August 22, 2016
Daniel, thank you! It's absolutely wonderful that you've chained so many of these trails together into such great hikes and my partner and I greatly appreciate it! A suggestion: Why not have the hike start 1/3 mile back up the road from the parking lot where the trail begins its descent? We've done this twice and both times I wondered what the value was of starting in the north west corner of the lot just to come out down the road anyway. Also this main part of the long trail is not only across the street but it's about two hundred yards north back towards the lot. I measured it as 1/3 mile from the lot entrance to the trail head. For everyone else, we did it in 2:45 including 5 or more breaks of various duration and though we passed many we also got passed by another group!
May 23, 2016
Old car chassis
I posed your question to Eric Nelsen, Historic Interpreter for the New Jersey Sectiion of the Palisades Interstate Park, and he responded as follows: "It’s one of those mysteries. I’ve never come across any record of an accident or crime that could account for it. My own theory is that it was probably a junker that some kids bought cheap just to roll down the hill and watch it crash."
May 22, 2016
Where did this car chassis come from?
While hiking this trail we found the remnants of an old car chasis. Does anyone know how/when it got there?
April 17, 2016
Awesome Hike - Careful about the parking
Haven't had so much fun since my rock-hopping days in Arizona! Hike is well described in other posts so nothing to add except go do it!. Only problem was that when I returned to my car mine and about 50 other cars had been given tickets for parking on the shoulder of the entrance road. This seems unfair as there isn't a single No Parking sign along the road. I'll be challenging the ticket.
October 22, 2015
Hike description has been amended
I've amended the hike description to make it clear that the hike begins at the northwest corner of the parking area.
October 22, 2015
"The hike begins at the rear of the parking area"
Let me just say that if the description had the hike beginning at the NW corner of the parking area it would have saved me some time. Great hike though, once I found it. ;)
March 17, 2015
Training for Spartan Race
I do this loop 2X when training for Spartan Races, it's about 8 miles. It takes me about 3+ hours to complete. Some section you can't run. I also descend/ascend the section where the rockslide occurred on May 12, very challenging section. I start my run from north to south...i find it safer since you have to ascend the rock scrabble.
June 02, 2014
Time of Giant Stairs hike
In general, and for this hike in particular, I try to overestimate the hike time somewhat. I am sure that many people could do the hike in significantly less than four hours; in fact, I know that I have completed it in less time myself. But some people will need four hours, or even more. I would rather err on the side of caution and set forth a time that many people can beat than put down a shorter time for the hike, with the result that someone might get stranded by the dark when it takes them longer than the estimated time.
June 02, 2014
Great hike, and not that difficult for an experienced hiker
Great hike. For an experienced hiker, it's not as difficult or strenuous as some suggest. There's a short, steep descent at the beginning and a short steep ascent at the end. In between is the Giant Stairs. It's fairly long for a scramble, but there's almost no ascent or descent, there are no long slabs, and at no point does it require upper body strength to pull yourself up. In fact, at very few points did I even have to use my hands. You do have to watch and plan every step, and a few steps in advance, because for much of it there's a steep dropoff on one side, and because the rocks are very jumbled, with spaces between then, so every step is an opportunity to twist or break an ankle. It's no place for little kids or small dogs, or for people without good balance and srambling experience. Those with fear of heights also shouldn't try it. But for an experienced hiker it should be no problem. One reviewer said he did the Stairs in an hour. I'm 60, and it took me 90 minutes to do the Stairs, but only 3.5 hours, less than the estimated time, to do the whole loop.
January 01, 2014
Awesome hike, and really
Awesome hike, and really accessible from NYC. Hiked it recently in the opposite direction, and had no difficulty navigating as a relative novice at hiking. The talus fields are difficult but manageable and a ton of fun, although yeah I really wouldn't try during rain or ice. Half-frozen Peanut Leap Cascade is really a sight this time of year! 5/5 stars.
November 17, 2013
Giant Stairs/Long Path Loop
Did this hike today! Even with the overcast clouds and morning drizzle this was a fantastic hike!
September 20, 2013
This hike Rules!
I did it in the opposite direction and it was one of the most fascinating hikes I've ever been on. Loved the Giant Stairs, wish I had gotten there a few hours earlier so I could have spent some more time there. Incredible views of the Hudson at every boulder section and once you get to the area where the Rockslide was, you really don't want to leave! Was definitely a great time and it I will be able to do this one a lot if I'm working in NYC! The Trail was well marked and the directions easy to follow even going in the opposite direction.
August 04, 2013
Giant Stairs is open all year long
I don't know where you saw the comment that the Giant Stairs is open only from September to May. That is simply incorrect. The trail is open year-round, although it is not a wise choice when it is it wet, icy or covered with snow. The summer is a good time to experience this trail, provided it hasn't rained in the last day or so. The trail was closed last summer due to the rockslide, but it reopened last fall.
