Hiking The Devil's Path Trail: Catskills 2-Day UL Backpacking Trip


Fresh off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017, I decided to take on one of the most challenging East Coast hikes with my buddy Max: The Devil’s Path in the Catskills. I really wasn’t sure where I’d land in terms of mileage on such challenging terrain, so we decided not to take any chances and hiked it as a two-day trip.

It turns out that East Coast hiking makes up for its unassuming altitude with by identifying the easy way over a mountain and then throwing that out in favor of something much more exhausting. The Eastern half of the trail, which we hiked on day one is full of really fun scrambles. If you don’t feel comfortable steep incline and declines over rock, rooty, and nearly vertical terrain then you may want to work up to this trail.

However, if you like a bit of adventure in your hikes, then this is the perfect trail to challenge yourself on. It makes for a demanding weekend hike even when split over two days, but most of my friends hike the Devil’s Path in a single day. One thing to note… water is somewhat scarce. Most of the trail runs a ride, and there are only a couple decent water sources, so plan ahead as one spring near the middle took me over 10 minutes to locate, and was under so many boulders it was a pain to extract my fill.

The West side of the Devil’s Path Trail is like many other Catskills trails. It is a bit tamer when it comes scrambles and semi-technical terrain, though there are a few squared boulders and low rock ledges that may slow down hikers who aren’t a bit nimble scaling counter-top size rocks. There are a couple scenic vistas on the Western side and the shapes of the rocks are interesting to see as you hike, but the Eastern side is definitely more exciting. Worth hiking from both directions multiple times to take in all the fun features.

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Video shot by myself and Max
Music licensed from Artlist.io



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6 comments

  • sweet video enjoyed thank you

  • Cool video, the wife and I just do daily hikes. We haven't ventured into overnight sleeping yet. The longest hike we did in a single day was 20 plus miles. It took us about 8 hours cause we got lost a bit lol, but still fun times. Thanks again for the video. I just followed.

  • The first hike we did was breakneck and more recently becker hollow up to hunter. We're checking out doing parts of this trail now definitely not the whole thing. The terrain is exactly what we love!

  • Loved the video. I’ve been on parts of that trail; it’s an ass kicker.
    The quote is from the movie, ‘The Abyss’.
    Who wants to drown themselves on purpose?
    I want my gold star

  • Man I need to come to the US for some trail hiking this this! Cool caterpillar….. Looked like a decent two day trip nice one 👍

  • The Devil's Path was my introduction to backpacking as a 16 year old back in 1974, hiking with a group of older folks with the Somerset County, NJ Hiking Club, led by a former Scottish WWII officer who hiked in knickers. I was all of 130 lb and carried a pack that had to have weighed in excess of 40 lb. Since I was so much younger than the 50's and older hikers in the group I foolishly thought I could easily keep up with them….wrong!!! They were all excellent hikers and they, or should I say, the trail kicked my ass! I am sure they felt sorry for me and frequently waited up for me. Needless to say, I survived the experience and was not deterred from what became a life-long passion for backpacking. Thanks for the video which brought back memories of that infamous first hike. Gerry B, Ruston, Louisiana

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