Done over 2 days, very rocky and exposed, great view of glacial cirque and lake, fantastic trip...
5 of us climbed via the Cathedral Trail which is 1.5 miles of steep boulders. It was a fun climb. On the summit it was foggy and around 40 degrees. Afterwards we summited Hamlin peak (which is easy) and then descended via the Hamlin Ridge Trail. The weather cleared and it was a scenic descent with great views on both sides of the ridge. Occasionally the wind gusted up to maybe 60 MPH. Altogether our hike was around 11 miles total with about 4000 feet elevation gain.
What a muscle bruising, thigh burning, anus-clenching adventure this was! No one told me about the catwalk! The descent over Pamola and down and down and down and down the Helon Taylor Trail really jarred us. We could barely move the next day. Wouldn't trade the experience for anything, despite the overcast skies and occasional rain. I plan to go back in a couple of years.
Katahdin is my favorite mountain in the east. The only bummer is all the rules imposed by Baxter State Park - especially for winter climbs. This was my second trip. We camped outside the park and drove in shortly after the gate opened. My wife and I blazed up the Helon Taylor Trail, accross the Knife Edge (passing heavy traffic) and to the summit on a gorgeous, warm summer day. She wanted to keep going and tag Hamlin, but we were nearly out of water so I persuaded her to head down the Saddle trail. We arrived back at the trailhead in the early afternoon. One of the most enjoyable days of hiking I can remember.
This was the kick-off of a 200+ mile trip on the Maine Appalachian Trail (and my first mountain trip east of the Rockies!). I was blessed with the exceptional company of Dan, Julia & Kris. Dan’s mom and brother joined us for our day hike up K. We started out with fine weather which deteriorated later in the afternoon. Views from the summit were impressive and moody…the rain started on top and increased steadily, making our trip back down the boulders all the more exciting. Tom, the youngest (12?) in our group led the pack and was first back to the car. Little did we know that the rain & swollen rivers would plague us for days……….
We wanted to climb the Knife Edge and arrived at the South Gate at 5:40a, but the Roaring Brook parking lot was full. So we parked at Katahdin Springs instead and ascended via the Hunt Trail. We had a great time climbing the class III section half way up. Unfortunately, the upper half of the mountain was covered in fog. We reached the summit in 3 hours. An estimated 75 people came and went while we were there. Visibility on the summit was 20 feet. Despite high winds and wet rock we decided to (carefully) descend via the Knife Edge. We made it without incident and enjoyed it tremendously, though we missed the views. Hitched a ride from Roaring Brook to the South Gate, and then hitched again to Katahdin Springs. People there were very friendly and we had a great time...! I hope to return to climb this mountain again with hopefully clear skies.
Mt Katahdin was an excellent adventure. The day we climbed was a Class 2 day and the wind was quite strong, so no Knife Edge for us, instead we climbed through fog and rain to the summit via Chimney Pond and The Saddle Trail. Once on top, the fog lifted and the views really opened up! Magnificent! Katahdin has a beautiful rocky summit. We have a full detailed trip report and lots of photos on our website at Natural Born Hikers so feel free to check it out. We highly recommend this hike!
Took Abol up and Knife's Edge / Helon Taylor down. Best mountain east of the Mississippi. Because of the latitude, much of the climb is above tree line. Weather was perfect, views spectacular.
Easy up and easy down
A little late signing the guestbook. Even more tardy on a second attemp. Kathadin has to be the coolest mountain in the entire east. Based on Cathedral and word-of-mouth, all routes are excellent. From Chimney Pond, the mountain has a very distinct western look to it. As if it's a Rockies transplant. Well worth the early morning arrival for your summit attempt.
I climbed this at age ten. My folks drove our Rambler up to Katahdin Stream, where we heard some old New Yorker driving a Caddy ask road directions for the top. The ranger sputtered a bit and the old guy drove off-but this was before SUVs. We walked up stream past the waterfall. Climbing as a group we were pretty excited to reach the falls of Katahdin Stream. A couple of miles later we reached the boulders and I recollect a bit of vertigo. The Tableland appeared to be at the top of the large boulders- but that was delusional. My father brother and I left my mom and sister to admire the view. My brother raced ahead and proceeded to the spur. He was a good deal ahead of us and my father demanded that he wait. We eventually caught up and finally made it to the Tableland-strolling the last mile to the top. Most startling memory: Pamola looked pretty cool from Monument Peak. We were kind of worn out by the time we rejoined my mom and sister at the big boulders. That evening we crossed two miles of lake on the way home as the sun painted alpen glow on the scene of our adventure.
This is my favorite hike I have ever done as of April 2003. It is nothing short of spectacular! I loved climbing Abol slide and being able to guage approximately how far my party and I had come and how far we still had to go. I started this hike in shorts/t-shirt, but ended up with long pants and a jacket up top where it was somewhat windy. The tableland was nice and it was great reaching the 5267' summit. The hike down the AT(Hunt Trail) was also very impressive. The exposure was fun but not too bad and the boulder fields were and adventure! To top it off the waterfall at Katahdin Stream was brilliant. My party and I made it out just before dark and one of us hitched a ride to our vehiche at the Abol trailhead. WE had wanted to climb from the other side of the mountain but those parking lots had filled up and so we hiked from this Western side. I want to go back again sometime and climb it from the East side and also traverse the Knife Edge!
2,167.1 miles! Now THAT is an approach trail!
What an awesome mountain. Great views on the hike in to Chimney Pond. My buddy Brian did not want to do Cathedral so we split up there and he went up Saddle Trail. I started scrambling up and loved every minute of it. Sign at Chimney Pond Hut said average time up is 3 hours and I made it up in 1 hour 55 minutes. Was great scrambling up about 2000 feet.
When I got to the top there were like a dozen Amish people in bonnets and straw hats and long dresses, etc who had come up an easier route. Was kinda surreal.
Waited about 15 minutes for my buddy to show up and we took some pictures. Storm was blowing in from the west and winds were kicking up so we decided against the Knife Edge. I really wanted to do that route back down but I guess I'll have to come back next year. This peak pretty much put the cap on the end of my climbing season this year and what a great one to end on!
I enjoyed this hike the most of all last summer, including the Huntington Ravine Trail on MT. Washington. It was demanding but not to excessive and the views were great. Hiking the Knife's Edge was an experience that I'll always remember. It is narrow enough to be challenging but I didn't feel it was dangerous as long as one keeps in mind the weather can change dramatically, with little warning, and stay on the trail. You feel as though you are walking on a narrow ribbon of earth, perched high in the sky. Exhilarating is the best word for it and the views all along the hike are great.
Katahdin is simply a great mountain! The Hunt Trail was a nice climb for a 7-year old like me.....then the Cathedral was more challenging. I also walked across the Knife Edge - it is one of these traverses that should not be missed........especially the "Chimney" cleft. Katahdin is my favorite mountain and I am sure that I will come back again to Baxter State Park and its fabulous wilderness scenes.
Katahdin is IMO the most impressive mountain in the Eastern US. My most recent ascent was in 1995 at the end of my AT thru-hike.