• Kaaterskill Falls New York Photography

Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y. Photography Hot Spot

Kaaterskill Falls, New York

This is a top-ten spot if we ever see one!! You will have to go all the way to the top and shoot from behind the water, as we did in the picture above. Yes, it is a profoundly strenuous hike to get to the top. In the last two years in a row, people have died here. Be extremely careful. Go slow. Wear a backpack for your gear, and don’t go alone. The incline to get to the third level is exceptionally steep. You need hiking boots. I have seen people go about this half-hour trek to the top without using their brains. This is why people get hurt and or die here.

The top tier, 328 feet in the air, is outstanding.  I’ll stop typing. Just let the images speak for themselves. They do not even do the location justice. Look for the little guy walking on the rim to see how huge this waterfall is.  These are some random, unedited photos in the gallery. Look below at the massive vertical shot. Kaaterskill Falls is one of our top 10 Photography Locations.

Kaaterskill falls from the top to the bottom, with a big rainbow with two people behind the falls.

Top 10 Photography Hot Spot

Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y.- What an incredible place!! Add this to your bucket list only if you can hike. It’s a tough climb, but it is worth it to make it up to the “dome.” at the top.  It’s hard to see the magnificence of this location, even in our super images.  If you cannot hike a challenging trail, you can always drive the road above and do a 5-10-minute hike through the wood to the top to look down. Whatever you do, be careful. Pay attention! People die here.

UPDATE: The parking lot at the bottom is now closed. They want you to park at the top. It is easier to start at the top, and you get to skip that hazardous section by climbing up from the bottom.

This is an incredibly magical location. We highly suggest that if you can do this, it needs to be on your list.


We journey here during spring, summer, and fall because it’s conveniently close to home and ranks as one of the top 10 destinations we can drive to. The autumn season is our favorite time to visit. We’ve learned that it’s best to come during the week when it’s less crowded. But even then, the tiny parking lot is always whole, and people often bicker over spots.

Arrive early; the lot fills by 10 a.m. Definitely consider going midweek, early in the morning or late in the day.


This full-day photography event requires much effort to reach the top and shoot from behind the waterfall, overlooking the valley. It’s not easy, and it can be dangerous, too. We remember hearing about someone who died here last year when we were at this location. The photographers were discussing it, and it was a recent occurrence.

However, this place is more than just about taking pictures. It holds magical and mystical energy, allowing deep connections with Mother Earth and spirituality. You can even spend some time here meditating and grounding yourself in nature.


If you’re planning on photographing this stunning waterfall location, it’s essential to come prepared with the right equipment. A tripod and neutral density filters are a must for capturing beautiful long-exposure shots. To ensure the best results, we recommend bringing a 10-stop neutral density filter, which can help balance harsh lighting conditions during certain times of the day. With the right tools, you’ll be able to take great photos that capture the true beauty of this waterfall.


When planning a hiking trip, it’s important to pack the essentials. Bring plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated, a sturdy pair of hiking boots to keep your feet comfortable and safe, and organic sunscreen and bug spray to protect your skin from the sun and insects. Additionally, having a friend to share the experience with can make the hike much more enjoyable, and having someone to complain to during the more challenging parts of the trail can be a huge help!



For your safety, do not park on NY Route 23A, also known as Molly Smith Lot.  Currently, the Molly Smith parking lot is closed. Park at Laurel House Trailhead instead. The Laurel House Parking Area is off the road and only requires a short walk to reach the top of the falls.


As we told you on the wind-to-go section, it gets very busy here. Be prepared.

USE camera information photography

Photography Information – Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y.

Bring your tripod to Kaaterskill Falls. There is a lot of running water. It is best to go after a good storm when the rivers are flowing. Just be prepared when you get towards the top, you have to hold on to trees to climb, and you will have a tripod to deal with. I never had any wind issues at the top, so if it’s not windy, consider a lightweight tripod.

A motion parallax tripod head is ideal for this location. You cannot get far enough back to get the full view when you are behind the waterfall, so you have to stitch this bad boy together. Be prepared for some HDR. There are shadows no matter what time of day we have been there. It is tough, but be ready to do some HDR and photo stitching, which will be time-consuming. Plan at least half a day here to photo it right.

Lens:  You want a wide-angle lens — the wider, the better at this location.

Gear: Bring your tripod and your circular polarizing filter. The circular polarizing filter will make your white puffy clouds burst and deepen the blue around them. It will also remove the glare from the water and replace it with reflection.

Gear List at a glance: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, tripod, shutter release.

area information - photography



Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y.


Kaaterskill Falls is a two-drop waterfall located in the eastern Catskill Mountains of New York, on the north side of Kaaterskill Clove, between the hamlets of Haines Falls and Palenville in Greene County’s Town of Hunter. The dual cascades total 260 feet (79 m) in height, making it one of the highest waterfalls in New York and one of the tallest waterfalls in the Eastern United States.

