Devil's Path, Catskills State Park, NY

Considered by many the toughest dayhike in the Northeast–and possibly the Lower 48–this 24-mile classic features 18,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. (Photos by Jonathan Dorn)

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James Clark (left), Jon Dorn, and a friend get an early start at the Prediger Road trailhead at the eastern end of the route.

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Sharp drops like this 12-foot downclimb abound, making grippy rubber soles and careful footing a must.

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Depending on the season’s precipitation, the DP features several cascades and pools that provide welcome relief from the often–sweltering closeness of the forest.

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This polished channel–just wide and long enough to be a wilderness bathtub–reminded me of sandstone slots I’ve seen across the Southwest.

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The high peaks of the Catskills are not high enough to be balds, unlike their cousins farther north in the Adirondacks (which you can see on a clear day). So the views, which come at outcroppings more than at summits, tend to be more pastoral.

For a full route description, interactive map, and GPS downloads for this route, click here.