August 04, 2013
New to this hike
My husband and I are planning to do this hike - we will be travelling on our anniversary next week and thought this would be a great idea. I've been reading reviews, tips and suggestions and came across a site that said the hike was only accessable from September through May. Can anyone confirm or deny that is the case? I don't want to plan for this, get all the way there and have it fall through. Thanks for the help...really looking forward to this!!
July 17, 2013
I would like to submit a GPS location for this hike
It is hard to find with the directions given above, but I went a couple times and found the location on Google Maps that brings you to the spot where people normaly park. Putting this in your gps should bring you right to the overpass that puts you on the trail 426 New York State Bicycle Route 9, Alpine NJ. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=426+New+York+State+Bicycle+Route+9,+Alpine+NJ&ie=UTF-8&ei=o8_mUar5Man64APOwoCQDQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg
December 28, 2012
Thank you for your update. I have been itching to scramble along the Giant Stairs and I'm pleased to see that it's passable (enough) for me. I'll give this hike a shot next month...it has long been among my favorites.
November 22, 2012
Condition of Giant Stairs hike
I did this hike yesterday, November 21st. This was the first time that I've done the hike since the rockslide on May 12th that obliterated a portion of the trail. I'm glad to report that, thanks to the work of Park staff and Trail Conference volunteers, the trail section across the rockslide has been stablized and blazed. In fact, it doesn't look all that much different than the other two areas on the Giant Stairs section where the trail crosses open talus slopes. There was some damage to the trail from Hurricane Sandy, and there are still a number of blowdowns, including two large trees that have fallen across the trail on the Giant Stairs section south of the rockslide. But anyone who is agile enough to negotiate the trail across the jumbled rocks of the Giant Stairs should be able to climb over or under these blowdowns without much problem. There are two other areas where a series of small blowdowns or debris have totally obscured the trail -- on the Shore Trail just north of the Forest View Trail and just south of Peanut Leap Falls. In each case, it is possible to walk around these sections by going off trail. There are also some blowdowns on the sections of the ski trails and Long Path used by this hike, although some gigantic blowdowns that obscured the trail have already been removed. Finally, much debris, in all shapes and colors, has washed ashore along a section of the Shore Trail between the Giant Stairs and Peanut Leap Falls. This trail section is passable without undue difficulty, though. All in all, the route of the hike is in reasonably good condition, all things considered, and any hiker who is capable of traversing the rugged Giant Stairs can also get around the various blowdowns and obstacles that remain from Hurricane Sandy.
May 13, 2012
Recent Rock Sliding
A new rock sliding just happened and use extra caution to cross it. The rock field is not stable at all. Allow more time to finish the Giant Stairs loop.
May 12, 2012
This is just a fabulous hike. My husband and i did it yesterday (May 11, 2012) for the first time and found it to be precisely as described. We got back to the parking lot in 4 hrs, 15 minutes, having taken the "side trip" to the Women's Federation monument. Among my favorite moments: Spying a written message on a rock: "Macedonia Sucks!" (i suppose a Yugoslav youth group had come through?); seeing a ring-necked snake, his scales glittering like a necklace in the sun; enjoying the Peanut Leap waterfall (in my camera, it came out looking like fireworks) and of course taking in the incomparable, dizzying views and realizing that, at last, we were standing atop those sheer cliffs we see every time we take the train from Beacon to New York City. The cafe itself sells NYNJTC maps and is a warm and welcoming place. Hoorah for this hike!
June 18, 2011
What a great hike!
This hike really has it all - great rock scrambling, views, a picturesque ruin, varied terrain, a waterfall and more. And all so close to New York City. One tip for anyone who's interested: the State Line Cafe (located at the parking area) has a surprisingly tasty veggie burger. Enjoy!
May 15, 2011
Wonderful way to end a weekend
We took this hike on a Sunday afternoon, and were slightly worried that 3:30 PM might be too late to start this hike, but we got lucky and were able to finish the hike well before sunset; and its was a sunday afternoon very well spent. A superb hike, with each part of the hike well described here..Grazie Mille!
March 13, 2011
One of my favorites
I took my seven year-old son on this hike in December 2010 after he "earned his stripes" on a few other challenging hikes. We enjoyed bounding - carefully, of course - across the boulders on the Giant Stairs and we spotted a small bat hibernating among the ruins of the Italian Garden at the base of Peanut Leap Falls. We completed this hike in the opposite (clockwise) direction as described above, as I found it slightly easier than hiking it counter-clockwise. In cooler weather, this may be a better morning hike so you aren't in the late-afternoon shadow of the Palisades when you are crossing the Giant Stairs. This is one of my favorite hikes in New Jersey.
September 01, 2010
Giant Stairs Hike
Our group of 6, from ages 10 and up, completed the hike in 3 hours 40 minutes at the end of August, including a stop for lunch and a few other rest breaks. This hike has many features which make a hike special: great views, varied terrain, history, and a physically challenging route. I agree with the strenuous rating, at least for the climb down, climb up and the long rock scramble section, where every foot-step needs to be carefully placed.