Slide Mt. (not to be mistaken for Big Slide Mountain in the Adirondacks)is the highest mountain in the Catskills. It is also only one of two mountains in the Catskills that rises above 4000 feet. Being the highest mountain in the Catskills and located close to New York City, Slide Mtn. is a very popular hike.
On the summit area of Slide Mountain lies two great viewing areas. The viewing area on the eastern side gives an excellent viewing of the reservior below as well as a view of many of the distant Catskills. This viewing area is located over the John Burroughs Memorial Plaque. The west view gives a great unblocked view of the northern Catskills and limited views of the east. These two viewing areas more than make up for the fact that Slide Mountain doesn't ever rise above timberline.
There are two distinct way of summitting and both differ in difficulty tremendously. From the east is one of Catskills more difficult hikes on the Cornell-Wittenberg Slide Trail. This 7.0 mile class 1-3 (class 3 especially in winter due to heavy ice on ledges and ladders) hike envolves some scrambling, ladder climbing and summitting of of two other mountains before summitting Slide Mountain after seven miles. Most of the hardest stuff comes just before the summit of Slide Mountain.
By contrast from the west lies a much simpilier (Class 1) route which hike 2.7 on three different trails and only has an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. This is make a great first 4000'er for a begineer hiker seeking to begin peakbagging.
Getting ThereVIA WOODLAND CAMPGROUND TRAILHEAD (EASTERN SIDE): From Route 28 head west make a left (east: right) on Woodland Valley Road (0.5 miles from Phoenicia. Take the road about five miles where the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trailhead will be on your left.
VIA SLIDE MTN. TRAILHEAD NEAR WINNISOOK LAKE: From 28 head west make left on state road 47 which is located in the town of Big Indian. Follow the road roughly 8 miles up a valley and past the first trailhead which lead to Giant Ledge. Go around that turn and the Slide Mountain Trailhead (well marked will be on your left roughly a half-mile from Winnisook Lake and Club.
Red TapeOn the eastern side the mountain trailhead is $4 payable to the camping ranger. This is the side the summitposters would like to go up because it is more challenging.
The western side of the mountain, which intermediates or peakbaggers who don't want much of a challenge will go up is actually FREE!!!!! .
When To ClimbSlide Mountain can be climbed at anytime. However snowshoes are a requirement on western side in winter.
The eastern side both snowshoes and crampons are required. The ADK Catskill Guide recommends a rope on one section of the trail during winter. As with all mountains (especially over 4000' in Northeastern U.S.) check the weather before attempting.
CampingThere is no camping on any elevation over 3500 feet. Camping is only allowed 200 feet from the trail and away from any water source.
There are though a number of campsites in the col between Cornell and Slide Mtn. just east of the tough 0.5 stretch to the summit of Slide Mtn.
Mountain ConditionsThis is a good webpage on what to expect when summiting Slide Mtn. It also has great description of different trails in the area. A must see page if you are planning on climbing Slide Mountain.
New York State Department on Environmental Conservation
Summit Picture LogPost your summit mugshot here.
- The Catskill 3500 Club Peaks
Descriptions of all 35 of the Catskill Peaks that exceed 3,500 feet elevation.
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