Sunday, May 3, 2015

Schunemunk Mountain Loop from Taylor Road via Dark Hollow, Jessup and Western Ridge Trails

May 3, 2015

Miles: 9.5

Time:  5 hours 41 minutes
Elevation gain: 2,132 feet

Year to date miles:  159.2

Parking: See directions

Map: West Hudson Trails - we have a 2010 map. Some of the trail names/blaze colors have changed. Comments in the hike description helped clear up the changes for us. I guess its time to order a new set of maps!

Directions: Schunemunk Mountain Loop

Hike description:

Marvelous hike! Nice views and beautiful ridgeline area. This hike reminds me a bit of Minnewaska. There is an initial strenuous climb in the beginning of the hike, and then multiple rock scrambles later. The ridgeline is relatively flat.  

This hike crosses active train tracks twice. There are no road crossings. This hike is for athletic dogs only! There is a lot of rock scrambling. We left our older dog at home, and only took our younger dog. He needed help with 3 of the downhill rock scrambles because they were so steep. A harness is a must to help your dog.

There are a number of stream crossings on this hike. Still, I was concerned about water for both us and our dog. A lot of this hike is exposed to sun, and we were hiking on a warm day. We filled up our dog's water bottles (he carries a liter) frequently to make sure he'd have enough water until he got to the next stream. We ended up collecting an extra liter each for ourselves as well to filter if we needed it.

Crossing a meadow in the beginning - a really pretty area

The strenuous incline

Taking a short break while Glen switches to shorts


Taking a lunch break on the megatiths

Schunemunk summit

One of the rock scrambles we had to help Trek down

Slow going....rocky descent

This view reminds me of Minnewaska

We saw a lot of smoke in the far distance - we were guessing a forest fire


  1. Ah yes, those dog-unfriendly scrambles :) I recall a few years ago when I hiked this that it took me a good half an hour to get Shawnee down one of them. She kept running around looking for an alternate way and I went with her looking but there weren't any ways around it. Ended up throwing my gear down, climbing down myself, then pulling her on leash until she lost balance and fell and then I caught her and lowered her to the ground. A falling, uncooperative 65 pound dog is pretty darned heavy! She was all happy wagging her tail like she just accomplished a major feat - once at the bottom safely of course!


  2. Our dog did the same thing! Kept searching for another way down. I tried to stand half way down and encourage him to jump down to me where I could grab his harness and help him land, but he didn't trust me. Glen ended up physically lifting him in the air by the harness to the halfway point, where I could then help him down the next piece by having him jump while I held his harness. That was definitely a challenge!