Hiking Mount Katahdin

Mount Katahdin 5267 ft.

 

Mt Katahdin, the tallest peek in Maine, is located in Baxter State Park. This is a wilderness and forest area of 209,501 acres. With 46 mountain peaks and ridges, 18 of which exceed an elevation of 3,000 feet, the highest being Baxter Peak at 5,267 feet. The park maintains about 200 miles of hiking trails.

The Park lies within the Northern Forest Region of the American Continent and experiences the cool, moist climate typical of this region. Data from Maine Emergency Management  Agency will provide a daily overview of general weather information.

Annual mean temperature: 38.6°F

  • Record high temperatures: ~ 95°F
  • Record low temperatures: ~ -45°F
  • Average annual precipitation; ~ 37″(includes ~ 100″/year snow)

Katahdin is the northern boundary of the Appalachian Trail. It is located within Baxter State Park, a wilderness-managed area in which humans are second. The mountain, being a mile above sea level, towers above the comparatively low Maine lakes and forests. Due to the northerly latitude, timberline is at about 3,500 feet.

Baxter State Park is tightly controlled and the amount of people allowed to enter each day is regulated. Come early if you desire to climb the mountain (even 6AM is at some times too late!) or camp in one of the camp grounds at Katahdin’s base in Baxter State Park.

 

A fee is required to enter the park ($12). When inside Baxter, be sure you respect the rules specially designed for the health of the animals. The season runs roughly from May 15 to October 15; outside these dates, the rangers require a complete set of winter-climbing gear and the park’s facilities are mostly shut down.

There is no other entity comparable to Baxter State Park along the Appalachian Trail corridor, in terms of the Park’s origin and mission. Visitors to this Park are recipients of a very special gift from Pericival Baxter. The intent of such a generous gift, is to uphold our policies and regulations.

 

Quick trail facts: 

The climb is  9.6 miles in about 11 hours.  Helon Taylor trail is a long steep rise. The Knife edge is very rugged in places – the chimney is almost a technical climb. The Baxter peak side of the knife edge is a boulder scramble. The saddle trail has a 1/2 mile section of lose rock and is also very steep. A tough hike that you should be in shape for. The most difficult portions of the hike are exposed and above treeline.  A long grueling hike!