Dangers: Falling off the Kaaterskill Falls. There have been many deaths over the years.
It would be best if you used great caution when hiking the upper portion of the trail to the top. The rest is just a plain old difficult trail since it’s a steep incline. It’s the upper portion that is so dangerous.
Dangers: Bushwacking above the 64′ drop is dangerous. Most bushwack up the right side of the trail. Many people have been killed here.
Common Animals: Coyotes, bears, birds, Hawks, frogs, butterflies (whites & swallowtails), and deer.
Risky Animals: Rattlesnakes, Copperheads (low), and Bears can be found here—more on the top section than the bottom.
The best hotels while doing photography


Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y. Add your hotel here!

Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your hotel for their photography or ghost-hunting trip? Put your hotel information here. We will put pictures of your hotel, the website link, the phone number, and hotel information.

Would you like to be a featured hotel like this article in the link or this one?  Please send us an email.  You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.

Kaaterskill Falls Hotel Information:

This is one of our first articles – Check for hotel pricing updates!

This is the top hotel pick we recommend for you today. It is right on Kaaterskill Creek, which is very close to Kaaterskill Falls, where you will do your photography for the day. It has a great, comfortable, rustic environment.

Catskill Mountain Lodge

Several cozy cabins and 42 spacious hotel rooms, some with fireplaces, set on the banks of Kaaterskill Creek. Complimentary wireless Internet and a rustic feel. Within 20 minutes of the ski slopes in the heart of Palenville, America’s first art colony.

M $69 – $225 W $109 – $450

518-678-3101 | www.catskillmtlodge.com

Cave Mountain Motel

Clean, comfortable, non-smoking rooms. Roms have two double beds, a private bath, cable T.V., free wifi and a beautiful mountain view. Light complimentary continental breakfast. Ski and golf packages. Ten miles north of Hutner Mountain. 1.5 miles to Windham Mountain.

518-734-3161 | cavemountainmotel.com

Cuomo’s Cove

Luxurious 1-3 bedroom suites and one 3-bedroom Log Cabin. Amenities include outrageous mountain views, outdoor hot tubs, indoor Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, full kitchens, kitchenettes and sauna access. Ski and Stay Golf packages are available. Wi-fi is available on-premises. It is eight miles from Hunter Mountain.

M$130 – $300 Winter; $100 – $225 Summer  

W$150 – $350 Winter; $120 – $300 Summer

800-734-5903 | cuomoscove.com

Hunter Inn

Beautiful accommodations ranging from hotel style to luxurious suites. Complimentary full buffet breakfast, occasional cocktail hour, and open WiFi. Two children 16 and under stay free with their parents.

M$105+ W$170+ H$200+

518-263-3777 | hunterinn.com

Scribner Hollow Lodge  – This would have been my pick for a hotel. I was excited, but when I called with a few questions one night, an obnoxious, arrogant, unprofessional, sarcastic man answered the phone and belittled me, making fun of my questions. Therefore, DO NOT STAY HERE. – UPDATE – No longer in business. We wonder why?

A deluxe, full-service boutique hotel directly across from the mountain. Newly renovated rooms, some with custom-decorated suites, fireplaces, balconies and Jacuzzis. A unique feature: The Grotto, a warm, underground cave-like indoor pool with waterfalls, jacuzzi/Roman spa and saunas. Eat at The Prospect’s multiple award-winning in-house restaurants, and enjoy live jazz on the weekends. Free wireless internet. ExcInternetedding and conference facilities.

M $159-319  W $224-459

518-263-4211 or 1-800-395-4683 |



Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y. Camping:

North-South Lake Campground
Haines Falls Raod, County Route 18


Where to Camp

Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your campground to stay during their ghost-hunting trip? Put your campground information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number, and the information on your campground to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you. They are good at getting there in the dark.

Would you like to be featured in an article as a place to stay while doing photography or ghost hunting? If so, please send us an email. You will be surprised at how affordable our prices can be.



Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y. Restaurants:

Put your restaurant here! Call us or see below for advertising.

Do you want us to send our photography and ghost-hunting friends to your restaurant after their ghost-hunting trip? Put your restaurant information here. We will put a picture of your establishment, the website link, the phone number, and the information on your restaurant to make it easy for our photographers and ghost hunters to find you.



Kaaterskill Falls, N.Y. Weather:

For this location: Kaaterskill Falls Weather Read here.

Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining.

private-jet-photo-tours - plane

Private Jet Photo Tours


Acadia National Park Private Jet Photo Tour 

Seats fill quickly on this tour of a lifetime!

Lake Powell, Arizona Photography Hot Spot Location

Southwest USA Private Jet Photo Tour

Seven Incredible Locations  

error: Content is protected !!