Sunday, May 9, 2021

Pyngyp Mountain Summit Hike

Harriman State Park,
Rockland Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 3.5 Miles

Pros: Excellent scramble, great views, and quiet trail
Cons: Parking far from mountain and walking along road
Hike Type: In and out
Level of Difficulty: Very difficult

Map of Route:

Hiking Partner:
Rayzi Friedman

Pyngyp Mountain (sometimes also spelled Pyngip Mountain) is one of the most challenging and steep hikes in the area. It contains a very steep scramble up, with a few areas close to the side of a cliff along the trail. This hike is not for the fainthearted or for those scared of heights. 

One of the challenges of this hike is that there is no nearby trailside hiking. The closest place to park is about half a mile up the road, and you need to walk down the side of the road to get to the trail and hike. The road is also closed in the winter which limits this hike as well to late spring, summer, and early fall. But this also limits the crowd which otherwise would make this a much more popular hike and busy hike, which could make things more dangerous.

The weather was beautiful and bright blue skies, though it was colder than usual for this time of year. We parked on Tiorati Brook Road at the parking area along the brook, and walked east down the mountain on the side of the road, past the junction with Lake Welch Drive. We met the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail at this point, crossed over the southbound lanes of the Palisades Parkway, and then crossed the northbound lanes of the Palisades Parkway on foot. There were a lot of cars present so it took us a few minutes to get a quiet time to cross.

Immediately after crossing the highway, the trail climbs very steeply up the mountain. After the Scutt Memorial, a plaque embedded in the rock, the trail scrambles along a steep, rocky ledge very close to the side of a cliff. We then got the top part of the scramble, where the trail evens out to a more gradual ascent and two minor hill descents. It then begins the ascent of the second part of the mountain, which features another difficult, though much shorter, scramble. We then reached the main view overlooking Stony Point and the Hudson River, and then continued along the trail to the actual summit. Prior to the summit is another great view looking south. After reaching the summit we turned around and took the same route back, taking a detour on the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail alongside Tiorati Brook and then bushwacking back to the road.

Map of the Route

Pyngyp Mountain as Seen from the Road

Crossing over the Palisades Parkway Southbound

Me at the Palisades Parkway Overpass

Me after Crossing the Palisades Parkway Northbound

The Scramble Right after Crossing the Palisades Parkway

First View on Pyngyp, Looking Across to Pound Swamp Mountain

Looking East to the Hudson River on the Scramble

Plaque at the Scutt Memorial at the Scramble

Steep Rockface Along the Suffern-Bear Mountain Trail

View of Stony Point and Hi Tor from Pyngyp Mountain

Deep Valley Between Pyngyp and Pound Swamp Mountains

Pitch Pines along the Pyngyp Scramble

View from Pyngyp Facing West

Me on the Pyngyp Scramble

Ascending Pyngyp, Looking Southeast

View of the Exit 16 Ramp on the Palisades, which we Crossed

Ascending the Steep Scramble on the Second Part of the Mountain

View from the Second Part of the Mountain

View Facing Southeast towards the Hudson River

View from Pyngyp Facing South

View from Pyngyp Facing Southeast

Hudson River from the Main View

Me at the Main Pyngyp View

View Facing Pound Swamp Mountain

Another View Facing Southeast

View of the Manhattan Skyline in the Distance

View from the Summit Approach on Pyngyp

Another View from the Main Summit Area

Another View from the Summit

Me Descending Pyngyp Mountain

Small Cascade Along Tiorati Brook

Raven in Nest Underneath the Lake Welch Drive Overpass

A Large Raven Nearby the Nest

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