Summit Mt. Katahdin via The Hunt Trail
Maine › Baxter State Park
Added by Kristen May
This trail is the final 5.2 miles of the Appalachian trail going northbound, and where many of the thru hikers end their journey. Enjoy beautiful scenery, rock scrambling, and mountain views.
Let me start off by saying, this is not an easy hike by any means. Only attempt this if you are an experienced hiker. The route has over 5,000 ft elevation gain in a little over 5 miles.
You start off your hike in the Katahdin Stream Campground parking area, following the white Appalachian Trail blazes for the entire hike. If you are hiking this trail in the summer or on a weekend I would suggest reserving a parking spot in the lot as they fill up fast due to the limited number of hikers they allow daily. You can obtain a parking pass on the Baxter State Park website.
You will hike this for about 2.5 miles while in the shade of the trees, then you reach the top of the treeline where the real views begin. At mile 1.2 be sure to check out Katahdin Stream Falls along the trail. Once you reach the tree line is where the hike gets very challenging; from the treeline on it is mostly climbing and scrambling your way up and down very large boulders. You then reach the metal rungs part of the hike where you will have to use them to boost your way up and around many even larger boulders.
Once we completed this part this was where we and many others stopped to make our lunches, as the summit is very windy and hard to cook if you plan on using your camp stove. After taking a break there, the most challenging part of the hike begins, the 1/2 mile scramble. Use caution doing this part of the trail as it is very narrow and has steep drop offs on both sides. When you reach the summit of the scramble you will still have another mile and a half to the summit of Katahdin. This mile and a half is much easier, however, than everything you have experienced previous on the trail! Continue to follow the white blazes to the summit, than when you are ready to leave follow the white blazes of the AT back to your car!
You may even be lucky enough to summit this hike alongside the AT thru hikers!
- Hiking Shoes
- Extra food as this is a long hike
- Hydration Pack full of water
- Tylenol (your legs will thank you)
- Warm Clothing
- Rain Cover for your bag as the weather can rapidly change
- Cell Phone
- Map of the trail
- Extra socks
- First aid kit (one of the few trails I've done where I had to utilize it)
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I remember coming down this trail at sunset, feeling like I was in a different universe with all the colors in the sky and such a beautiful, open view of the mountain range toward the peak. Definitely one of the toughest trails I've ever descended, very technical, but so very worth it.
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