Sunday, June 14, 2020

Claudius Smith Den and Elbow Brush

Harriman State Park,
Orange Co.,
New York

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

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.4 Miles

Pros: Great views and rock scrambles
Cons: Trailhead parking is far from the start of the hike

Google Maps of Parking:

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

Claudius Smith Den is one of my favorite spots in Harriman. It features a great view with impressive rock formations including a narrow crevice. Another interesting formation in this hike is Elbow Brush, containing several rock crevices as well.

The weather had been exceptionally good, with a very cool start and low humidity for June. It was a cloudless day with great visibility at the view. When going to the Claudius Smith Den, I normally park at the parking area off East Village Road right before the Thruway Underpass. However, this parking area is closed, so we were forced to park further up on the road at the Ramapo River bridge meant for fisherman. We therefore had to walk quite a bit to get the trailhead, by walking down East Village Road, under the Thruway, and then on River Road to the trailhead.

We took the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail up to the first view, overlooking Tuxedo, and then continued on the trail to the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail towards Claudius Smith Den. We went into the cave and then climbed to the top of the den. We then took the Blue Disc Trail south the Elbow Brush, walking through it until the end, and then went back along the old trail above the ridge. We then turned around and took the same route back, taking a slight detour on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail before the Tuxedo overlook.

Map of the Route

Parking at the Fishing Area at the Ramapo River Bridge

Ramapo River Seen from the East Village Road  Bridge 

Regular Parking Lot Closed

Approaching the First View

View of Tuxedo, Facing South

View Facing East

Me at the View

Another View of Tuxedo

Approaching the Claudius Smith Den

Covered Rock Area Beneath Claudius Smith Den

Walking Underneath Claudius Smith Den

Me Underneath the Overhang at Claudius Smith Den

Me in the Crevice in Claudius Smith Den

Me in the Above Crevice

Pink Mountain Laurels in Bloom

Mountain Laurels atop Claudius Smith Den

Small Fire Burning on the Rocks atop Claudius Smith Den

View at Claudius Smith Den, Facing South

Me Atop Claudius Smith Den

View From Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Me at Claudius Smith Den

Nice Scenery atop Claudius Smith Den

View from Claudius Smith Den, Facing West

Look who I Bumped Into!
Sruly Rosenberg near the Elbow Brush!

Me Approaching the Elbow Brush

Elbow Brush Crevice

Me in the Elbow Brush Crevice

Walking through the Elbow Brush Crevice on the Blue Disc Trail

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