Sunrise on Giant Ledge in the Catskills

Sunrise on Giant Ledge Catskills

We have some favorite photos (and hikes). Above is one of them. Camping on Giant Ledge in the Catskills is always a pleasure. But catching the sunrise is simply awe-inspiring.

The feature photo for this post was taken not long after sunrise while having breakfast on a chilly 35-degree morning on a fall day. The increasing warmth of the rising sun made sipping our coffee an experience that will linger!

Hike Length: 3.2-miles

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Total Ascent: 1000 feet

How Hard: Moderate

The Trail to Giant Ledge

Giant Ledge is a small peak just south of Panther Mountain in the Catskills. It boasts unparalleled views from its large cliffs. What makes this trip even better is it less than 2 miles from the trailhead.

Trail signs at the Giant Ledge / Panther Mountain Trail junction
Trail signs at the Giant Ledge / Panther Mountain Trail junction Scott L. | copyright Challenged Hiking
There is some stiff climbing but the effort is worthwhile! It has nice designated campsites on the approach trail and its summit and makes for a great first overnight backpacking trip for the young outdoors person. It also makes an excellent first winter climb to a mountain top in the Catskills.

The hike is fairly straight forward. From the Giant Ledge parking area cross the road and head into the woods. Follow the yellow-blazed Phonecia – East Branch trail 0.75-miles up the wonderful glen. On your right watch for cascades steaming down to the drainage on your left. You’ll climb away from the steam and reach the blue-blazed Giant Ledge – Panther Mountain trail after some stiff climbing.

From the junction, you’ll walk on the level and pass a few designated campsites and then make a few ascents up rocky outcrops reaching Giant Ledge at 0.75-miles from the trail junction. Your total round trip is 3-miles.

Make sure you plan ahead, the parking area fills up fast!

If you can’t get into the parking area, try the Slide Mountain parking area a couple of miles up the road and use the connector trail from the Winnisook Club.

Giant Ledge trail map

Slide Mountain Wilderness
Contact Information:DEC Region 3 New Paltz Office:
phone (845) 256-3000 (M-F 8:30AM - 4:30PM), email:
Law Enforcement, Emergency & Ranger: 518-408-5850 or dial 911
Location: Towns of Shandaken, Denning and Olive in Ulster County
Map: Slide Mountain Wilderness Map
Amenities:Food, gas, and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Phoenicia and Boiceville.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Boiceville, Mount Tremper, Phoenicia and Shandaken.
Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Mount Tremper, Oliverea, Phoenicia, Shandaken.
Weather:Slide Mountain Weather
Cell Service:Never count on your cell phone for rescue. Cell service in the Slide Mountain Wilderness is sparse and one may have problems gaining a signal.

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Other stuff you may like...

Any thoughts? Leave a comment!

Please note changes in access and rules for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please act responsibly during this stressful period. Please read the DEC info carefully. Read more here!