View Full Version : Devil's Path Winter Through Hike

02-08-2005, 04:45 PM
Planning on doing a through hike of the Devil's path in a few weeks. Any suggestions/experiences with through hiking this trail in the winter? I've been on most of the trail before so I'm familiar with the terrain, camping areas, elevation changes etc. Im wondering how much time others have taken to do the through hike in one trip. Im planning three full days of hiking, starting from prediger road/indian head and hiking towards westkill.

Thanks in advance

02-08-2005, 06:00 PM
Do you mean the path in the catskills?
Coincidentally, after dinner I was reading an old issue of Backpacker mag.,(april '03) and devils path catskills ny is listed as the nations toughest dayhike 26 miles, 7 peaks, 18,000ft. of elevation gain and loss.
Have fun.

02-08-2005, 09:35 PM
Joe, in preparation for the DtDHtDP trip last May I section hiked it during the winter. While doing my first hike at the end of November I met 2 young men who were dayhiking it from Westkill back to Prediger Rd. They had very light gear though, not backpacking stuff. With good planning(and luck) you could stay at the leantos spaced out along the way and save some weight. You seem quite familiar with what you're getting into so all I would add is that with all of the snow last winter the last section over Westkill was difficult. The trail had not been broken out and it took 2 of us a lot of time to find the right trail. A lot of times we were wandering around looking for a sign of which way to go. It is also the most remote section so I didn't solo it as I did the others. If you have a partner you could split up gear so the packs are lighter. I don't need to tell you how tough the ups and downs are :) . Good luck and make sure to do a trip report.

02-08-2005, 10:01 PM
[QUOTE=teloshykr]Do you mean the path in the catskills?
Yes, the Devil's Path in the Catskills.

I am planning to do it with a partner. We are anticipating spending our nights at the lean-tos, although my partner and I will each be carrying lightweight solo tents to give us some flexibility as to where we stop for the evening. My major concerns are that 1) as you mentioned, we get slowed to crawl because of snowy unbroken trail and/or 2) we get totally exhausted and are not able to make it to the car we have parked at the Westkill end. Thus, we are toying with the idea of cutting off the last Westkill section and planning on ending the hike at the Notch Lake parking area. Thanks for your input Jim.

02-09-2005, 06:51 AM
It's probably a good idea to have the tents, just in case. The Mink Hollow and Devil's Acre lean-tos seem to get a lot of action, so you might have to share. Going midweek, or during very cold weather would of course decrease the chances of them being occupied. There were at least a half dozen guys at the MH lean-to all last weekend, when it was very warm.

I'm curious, are you planning to climb one, both, or neither of the Hunter summits? Technically a DP traverse wouldn't include either summit since the DP doesn't hit them, but I imagine a lot of thru-hikers would want to make the side trip(s). These side trips might add a day on, especially in winter. It would certainly be challenging to start at Notch Lake, grab both Hunter peaks, and get over West Kill all in one day.

Whatever you do, it's sounds like an exciting trip. I too look forward to a trip report. Good luck.


Jay H
02-09-2005, 07:28 AM
Sounds like a reasonable plan.. Not much to add here other than what you know already. Rt 214 is a good bailout point. Worst case scenario too is that you could also bail at Diamond Notch taking the blue(?) trail north from the falls to Spruceton Road and west to the end. I ran into a person while on the Devil's path once who said he and friend did it in a day before.

Snow is predicted in the catskills tomorrow. Yay!


02-09-2005, 10:22 AM
Not planning on bagging Hunter and SW Hunter...unless we decide to cut off the Westkill section, in which case we might hit SW Hunter quickly.

Whats the snow you speak of? Just curious as I'm planning on hiking Fir on Sat.

Jay H
02-09-2005, 10:56 AM
Hope the NWS doesn't mind:

Statement as of 5:00 AM EST on February 09, 2005

... Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from midnight tonight through
midnight Thursday night...

The National Weather Service in Albany NY has issued a Winter Weather
Advisory for the southeastern Catskills... Mid Hudson valley and
southern Litchfield County from midnight tonight through midnight
Thursday night.

A low pressure system will develop over the Ohio Valley today and
move east to the mid Atlantic coast tonight. The storm will
intensify as it passes just south of Long Island during the day
Thursday... reaching Cape Cod by the evening. The storm will then
head northeast along the New England coastline Thursday night.

With the storm forecast to be so close to the coast the precipitation
will start out as rain this afternoon and continue through much of
the overnight hours. Colder air will be drawn into the area early
Thursday morning as the storm moves eastward. The rain will
changeover to snow. There will be a period of sleet during the
changeover. Five to 11 inches of wet snow is expected by the time the
snow tapers off Thursday evening. The highest amounts will occur
across the higher terrain with the lower amounts in the valley where
it will take longer for the changeover to snow to occur.

The mentioned advisory is issued when snow and or ice is forecast to
develop in the affected areas, but accumulations are expected to be
light. Any snow or ice would make driving and walking difficult but
not impossible on untreated roadways and sidewalks. When temperatures
are below freezing, motorists need to be especially careful on
bridges and overpasses where slippery spots can easily develop.