Pingyp Mountain

Pingyp Mountain, Harriman State Park (11/15/2010)

For quite some time I have been interested in exploring the two viewpoint "stars" denoted on the NYNJTC map for Northern Harriman on a mountain with the strange name Pingyp (how this is pronounced is anyone's guess). But the lack of parking areas in the vicinity has discouraged me. The nearest to a trail is the one where the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail cosses Route 106, several miles away, and with several climbs. The nearest of all is on Tiorati Brook Road a one-mile road walk to the bottom of Pingyp, and what fun is that. In both cases, the viewpoints would be enjoyed only after climbing the steepest trail in all of Harriman, enjoying the views, and then turning around and climbing back down the steepest trail in Harriman, something warned against in nearly all information I have been able to gather on this topic.

Undeterred, I noticed something in the New York Walks book which mentioned a road shoulder about a quarter mile east of the eastern trailhead for the 1779 Trail (not, incidentally, denoted on the NYNJTC map). This would allow one to hike to the viewpoints without having to climb, and then descend, the steepest trail in the park. That was good enough for me! So today my friend Andy and I headed to Harriman to "bag" this fabled peak. We parked on Mott Farm Road, on the shoulder just feet northeast of its intersection with Queensboro Road. We walked up the very steep Queensboro to the beginning of the 1779 and took that west to the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail, turning left. This trail we took all the way to the views on the southern tip of the mountain, where we had lunch before turning back. After partially descending Pingyp, instead of backtracking on the Suffern-Bear Mountain and 1779, we took a couple of woods roads heading east and then north, finally reaching the 1779 Trail within a few hundred yards of its end.

Total distance hiked today was 5.5 miles in just over 4 hours. The views, as you can see in the photos, were spectacular. This is one of the most remote areas in the entire park, no surprise given how tough it is to get to.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Stream along Mott Farm Road

Gate at the trailhead of 1779

1777/1779 trail informational sign

Climbing 1779

And more climbing

Significant leaf drop

Mountain Laurel thicket

Climbing the Pines on the S-BM


Views ...

... from the ...

... summit of ...

... The Pines

Very steep ...

... 250-foot descent ...

... down the Pines


Still descending

Fireplace at the bottom

Partial views on Pingyp

First vista on Pingyp

Hazy view to the Hudson

Harriman mountains west

View south to Stony Point ...

... and Theills

Glacial errata

View south to Jackie Mountain

Descending to another vista


Cheesecote Mt & High Tor behind

Palisades Interstate Parkway

Cheesecote Mountain

View to Cedar Flats

View of Pound Swamp Mountain


Algonquin Gas Transmission Company

Jackie Mt and the PIP

[Photo by Andy]

Heading north along ridge


Gazing into a crevasse

Fall foliage ...

... still going strong

Covered boats on east bank of Hudson

Hudson River

Houses in Stony Point


Stony Point State Park

Andy and Pound Swamp Mt

Algonquin Gas Transmission Co in Cedar Flats

View towards Haverstraw

An autumnal PIP

Closeup of PIP below

View to the Tors

Drowned trees on woods road

Very leafy woods road

Beautiful little pond

Mountain Laurel-lined woods road


Trail plant

Late fall color

Abandoned car

Last of the foliage


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