Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daters Mnt, Pound Mnt, Claudius Smith Den Loop

Harriman State Park,
Dater Mountain Nature County Park
Orange and Rockland Cos.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Kakiat Trail: White blaze
Blue Disc Trail: Blue blaze
Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail: Red blaze
Ramapo Dunderberg Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hours
Estimated Distance: 4.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly recommended, one of the best hikes in the park
Points Of Interest: "Almost Perpendicular", Pound Mountain, Elbow Brush, Claudius Smith Den
Pros: Rugged, scenic hike with many views and points of interest
Cons: Beginning of hike too close to busy highway

Hiking Partner:
Shimmy Rosenberg

Google Map of Parking:

View 2014 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This loop hike is one of my favorites in Harriman State Park. The area is incredibly scenic, with rugged cliffs along the hike. The weather was cold, but not frigid, and it had just snowed a coating the day before. During the hike we encountered a snow squall so we much of the hike felt very snowy.

We parked in Tuxedo at the park off E Village Road right before the Thruway, and crossed under the highway to River Rd, and then at the trailhead off the road took the Kakiat Trail at its western terminus. This part of the trail goes alongside the ridge below along the side of the rock cliffs of Daters Mountain above and the village of Tuxedo below. Eventually the trail turns as it enters Daters Park, and then intersects with the Blue Disc Trail and goes back into Harriman State Park.

We took the Blue Disc Trail up Daters Mountain in a steep climb to a feature known as "Almost Perpendicular", so described because of the straight cliff below. This area has an incredible and sweeping view. We continued along the Blue Disc Trail through bowl formation before Pound Mountain, and then up to the top of Pound Mountain. A little past the summit of Pound Mountain there is a formation known as the "Elbow Brush", where the trail goes through a rocky formation inside and underneath some rock formations. There is an official bypass trail which is an easier alternate than going through the tight rocks. Being that I am trying to complete all Harriman Trails and never took this bypass trail before, I now took the bypass trail.

We then continued to Claudius Smith Den, a famous feature in Harriman with a rock cave and excellent view, and then continued along the Tuxedo-Mt Ivy Trail to the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail back to the trailhead and our car.

Map of the Route. Harriman-Bear  Mountain Trails Southern Map

Me on an a Rusted Out Car at the Beginning of the Kakiat  Trail

View of Tuxedo Along the Kakiat  Trail
(Right Before Slight Descent by the Brook)

Shimmy Walking Along the Kakiat Trail

Me Walking Along the Kakiat Trail

View Ascending the "Almost Perpendicular" Cliff on Daters Mountain

Shimmy on the Rockface Ascending "Almost Perpendicular"

Me Atop the "Almost Perpendicular" Cliff Face on Daters Mountain

Looking Up at a Cliff Face

Me Ascending On of the Cliffs at Daters Mountain

View Near the Top of "Almost Perpendicular"

Me at the Top at the Viewpoint

Another View

Rock Formations at the Elbow Brush.
The Trail Goes Through the Rocks.

View Atop Claudius Smith Den

The Same View Zoomed Out

Famous Perspective of Claudius Smith Den

Claudius Smith Den. Interesting Perspective.

The Gas Line on the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail

View of Tuxedo from the Ramapo Dunderberg Trail at Smith Rock

Another View of Tuxedo from Smith Rock, Zoomed  Out.
Note the Thruway Towards the Left and Trail in the Distance.

Helicopter Servicing Power Lines on the Way Home on Route 17.
There was a Person There Dropped on a Cable from the Helicopter.

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