Mount Katahdin

Mount Katahdin, Millinocket: Address, Mount Katahdin Reviews: 5/5

Mount Katahdin
Located at the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, the tallest peak in Maine stands at 5,267 feet.
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235 reviews
Very good

Farmington, CT915 contributions
Wow, that sucked
Sep 2021
Holy cow did we hate this hike. We took the Hunt Trail up - it is steep of course, but miserably rocky - trekking poles and boots were ankle savers for us. The terrain means you can't go fast; I cannot believe how many times I looked down at my GPS watch to see that my pace was "0.0 miles per hour" - this was especially true during long sections of boulder climbing (for which you will want to have trekking poles that can be folded up and put away). I am 5'6" and had several areas where I struggled to get myself up - I'm not sure how a shorter person would do this on their own. While I am not the greatest athlete in the world, I do lift weights twice a week and do cardio twice a week; we've done many obstacle course races, and this was harder than the Spartan Killington Beast. We had zero view for most of the way up, and that was probably fortunate so that we couldn't see how far we would fall if we slipped off one of the boulders or rungs. I would seriously not recommend this in the rain, it seems like it would be very dangerous.

We were worried that the weather was going to turn to rain, so opted to go down via Abol Trail. This has a very long and steep boulder field at the beginning (on the way down); we thought it was fine to go down (better than we thought Hunt would have been), though it would have been a long miserable climb up. However, after the boulders, the trail did not seem better than Hunt - it had lots and lots of loose rock, and much of it was also a stream. Again even though we were going down, our pace was very slow (and after many hours, this started to feel depressing, I assure you).

Both trails seemed to be straight up, with very little by way of switch-backs. It was a full-body workout, as there is a lot of pulling yourself up. I was VERY sorry not to have worn knee pads - I am not kidding when I tell you my shins looked worse than after a Spartan race (my suggestion would be to put them on around your shins until you need to pull them up - you will not want to stop to take off your boots to put them on, and it won't be comfortable to wear them around your knees for that long). You MUST have waterproof footwear for this hike; across the ridge at the top was very wet and it's roped off for restoration so you have no way around it. There are very long stretches with NO shelter - it was very cold at the top at the end of September, I was very glad I had a hat, gloves and extra layers. But it is hard even to find a place to eat out of the wind (and especially to pee!) for a long stretch around the top.

It took us a solid 10 hours without a lot of time dawdling to eat or hang out at the top. There is a 2+ mile hike from the Abol to Hunt parking lot, which will be 2 of the longest miles of your life; a trail angel gave us a ride after about .75 miles, so that probably saved us 30 minutes (yes, we paid it forward and gave someone else a lift back to Hunt on our way out of the park). We both agreed this was one of the least enjoyable (if not THE least) hikes we have ever done. We have hiked across the Grand Canyon, done the Inca Trail, biked/climbed/hiked for 11 hours to Trolltunga - all long epic hikes, but nothing relentless like this. At least the clouds dispersed and we did get some views on the way down.

Final note: I suck at Spartan races, so don't be like "OMG this girl does Spartan races and she suffered - I can't do it then". It's doable as long as you keep going - it's just not enjoyable.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bangor, ME38 contributions
Adventure of a Lifetime
Aug 2021
Be very well prepared. Listen to the Rangers. Bring more gear than you think you'll need and stay safe
Written September 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States11 contributions
Fun experience!
Jul 2021
This is an epic hike. We did the Hunt trail, started at 6:36am and ended at 2:20pm. That's 8 hours of a$$kicking adventure! The trail starts out like any other trail, quickly becomes a bouldering experience, hand and feet, wrought iron sections, scrambling. My husband and I are highppointers, this was Peak 17 for us and we have never had an experience quite like this. If you want an incredible hike, with some great views (depending on the fog), this is for you. An accomplishing feat!
Written July 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bangor, ME710 contributions
If you are of reasonable health, you need to do this
Aug 2020 • Couples
Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine, second only to Mt. Washington in New England. The only difference is there's no road to drive to the top, you must climb, and it will take all day.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarasota, FL38 contributions
Harder then expected!
Jun 2021 • Friends
Do not take this for granted. 5.3 miles on the Hunt Trail both ways. Took 5 hrs up and 4 hrs down. The first mile is a walk, then it’s all rocks and roots. Along Kataldin stream. Pretty. But decent climb. Poles help. When you hit the tree line, the boulders start. A couple of spots where rebar grips are in the rocks to help. Then long climb up the spine. I have a healthy respect for heights, and it’s pretty daunting. Hardest part. Then the plateau which will take another hour plus, then summit. Was going to do the knifes edge but couldn’t get parking at Roaring Brook. In his sight, very glad bc it was pretty scary for the small portion I did after I summited.
Gorgeous views. Glad we left at 645am bc we beat the cloud cover.

Down was harder. After the plateau, looking down at the spine, and seeing the elevation in front of your eyes!!! Very carefully scrambled down the spine and was very happy when hit the trees. Still another couple hours down.

