For our second trip of this fall season, we decided on the Santanoni Range. The weather was great and the trail conditions were as expected, muddy. However I am sure they were improved since earlier in the season. There were only a few sections that really required careful navigation, the col between Times Square and Cooch being one of them, and the summit of Panther Peak believe it or not.

We did the loop clockwise and counting packing in to a wilderness camp (and setting up) near the junction of the BP trail and the Santa Express trail (and eventually just tearing down and packing back out), we completed the task in just about 12 hours.

The second bridge on the way in on the BP trail is iffy at best, still intact but not recommended if you can rock hop across. The first bridge is just out completely but again the brook was not that high so crossing was no issue.

I came away from this trip not hating on Cooch as much as expected based on other reports. We went into it knowing that the mud was going to be prevalent and since neither of us recorded any knee deep plunges, it was all good.

It was interesting to see the white bags full of rocks on top of Panther, I have to assume they were air-lifted there. If I had known the intention of DEC, I would have did a little work while we were there. I assume it may be for the bog between the open summit and the true summit with the USGS marker, but I am not sure. Maybe someone can shed some light here?

I did notice that someone had taken the initiative to line the open rock next to the alpine vegetation with some of the rocks.

No beavers or bears were sighted, not even any bear sign that I saw, plenty of beaver activity however.

For a full report and pictures, you can also check my website here -