Catskill 3500: Balsam

Saturday, March 13, 2021

We’ll hike through northern hardwood forests and cross streams on our ascent of Balsam Mountain. Some of these trails are relatively new. They were rerouted after the destruction of Hurricane Irene in 2011. Once at the top, we’ll traverse Balsam’s long ridge and enjoy a beautiful viewpoint before reaching the summit.

This is a required peak for Catskill 3500 Club Membership and #26 Catskill Tall Peak (elevation 3,608′). This is one of the four peaks that must be climbed twice, at least once in winter (December 21 – March 21).

Level: Challenging (Learn More)

Mileage: 5.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,629 feet


The North Face, UWS

Check-in Time: 6:30 am

Departure Time: 6:45 am

Return Time: Approximately 7:00 pm


Limited spots remaining

This is a limited-capacity trip.

While COVID-19 remains a concern, we are limiting our van capacity to a 10-person maximum, including guides, and leaving the middle row empty for all trips. The limited-capacity trips have a $20 fee to accommodate the changes we need to make for the COVID protocol. The fees will only be in effect for limited-capacity trips. Learn more about what we are doing to keep everyone safe.


  • Hiking boots (required)
  • Weather-appropriate, moisture-wicking, athletic clothing (no cotton)
  • Wool or synthetic socks (no cotton)
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Buff
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses


  • Adventure Untamed will provide any traction devices you need, but if you have your own microspikes/snowshoes/crampons, feel free to bring them
  • Insulating puffy and insulating pants
  • Fleece / mid layer
  • Windproof/waterproof top and bottom layers that can fit over all other layers
  • Lunch
  • Ample Snacks
  • At least three (3) liters of water (*note* if temperature is below freezing do not bring hydration bladders – will freeze)
  • Backpack
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand / foot warmers (optional)
  • 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)