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.
This post’s feature photo was taken not long after sunrise while having breakfast on a chilly 35-degree morning on a fall day sitting at the edge of Giant Ledge’s massive cliff. 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.
There is some stiff climbing, but the effort is worthwhile! Giant Ledge 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.
Related post: Catskill’s Best: Giant Ledge in the Winter
The hike up Giant Ledge is fairly straightforward. 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.
Related information: The Slide Mountain Wilderness a Complete Guide
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.|
Backwoods wanderer with a passion for backpacking, hiking, kayaking, and exploring the wilds of the Catskills and Adirondacks in New York. A Catskill 3500 Club Member and Adirondack Forty-Sixer. Climbed Mount Rainier. Professionally an Exercise Physiologist.