Summary: This is another hike that is only meant for those with good map and Compass skills. The weather on this day was temps in 20's and snow all day. Snow depths were from around 6 inches at lower elevations to 1.5 Ft at the higher elevations. Southwest hunter is a Bushwhack peak with an elevation over 3500ft. There are a few ways to the peak but the route we took was one of the steepest. We took the Diamond Notch Tr. to the Diamond Notch Shelter. Then we took a bearing to SW Hunter summit. The climb from the shelter was very steep. As you get close to the summit you have to fight your way through very thick spruce. The snow did not help. Once on top it took some time to find the canister, just as we were thinking of giving up due to time we stumbled right to it by luck. Then we Descended down to the West Kill Headwaters and followed the Creek back to the Diamond Notch. Snowshoes, Crampons and full winter gear are a must in the Winter. Do not attempt without.
Trailhead: Take NY throughway (I87) North. get of off Kingston exit or rt. 28. Take rt. 28 West to Shandaken. Make right onto rt. 42. Take rt. 42 through Deep Notch. Make right onto Spruceton Rd Take Spruceton Rd to end and trail head for Diamond Notch trail is on right. In winter you may have to park a half mile from trail head. It depend on how far they plow. (Lat:42.18127 Lon:-74.26699)
Trail Guides for Southwest Hunter Bushwhack Catskills NY:
Catskill Mountain Guide
by Pete w kick (Appalachian Mountain Club)
Catskill trails map
by NY-NJ trail conference (NY-NJ trail conference)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: NY DEC Region 4: 607-652-7365
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Shawn Viggiano, who has posted 44 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by TBF on 9/16/2008
Great hike with lots of blackberries. Varied terrain and wonderful views at the top. I had a lot of fun on this one.
Reviewed by George S on 11/22/2004
There is an easier way to reach this summit. A path starts about 5 minutes west of the Devils Acre lean-to on the Devils Path (red trail). A rock cairn marks its beginning. It basically follows the 3500 feet contour on the north side of SW Hunter. Another small cairn marks the point where you turn almost due south to reach the canister. All paths are easy to follow, and you avoid the thick spruce. Take this hike on a foggy day as there is no view (unless you combine it with Hunter mountain).
Reviewed by George J. Dagis on 5/30/2004
I did this one mainly as one of the cogs on the way to attaining 3500 club membership (a view is just not to be had). I remember vividly the opressive heat as it reached 97 degrees in the valley that day. I came up via the notch and passed the leanto. I then followed an old woods road until I was parallel to the summit. I heard mention of its existence beforehand. I bushwhacked up from this point. If it weren't for a bunch of girls up there I wouldn't have ever found the canister. They led me back to it and I thought about kissing them all !
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