Camping and Climbing at The Gunks, NY

Camping and Climbing at The Gunks, NY

This weekend I headed out with a large group of friends to The Gunks, one of the premier climbing areas in the east. We camped at the “multiple use area” campground, and climbed mainly in the Peterskill area.


The Gunks (short for Shawangunks) is one of the premier climbing areas in the country. Located near New Paltz, NY, the Gunks is about 85 miles from the NYC metropolitan area, making it a popular weekend destination. The rock is quartz conglomerate, solid rock with horizontal rather than vertical cracks. Climbing at the Gunks is characterized by roofs, jugs, traverses, big air, and sometimes “sporty” pro. The Gunks is famous for great one-to-three-pitch climbs of all levels of difficulty. You’ll find some of the best easy and moderate trad climbs in the country at the Gunks. There are a few bolted climbs at the Gunks, but no sport climbs.

Camping at the multi-use area was fairly easy, although finding it is not be best in the dark! Departing from NYC in the late afternoon on Friday, we finally made it up there in the dark. Using The Bistro/EMS gear shop as a landmark, we eventually found the campsite area, and had a fun time hiking in the dark for a bit down to the campground.