Hike Storm King Mountain
New York › Storm King Mountain Parking Area
Added by Michael Martineau
Hike to multiple ledges where you'll have 360 degree views of the Hudson Valley.
This is an easy, yet very rewarding hike with a lot of viewpoints on the way up. Technically you scale up two mountains, Butter Hill and Storm King, but most people just describe it as Storm King Mountain. This is a great hike for families with younger kids, those who don't have much time but want to get a hike in, and those looking for great foliage shots of the Hudson Valley.
The parking lot is right off of Rt. 9w and I mean right off it. After parking, locate the historical sign and then proceed to the left of it finding the Orange Trail (starts right by the far side of the parking lot). The trail start moderately steep but provides some fun small scrambling sections. Once up, you will see the ruins of a small building with only the stone pillars left. Walk through the pillars and then you will proceed downward, still on the Orange Trail. Now you will scale up Butter Hill, which in my opinion has the better views on this hike.
After the steep upward section you are immediately rewarded with ledges to walk out onto for photos. I also encourage you to explore off the trail, there are some great areas where the angles are better for those photographers out there (watch your footing around the ledges). Be on the look out for some hawks that like to float through the valley.
Once ready, pick up the Orange Trail again and proceed on until the trail ends at a junction. VERY IMPORTANT at the end of the Orange Trail turn right (the trail to the right is narrow and doesn't look like it is a trail) taking the Yellow Trail from now on. Continue on this trail, following it all the way to the top of Storm King. There will be trails that intersect on the way up but just follow the Yellow/Light Blue markers.
At the main overlook of Storm King you get a great view to the north and on clear days you can see the Catskill Mountains. As you begin back down the Yellow/Light Blue Trail there are more ledges to your left you can shoot off the trail to. There are some great spots to set up a hammock and look out over the valley. On your way down look out for the White Trail. You will be jumping on this and taking it all the way back to the parking lot.
Trail Markers Breakdown: Orange to Yellow to Yellow/Light Blue to White
- Hiking boots or trail shoes
- Backpack with 10 essentials
- Water and snacks (or lunch)
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Beautiful and moderate!
What wonderful views! The trail is great-- just enough boulders and scrambling to get your hands dirty and make it feel rugged, but really well marked and not too steep (for the most part). Great for beginners and intermediate hikers, and still fun for the more experienced. My favorite views were on the southside of the mountain, and we had to get creative following footpaths off the trail... wouldn't recommend unless you're confident in your navigation skills but all the views were gorgeous anyway.
Great for new hikers
This is a fun hike, especially to bring new hikers on. It's not terribly difficult but you'll break a sweat and be rewarded with awesome views. The different trails that cross through here can be confusing, I highly suggest having a trail map (I love the NYNJ Trail Conference maps for everything in the Hudson Valley). A note on the parking, you can only access the parking lot if you're on 9W heading north, so plan your drive accordingly!
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