Hiking Katahdin

Travelers Mtn Range

Table of Contents

The information on this Web Page was created to help you compare the various routes up Katahdin. It was written with the assumption that you have a guidebook and/or a map. We recommend carrying at least 2 quarts of water per person, as natural water sources are unreliable in dry weather. There are no spigots in the Park and we recommend treating all natural water sources before drinking.


This is by no means a complete description of Katahdin trails or hiking information. Consider this the first step in your planning for your hike. Step two should be to purchase a detailed map and/or trail guide book. Check weather conditions at trailheads before starting your hike. Severe storms can happen at any time of the year. The combination of severe winds, cold and precipitation can exhaust the strongest hiker. Never continue upwards in deteriorating weather, as it gets worse at higher elevations. Please carry lots of water. Park regulations require a working flashlight for each hiker. Treat all water sources. Please note that it is a strenuous climb for those who are not in good shape. The average hiking time for hikers is anywhere from 8-12 hours round trip. The elevation gain can be anywhere from 3,778 feet to 4,188, significant for those not used to strenuous exercise.

Day Use Parking Reservations

This is for Katahdin access trail head parking lots only. A must have for summer days and most weekends if you want to climb Katahdin baxterstateparkauthority.com/reservation/index.htm

Katahdin Weather Forecast

The weather forecast is provided every morning in the Park at the following locations: Togue Pond Gatehouses, Visitor Center, and all Katahdin trailhead campgrounds either on the Ranger’s porch or directly at the trailhead. The Chimney Pond Ranger will also provide Chimney Pond weather observations first thing in the morning.


A map is a very important tool for a successful Katahdin climb. We provide two Katahdin area maps you may download. Abol/Hunt trail and Roaring Brook area trails. The Park sells a guidebook and several more commercially produced detailed maps at Headquarters, Visitor Center and all Ranger Stations.

Hiking Tips

Please use the following link for hiking tips. Please always Hike responsibly: Hike Safe

Katahdin Trails

Abol Trail

3.4 miles (plus 1 mile on Hunt trail 4.4 miles total one way to Baxter Peak) Elevation gain 3,982ft

This trail is the shortest route to Baxter Peak from a roadside trailhead. The trail formerly utilized the prominent Abol Slide, but was relocated in 2015 after soil and rock movement on the slide increased the hazard to hikers. The relocated trail uses the ridge to the west of the slide and provides a steady, but steep ascent with excellent views. Water is limited after the first mile and the trail is fully exposed after 2.5 miles. On warm days, an early start is recommended. Once on the Tableland you will connect with the Hunt trail (A.T.) for the last mile.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking lot: Abol Campground

Hunt Trail (Appalachian trail)

5.2 miles one-way Elevation gain 4,188 ft

The Hunt trail is one of the more popular trails to the summit of Katahdin. This is because of the outstanding features along the trail such as picturesque Katahdin Stream Falls, the Boulders on Hunt Spur, the traverse of the Tableland, and extensive views in all directions, as 2.4 miles of the trail is above tree line.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking lot: Katahdin Stream Campground

Helon Taylor Trail

3.2 miles one-way Elevation gain to Pamola Peak 3,413 ft

This trail allows hikers to have a direct route from Roaring Brook trailhead to connect with the Knife Edge trail at Pamola Peak. It is an extremely exposed trail and because of this, hikes should not be attempted in bad weather.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Dudley Trail

1.3 miles one-way Elevation gain to Pamola Peak 1,988 ft

This trail leaves from Chimney Pond campground. It is a short , but very steep climb to reach Pamola Peak. This trail is almost entirely above tree line. No water available on this trail.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Cathedral Trail

1.5 miles one-way (1.7 miles to Baxter Peak) Elevation gain to Baxter Peak 2,353 ft

The shortest climb from Chimney Pond to Baxter Peak. To reach the peak, it utilizes the Saddle Trail for an additional 0.2 miles. It is very steep climbing over three large rock buttresses. The climbing is almost all above tree line. There is no water on this trail.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking Lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Saddle Trail

2.2 miles one-way Elevation gain to Baxter Peak 2,353 ft

This trail is the most gradual ascent. Reach Saddle Brook at 0.8 miles from Chimney Pond campground. This is the last sure water. The most difficult section on this trail would be the 0.2 mile slide right before encountering the Tableland. Hikers should expect to encounter difficult footing, loose stones and gravel on this section of trail.

Difficulty level: Strenuous       Trailhead Parking Lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Knife Edge Trail

1.1 miles one-way Elevation gain hiking from Pamola Peak 365 ft (If hiking from Baxter Peak descend 365 ft)

This route is completely exposed and several people have died or have been seriously injured while attempting a traverse in inclement weather and/or high winds. Do not attempt to leave the ridge once you have started. Hiking Knife Edge across and back is not recommended due to its difficulty and the amount of time it adds to the hike – it takes approximately 1 to 1½ hrs. one way. Access to Knife Edge is from the Roaring Brook Campground. Hiking it from the Hunt or Abol Trails means ending at Roaring Brook Campground, an hour by road from your vehicle on the other side of the mountain. We do not provide shuttle service. There is no water on this trail.

Difficulty level: Very Strenuous      Trailhead Parking Lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Hamlin Ridge Trail

1.5 miles one-way Elevation gain 1,837 ft

Hamlin ridge is a long open ridge, which offers outstanding views. The trail begins on the North Basin Trail 0.7 miles from Chimney Pond Campground. It then ascends a long ridge to Hamlin Peak, descending to its terminus at Caribou Spring and at the junction of the Northwest Basin Trail. This trail does not access Baxter Peak. You can make a 4.5-mile loop hiking to Hamlin Peak, then following the Northwest Basin Trail back to the Saddle Trail, descending to Chimney Pond Campground.

Difficulty level: Strenuous      Trailhead Parking Lot: Roaring Brook Campground

Chimney Pond Trail

3.3 miles one-way Elevation gain 1,425 ft

This trail takes you directly to the Chimney Pond Campground. The Helon Taylor trail leaves the Chimney Pond Trail after the first 0.1 mile. Chimney Pond Trail hike starts gradual and becomes a moderate hike. Some sections are steep and most of the trail is covered in rock. Plenty of water sources on this trail.

Difficulty level: Moderate      Trailhead Parking Lot: Roaring Brook Campground