Saturday, October 14, 2023

This fall we are picking amazing destinations to see fall foliage! And this mountain is Guide Gary’s pick for top two places to see foliage in the Catskills. Check out Gary’s second pick.

Explore the westernmost tall peak of the Catskill Mountains!

We’ll begin on an old jeep road, making our way through the forest to the summit. As the trees open up, the Balsam Lake Mountain fire tower will come into view. It is the oldest documented forest fire observatory in New York State. Fortunately, the fire tower has been refurbished in recent years, so it’s safe to climb and take in the sweeping views of the Catskills! On a clear day we’ll be able to see 25 other Catskill tall peaks from the top of the  tower.

This is a required peak for Catskill 3500 Club Membership and #16 Catskill Tall Peak (elevation 3,729′).

What’s included:

  • NY State Licensed and Wilderness First Responder Certified Guide
  • Transportation to and from NYC
  • Some of the best foliage views in the Catskills

Level: Challenging (Learn More)

Mileage: 5.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,147 feet

Group Size: 2 - 12 adventurers


W 73rd and Broadway

Check-in Time: 6:45 am

Departure Time: 7:00 am

Return Time: Approximately 6:30 pm



  • Hiking boots (required)
  • Weather-appropriate, moisture-wicking, athletic clothing (no cotton)
  • Wool or synthetic socks (no cotton)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses


  • Lunch
  • Ample Snacks
  • At least three (3) liters of water
  • Backpack
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Extra layers to adjust for changing weather conditions
  • Extra pair of wool socks
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • A change of clothes for the ride back (optional)