• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • RT Distance:

    2.7 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    900 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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

Pack List

  • Hiking boots or trail shoes
  • Backpack with 10 essentials
  • Water and snacks (or lunch)
  • Camera
  • Hammock
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Even though I agree with the everyone that this is a great trail with wonderful views, I would not call it beginner. Maybe closer to intermediate. I have done a lot of hiking over the years including the Alps and in the US West and this was a harder than i thought or I would not have invited someone who was very new to hiking. I have to admit all the trails were very clearly marked and they were easy to spot as well. I love the area and would go back again.

5 months ago
5 months ago

Easy trail with similar views to Breakneck ridge, parking space can be a squeeze if you get there late. Great hike along the white trail for dogs as well.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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