Harder then pikes peak bc of the rock scrambling and the wind and drop offs.
Written June 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caribou, ME258 contributions
The highlight of Maine
Jun 2021
Have been up many times when younger. Took my 8 and 13 year old up to Chimney Pond today. The hike is 3.3 miles each way. Not very steep in general, but a few spots get a little strenuous. Quite rocky (small to medium sized rocks) some footwork is required. Age range for this trail is 7 or 8 to....??? You can take your time and still do the hike in 6-7 hours. (Add in a little time at Chimney Pond). We started out at 7:45 and were back at the parking lot by 2:00. The trail runs alongside Roaring Brook for most of the first mile. Awesome rushing water with decent-sized waterfalls in the spring. Spectacular weather today, with surprisingly few fellow hikers (which was nice). Maybe because it was a Monday. Looking up at Katahdin from the “bottom of the bowl” at Chimney Pond is amazing. It’s the second-most awesome view in Maine (the best is from the peak). Not a scrap of litter anywhere. Lots of bugs towards the bottom.....cleared out further up. Just an amazing place.....would pay ten times more for the experience. Hope it always remains relatively undiscovered. (No point in adding photos, as they will never do it justice).
Written June 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Portland, ME1 contribution
Katahdin is a must-see
Aug 2020
From elevation gains to breathtaking views to massive boulders, Mount Katahdin is truly unlike any other place you will encounter in Maine. After all, this is the state's tallest peak standing at over 5,600 feet at Baxter State Park about four hours north of Portland. Whether you are hiking the Knife's Edge or Abol Trail, there will be challenges but also incredible rewards at the summit. Mount Katahdin is one of many attraction in Maine that deserves a spot on your Maine road trip.
Written September 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Trenton, ME1,237 contributions
Unforgettable Maine Experience
Sep 2020
The correct name of the mountain is "Katahdin." Many Mainers know the state’s highest peak is named for the ancient Abenaki or Penobscot Indian word “Katahdin,” meaning greatest or main mountain. The U.S. government added the preceding word “Mount” as the official name for maps and documents in the 19th century.

Baxter State Park Director Eben Sypitkowski has proposed dropping the word “Mount” and changing the official name to "Katahdin."

This climb is an unforgettable experience. It is strenuous, just short of needing climbing equipment. Allow 8-9 hours for the round trip and follow the park rules, including getting a parking pass ahead of time.
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Jersey236 contributions
Wonderful 2-day-1-night backpacking trip to Mt Katahdin via Knife Edge
Aug 2020
Mount Katahdin, the crown jewel of Baxter State Park, is the highest mountain in Maine, also the northern terminus of Appalachian trial. Hiking to Mt Katahdin via the infamously "Knife Edge" is hard and exciting. Carrying an oversized and heavy backpacking pack makes it more challenging, and according to park brochure, is "not recommended". But we did it anyway, including 2 teenage boys. As Dudley trail is closed indefinitely, we took the loop from Roarding Brook via Helen Taylor Trail to Pamola peak, Knife Edge Trail across Chimney Peak and eventually to Katahdin (Baxter Peak, elev 5240 ft). We then took Saddle Trail down to Chimney Pond Lean-To for an overnight stay, and then Chimney Pond Trail back to Roaring Brook parking lot on the next day.

Helen Taylor Trail is fairly steep and therefore breaks treeline quickly where the view opens up for mountain ranges and lakes. After further steep climb over rocks and boulders, the trail leads to Pamola Peak where one can have a clear panoramic view of Knife Edge and Baxter Peak.

The sharp descent and immediate ascent between Pamola Peak and Chimney Peak at beginning of Knife Edge Trail is essentially 90-degree vertical. And it is the most difficult section of the whole hiking trail.

Although only 1.1 miles in length and 365 ft in elevation gain, knife edge trail is difficult particularly due to its full exposure condition. One needs to scramble and stay focused. The wind can sometimes become so strong that it seems it would blow hikers off the cliff.

Nevertheless the hard work, the rewarding 360 degree view of the rocky trail and the area around and below, from trail and Baxter Peak, makes the effort worthwhile.

The return hike from Chimney pond back to Roaring brook is a piece of cake comparing to the climb up. The trail passes by several mountain lakes with the most clear lake water I have ever seen. No fish, no water-weeds, no algae, just crystal water.

The backpacking trip was indeed a great experience. Weather definitely help too - it rained 1 day before and 1 day after our hike, but it just didn't during our hike. I can imagine how harder it would have become and how the view would be ruined if it rained instead.

Highly recommended. And we will return.
Written September 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy H
Monongahela, PA73 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
We were a group of 8 people with an 11yr old. We went up Hunt and came down Abol having a vehicle at each trail head. Challenging hike total time of 7 1/2 hours with breaks and lunch at the top. Spectacular views it was cloudy at the top so we did not get the 360 view at peak. Not for the faint of heart you will be physically challenged but worth every second of it. Do your homework bugs are awful in Maine May and June and you need a parking permit to get into park. Only carry what you must but make sure you later clothing I was in a tank at the bottom and a hoodie at the top.
Written July 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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