October 14, 2019
Awesome early fall hike
Took this hike yesterday , 10/13/19, because I have not been on the trails lately and wanted a fairly short trek to get myself back into it . I was surprised that I had never done this loop even though I had hiked other tails in Bear Mt. many times. I ran into more people than any previous hike anywhere! It was a great trip with some incredible views and the weather was perfect. Plenty of ups and downs , with a few steeps, made this a good workout although I was happy it wasn't much longer. Was also happily surprised that there was the annual Bear Mt. Octoberfest happening and enjoyed a beer and bratwurst after the hike! ( Parking was $10 due to this fact )
May 05, 2019
Best overall hike for views in Winter
This past winter, I did this hike over six times, and it never disappointed. The ridge itself has 360 views of Bear Mountain, the Hudson, Black Mountain, and NYC from various points on the ridge. This is a best kept secret. This has so many vantage points. While at first the ascent can be tricky, it is not as difficult as Breakneck Mountain. You will definitely need traction in all seasons, as you are going over big rock slabs that are smooth and can sometimes be wet from rain. Go a bit further on the blue trail to the West Mountain shelter, and get a good look at the Timp and the Hudson River. Lots of habitat changes on the hike make for a very interesting hike (meadows, forest, rock slides, bogs, stream crossings. Beechy Bottom road is flooded and muddy in all three seasons, and is an ice sheet in Winter, so wear long pants and gaiters when you do this loop. The sunsets atop West Mountain are spectacular.
July 08, 2018
Took us about 2.5 hours to complete with a couple of 5-10 minute breaks at the view points. The trail is well marked. Most of the climb is in the first hour. After you reach the TT-AT intersection, you walk on the ridge of the west mt. There is a bit of scrambling on TT / RD trails, but plenty of hand holds and little exposure make it straight forward in good weather. We started to use the Avenza maps that the trail conference folks recommend and it does make it easy to answer the "are we there yet" questions from the kids.
July 30, 2017
Good Hike, some great views. My GPS had it marked at almost exactly 5 miles, and it took as just over 2 1/2 hours. The first 3.5 miles were a nice challenge, until we hit Beachy Bottom Road, which is just a mile and a half stroll. A little disappointed with this ending the hike. There were definitely sections that I would consider "strenuous" more than "moderate to strenuous". We generally take our 80 pound dog on hikes, but didn't today, and am glad we didn't. There were a few spots that would have been tough for him, particularly a couple of the scramble downs on the Ramapo-Dunderbger trail. The portions that this hike covers of the Anthony Wayne Trail, Fawn Trail, Timp-Torne Trail and of course A-T trail are all very well marked. The Suffern-Bear Mountain trail and Ramapo-Dunderbger trails are a little less marked and very overgrown in parts. Was easy enough to follow, but would have preferred to have pants on to walk through this section. Anyone know what the hike length would have been if we stayed south on the A-T when it left the Timp-Torne and stayed on it until heading back on Beachy Bottom Road?
January 19, 2017
Great views and easy trails
Did this hike today. Views were spectacular. Can see NYC from yellow-red trail junction outlook. Noise from nearby highway was minimal.
September 07, 2016
west mt hike
<p>absolutely--i think when you do any hike in winter and there is ice one would bring trekking poles and traction aids like microspikes ... i do that hike all the time, its a great hike but one must use common sense and respect conditions</p>
January 17, 2012
Appreciate the reply!
<p>All very good points, Daniel. It could definitely have been the presence of increased ice and the winter temperatures which were influencing my feelings out there on the trail. All I can do is keep working out and hiking as often as possible so that eventually I will come on here and dispute a "strenuous" hike to suggest you rate it "easy!"</p>
January 17, 2012
Rating of this hike
<P>Any hike rating is quite subjective. What might be "strenuous" to one hiker could be considered "easy" by another. I remember how, a few weeks after I suffered a back injury two years ago, I decided to embark on one of my hikes in the Flat Rock Brook Nature Preserve which I had rated "easy." Well, given my recent injury, the hike ended up not being so "easy" for me! All I can say is that I do my best with the ratings, and that, as far as I can recall, this hike is not quite as difficult as some other hikes that I have rated "strenuous."</P> <P>I should also point out that my ratings do not -- and cannot -- take into account the presence of ice on the trails. As you yourself admit, even a wide, flat trail, such as Beechy Bottom Road, can become "treacherous" if it is covered with ice. Steep descents that are covered with ice can be impassable without proper traction devices -- and extremely difficult even with the appropriate devices. Although they cannot be factored into hike ratings, hikers in the winter must consider ice and snow conditions. Wintry conditions can convert even the easiest hike into a very difficult one if one is not properly prepared.</P>
January 17, 2012
I would disagree with "moderate to strenuous"
<p>We've done lots of the Trail Conference suggested hikes, including a few "strenuous" ones. I would take the "moderate" out of this one. Some of the rock scrambles, angles of the slickrock, and descents scared the heck out of me (and also caused quite a bit of lactic acid burn in the legs). Also, there was some ice right in the trail path on some of the more treacherous descents, necessitating a bit of off-trail scrambling. Beechy Bottom Road, which I suspect was horribly muddy just last week, was an ice skating rink for about 1/5 of its length. Traction control recommended if you're unsteady on your feet and don't have trekking poles. Took us 5 hours, with a 20 minute lunch break. Beautiful hike though.</p>