our trips, a tip of 10-20% is customary.

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