Gunks [rock(trad)]

The Gunks is a staunchly traditional climbing area with classic climbs of all grades from (5.3 – 5.13). The rock is the same hard quartz conglomerate sandstone as at Seneca except that it is rotated 90 degrees. Whereas the Seneca features vertical cracks, those are horizontal at the Gunks. The climbing might be characterized as face climbing between steep bulges and ROOFS.  

This is a world class climbing destination with thousands of trad routes of all grades with easy access approaches.

GuidebooksVarious free topos abound of various quality…  Real books include…

  • Dick Williams’ grey guidebook for the Trapps. You can get it from Rock and Snow in New Paltz (might be able to order from them online).

Site Information

Cell Phone Coverage/Internet Access

  • “The Bakery” which is a little ways down Chestnut street (right at the light if driving thru town from thruway) has free Internet. (unconfirmed).
  • “Muddy Cup” coffeeshop. Free wireless and 2 open-access computers. On the main street 1 block up from Rock and Snow in the direction away from the cliffs.
  • Deli near the EMS climbing shop – unconfirmed free wireless signal.


  • Check New Paltz NY


Getting There (various sugeestions to consider)

  • PA. Route: 270 to 15 north to Harrisburg then 581/83/81 to 78 east to Allentown to 287 north.
  • PA. Route Alternate start: If you live near College Park or Silver Spring, you can take the Pa. route with an alternative start. Go up I-95 to Baltimore, around I-695 west on the Baltimore Beltway, then on I-83 to York, Pa, then to Harrisburg and rejoin the Pa. route.
  • NY/NJ Route: 270 – 15 N – 581/83/81 N all the way to 84 East [ near Wilkes-Barre] then take the back road 206?? to new paltz [#5 or 6] one exit before I87/I84 intersection – no tolls all the way! It’s about 30 miles longer than the direct route up 95 but cheaper and often faster because of the delaware tolls – even with a pass

Notes: The NY/NJ route is faster than the PA route if you’re not in maximum weekend traffic but it’s more expensive. Estimate slightly under 5 hours in the best of times. The Pa. route is cheaper but longer – approximately an hour longer.

Where to Stay


  • Creekview Campsite (Also has group site with nice flat area with freshly cut grass, fire rings and clean tables). Cranky owner.


  • New Paltz hostel
  • Super 8.  It includes a light breakfast too.
  • 87 Motel 
  • Mohonk Mountain House at Sky Top. Rates from $279 per person per night. :-))

Where to Eat

  • “32Lunch” – A ‘fanastic’ little breakfast place on route 32 near Creekview campground.
  • BACCHUS RESTAURANT 4 South Chestnut Street, New Paltz, N.Y.; (845) 255-8636, .
  • MAIN STREET BISTRO 59 Main Street, New Paltz, N.Y.; (845) 255-7766, .
  • KARMA ROAD 11 Main Street, New Paltz, N.Y.; (845) 255-1099, 
  • Deli next to the EMS
  • Red Brick Tavern (with a great chef that used to be at the North Light for you old-timers)
  • Mountain Brauhaus (good pork chops)