CATSKILL HIGH PEAKS
According to our bylaws, there must be at least a 250 foot drop between the peak and any other peak on the list, or the peak must be at least ½ mile away from any other peak on the list. In all there are 33 peaks that meet these criteria with the highest peak being Slide Mountain topping out at 4,180'.
Interested in climbing these peaks? Please view our seasonal hiking schedule for Club led hikes or our hiking resources page for help striking out on your own.
Graham and Doubletop were officially closed to public access effective January 13, 2021. After their closure, and prior to March 22, 2021, South Doubletop and Millbrook Ridge were temporarily required for 3500 Club membership. Effective on March 22, 2021, the Club removed the requirement to climb South Doubletop and Millbrook Ridge and the number of required peaks was reduced from 35 to 33.
Lying just south of Friday Mountain, Balsam Cap (not to be confused with Balsam Mountain or Balsam Lake Mountain) has a canister at the summit. Because of the dense balsam fir no views are available from the summit, but a view of the Ashokan Reservoir can be seen just north of the summit.
While Eagle’s true summit is marked by a canister, it is located just off the Pine Hill-West Branch Trail on a short, easy-to-follow herd path. No views are available from the summit. Proximity to several high peaks (Big Indian and Balsam) make Eagle a popular choice for multipeak hikes.
The preferred approach for Friday starts at the trailhead on Moon Haw Road and initially follows an old woods road up the mountain. Be sure to respect nearby private property while making your way up the mountain. Take in views of the Ashokan Reservoir from the canister, which sits on the true high point of the summit, which is on the northeast side of the mountaintop.
Originally thought to be the tallest Catskills mountain, preferred approaches to this peak include following a historic trail that travels north-south over the summit from the snowmobile trail that is on lower reaches of the mountain. The summit, marked by a canister, is guarded by steep cliffs and dense balsams and features excellent views from a grassy overlook called Hurricane Ledge that is just to the south. Wreckage from several plane crashes may also be found on this mountain.
With preferred approaches from the Devil’s Path and Shaft Road (in conjunction with Sherrill), the North Dome canister and viewless summit is surrounded by dense balsam fir. Be aware and respectful of private property boundaries, especially to the north.
The preferred approach to Rusk Mountain leaves the Spruceton Trail at the big elbow where the trail turns from heading north to heading east. Rusk can be hiked in conjunction with Hunter. Expect a steep ascent and winter views as you make your way to the canister.
A short bushwhack, the untrailed summit of Big Indian lies approximately .25 miles from the Pine Hill-West Branch trail and is marked with a canister. No views are available at the summit. Proximity to Eagle and Fir make this a peak that is often climbed in conjunction with at least one additional peak. This mountain and the Ulster County village of Big Indian were named after Winnisook, the legendary Native American rumored to be 7 feet tall.
Preferred approaches to Fir include leaving the Pine Hill-West Trail just north of the Biscuit Brook Lean-To, as well as approaching from Big Indian Mountain via the Catskill Divide. Fir offers no views, but does have a canister at the summit. Despite its name, Fir does not have dense balsam fir forests; expect typical Catskills mixed hardwoods.
Pronounced “Hawkitt” in the local vernacular, expect a steep and nettle-filled climb up from the preferred route starting point along Route 42, just south of Deep Notch, to the viewless Halcott summit canister.
Preferred routes to Lone’s canister include approaching the summit by leaving the Neversink Fisherman’s Path near the Donovan Brook, as well as setting off trail from the Peekamoose-Neversink Trail near Table Mountain’s summit. Unlike its neighbors, Lone’s untrailed summit is dominated by huge birches and other hardwoods, not balsam fir. Just south of the canister you may find an opening with views to the south.
Rocky was once thought to stand 3,508 feet tall, but more precise measurements found it stands at 3,487 feet. The Club decided that this didn’t disqualify Rocky from its tally. While it may be the shortest of the 33 public Catskills high peaks, Rocky is considered the most inaccessible. With preferred routes starting from the Neversink Fisherman’s Path and the Peekamoose-Table Trail near Table Mountain’s peak, the approach to the summit canister travels through dense balsam fir forest. South of the summit is a viewpoint.
Informally known as Leavitt Peak in honor of the Catskill 3500 Club’s first finishers, Bill and Elinor Leavitt, Southwest Hunter is officially an off-trail peak with a canister. The preferred approach splits off of the Devil’s Path west of the Devil’s Acre Lean-To and follows a trail that was illegally cut along a long-retired rail bed in 2010.