Indian Head Wilderness – Mount Plateau

Park Site

Trail Map – official, I used the NY NJ Trail Conference, map 141

Hike Distance – 6.6 or 7.4

Trail – Devil’s Path (red)

Mountain – Plateau Mountain

My Map:

There will not be a lot of pictures for this one.  This was another great hike with the Monmouth County Park System.  There are not many pictures due to:  the quick pace that we moved at, and the unrelenting uphill for the first part of the hike.  In my map, we started at the upper left.  The first 1.3 miles was uphill at a steep grade.  You can see that in how many contour lines we crossed, and how close together those lines are.

I’ve listed two mileages for the hike distance.  According to the hike leader (and the NY/NJ Trail conference map, the route we hiked was 7.4 miles.  I added up all the distances listed and came up with 7.4 miles.  However, my GPS track showed 6.6 miles, and lines up with other sites on the internet, including this one (see the Notch Lake description.)  I get that different GPS apps can arrive at different totals.  But how can GPS differ so significantly from the maps?  Anyone with information, please leave an answer in the comments.  All summer I have been baking off AllTrails and Gaia and have seen wildly different results.

The first picture comes from the first viewpoint, Orchard Point, atop the brutal climb from Notch Lake and Devil’s Tombstone Campground.  That climb is STEEEEP and LOOOOONG.  It is well worth the rest at the viewpoint.  And for my money, this was the best view of the day.  After scrambling up the rock, or climbing around it, the view you will see looks off towards Hunter Mountain.  It’s my favorite as there is nothing but trees and mountains.

From here to the summit is a ridge walk.  There might be 100 feet in elevation gain for the next two plus miles.  A typical view looks like:

We stopped for lunch two tenths of a mile past the summit at an over look that looks at Sugarloaf Mountain.

After lunch, it was back on the ridge retracing our steps.

We got back to Orchard Point overlook and rested for a few minutes before we started that steep descent back down.

Here’s a picture of the rock at the overlook.  On the way up, I went around it, since there was a nice trail there.  Going down, I shimmied down the rock.  It was much easier down than up; and I suppose if you are taller, it might be easier going up.

Back at the parking lot I took a couple of shots of Notch Lake.

Ticks – 0

Lanternflies – 0

Blazes

Hiked: 9/24/2022

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