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Mt. Katahdin and Hamlin Peak via Roaring Brook Campground

On this amazing loop hike you will climb all the peaks of tallest mountain in Maine, also the terminus of the AT.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 10.8 miles
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview:  This remains one of my top 3 climbs in the Northeast. Baxter Peak is the northern terminus of the Appalacian Trail and is the high... more »

Tips:  Getting to Baxter State Park
Take I-95 to the Millinocket-Mattawamkeag exit which is roughly 50 miles north of Bangor. Follow signs... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Roaring Brook Campground Trailhead

Start off up the trail a few hundred yards until you see the trail split. You will want to head to your left up the famous Helen Taylor Trail.

2. Helen Taylor Trail to Pamola & Chimney Peak

This ascent is breathtaking. Because Katahdin is so far north you will hit the treeline much sooner than you would in NY, VT, or NH. Check out the photos to see the views you will see on your ascent.

3. Pamola & Chimney Peak

This is the first peak you will ascend on your way towards Katahdin. Pamola is 4,902 feet tall but because of it's proximity to Katahdin Baxter Peak it is not considered a separate peak like Hamlin is to the north. Chimney Peak is right next to Pamola (almost the same peak). BTW, take a look back down the sweet ridge you just ascended!

4. The Famous

This arete ridge is sometimes only a few feet wide in some places so those with a fear of heights might want to think twice about going on as there is a lot of exposure if you fall. While there you may forget that you are actually still in the Northeast and not on a peak in the Alps or high in the Rockies.

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5. Top of Maine and End of the Appalachian Trail

Well I guess it depends on which way you traveled the AT but in either case this summit rocks! At 5,267 and a treeline at just 3,500 this mountain truly feels like something you'd find in the Rockies out west. Take your time and enjoy your accomplishment. From this point onward you'll descend and cross a large, flat alpine plateau on your way... More

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6. Keep Left to the Tablelands

Keep left and stay on the flat plateau. Taking a right will take you down the Cathedral Trail to Chimney pond, thus skipping Hamlin Peak and more great views.

7. Views in the Tablelands

This 4 mile stretch of alpine rock flat land has great views west towards the brothers, which is another two 4,000 ft peaks that can be climbed in one day in the park. Also, take a look back at Baxter as you descend and towards Hamlin to the north. You'll feel like the world drops off to the right of you as you walk along this trail.

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8. Take a right to the summit

Take a right up a little ways further to the summit of Hamlin.

9. Summit of Hamlin

From this broad summit you can look back at your travels over the Pamola, the knife Edge, the top of Baxter and across the Tablelands. Soak it all in as your about to descend another cool ridge back to the treeline for a different perspective at Chimney Pond.

10. Final Descent

Your descent down Hamlin Ridge awaits you.

11. Chimney Pond Trail Junction

Here you need to make a choice. Continue on with your descent back towards your vehicle or work up the gumpf to check out one last view of this amazing castle of a mountain. Trust me, the extra 1.5 mile round trip effort will be well worth it! = DO IT IF YOU CAN.

12. Chimney Pond

This campsite area and pond is nestled directly below towering Pamola and Baxter Peaks. You'll have a great vantage point to gaze skyward at the spot you were standing mere hours before. You've come a long, long way! From here turn around back to POI # 11 and head down the beautiful trail back towards the trailhead.

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13. Basin Ponds Look at Hamlin

Last great views of Hamlin as you round this pond.