Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.04548°N / 74.59538°W
Additional Information County: Ulster
Additional Information Elevation: 3723 ft / 1135 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Balsam Lake Mountain is found in the far reaches of the western Catskill Park. It has a relatively remote location, but was the site of the first wooden fire tower in New York state erected by the Balsam Lake Club in 1887. The wooden tower was replaced with a steel one that was operated from 1919-1988. It is located in the town of Hardenburgh, NY in the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest. The Mountain is dominated by a cone of Balsam Fir trees near the summit. The mountain is part of the Fire Tower Challenge by the Adirondack Mountain Club, and one of the 35 High Peaks of the Catskill 3500 Club.

Getting There

Full descriptions of the routes up the mountain, and trailhead directions can be found HERE

Red Tape

Always sign in at the trailheads. Be careful and wear orange during hunting season Oct-Dec. Note: Cabin was locked, may be staffed by volunteers on weekends in the summer, otherwise the top stairs offer good views.


There is a Lean-to down a side trail not far from the summit. There is no camping from March 21 thru Dec 21, at elevations above 3500ft in the Catskill Park.

External Links

Catskill Fire Tower Project