Best East Coast Rock Climbing
Shawangunk Preserve, or if you want to save your tongue a little work, “the Gunks,” offers a huge range of route classifications, so everyone can feel comfortably challenged. The rock is quartz conglomerate with horizontal cracks, and you’ll find 1,200-plus routes — more than any other spot east of the Mississippi. Because it’s only 85 miles from New York City, plan your drive to avoid weekend crowds, or hike farther in for the less-used walls. Most routes are accessed through the West Trapps trailhead. If you want to try the bouldering, follow the carriage road toward Trapps and look for big rocks. Rock & Snow in New Paltz is the local gear place, with supplies, maps, and advice. If you need a lesson, try HighXposure Adventures.
For food, order your pizza Grandma’s style at Rino’s Pizza, and get the garlic knots. Or head to Bacchus for American food and great beer. For lodging, the New Paltz Hostel is inexpensive. You’ll know you’ve found it when you see the Sasquatch statue. Camping at the newly opened Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground puts you within walking distance of Trapps and Near Trapps. Or you can stay at the much fancier Mohonk Mountain House, which owns the Sky Top climbing area.
On the way to New Paltz, make a stop at Storm King Art Center in Windsor. Even if you don’t love art, the sheer size of the structures is impressive — you can walk, drive, or rent a bike to cover the grounds.Back to top