Hiking Project Logo

One of the best hikes in the Gunks combining awesome views with precarious hiking!

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key






1,080' 329 m


688' 210 m


412' 126 m


426' 130 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This hike is probably one of the most popular destinations for non-climbers in the Gunks. It begins in a meadow, traverses through some hills, then scrambles up the side of Bonticou Crag, providing a very exposed feeling on the way up. Bonticou Crag has an incredible 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside, including the Wallkill Valley, the Catskills, the Gunks, and much more! The hike continues along the ridge, where it descends and reenters the forest below to loop back around to the parking area.

Need to Know

Bring water and be aware that the scramble up Bonticou is intense and rocky. Don't do this hike if a storm is in the forecast. The top of the crag is very exposed and offers almost no protection from lightning strikes.


Begin at the Spring Farm parking area and hike north along the parking lot on Farm Road. Take the obvious right on Crag Trail (red blazes) where it crosses an open meadow along a hedgerow. Stay straight on Crag Trail as it crosses Cedar Drive and Spring Farm Road. Crag Trail will dead end at the 5-way intersection with Cedar Drive and Bonticou Road. A pond will be visible directly in front of you.

Turn left, but stay right to take Bonticou Road as it begins a traverse around a small rise. Enjoy the view of the small depression on the left and look for wildflowers in this area. As you work around the rise, Bonticou Crag will come into view. Bonticou Ascent Path (yellow blazes) breaks off to the left at an obvious intersection directly in front of Bonticou Crag.

Take the ascent path as it rises through the talus pile and access the ridge via a notch in the wall. Be careful to follow the yellow blazes painted on the rocks and stay on course. Enjoy the scenery and explore the top of the crag. From this point, you may choose to descend and return the way you came (a popular but more risky route as the descent is a bit more perilous than the ascent).

Or, continue along the yellow-blazed Bonticou Ascent Path as it heads north along the ridge. After a half mile or so it will meet up with the Northeast Trail (blue blazes), and descend through a narrow and steep path. Use roots and rocks to balance as you descend. Follow Northeast Trail as it descends into the base of a small gulley. As soon as it starts to rise, Cedar Trail (red blazes) tees in from the right. Take Cedar Trail north past Cedar Drive to where it dead ends into Table Rocks Trail (blue blazes). Turn left on Table Rocks Trail and follow it all the way back to the parking area.


Land Manager: Mohonk Preserve

Shared By:

Gunks Jesse

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 19 votes


  4.7 from 19 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in New York


19 Views Last Month
12,637 Since May 5, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



This is one of the difficult parts along the Bonticou Ascent Path.
Apr 27, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Vibrant leaves grace the view from the northern tip.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Climbing the scramble
Aug 30, 2018 near New Paltz, NY
The group's still smiling as we make our way up the scramble.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
The trail to the crag can be beautiful when covered with leaves.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY
Enjoy this view of the Catskills from the top of the scramble.
Feb 1, 2017 near New Paltz, NY



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jun 13, 2022
Eric G
What an exciting scramble up the crag! At the end, we turned off on Cedar Road, so we missed Table Rock. 3mi
Aug 21, 2021
Erik Stockmeier
Basically a hike to a scrabble with beautiful views. The trip back down was wet. Great hike 3.1mi
Apr 24, 2021
William Dreisbach
Oct 5, 2019
Sep 29, 2019
Nikhila Chaudhari
from the parking lot took the crag trail towards bonticou ascent path. after the rock scramble at the crag followed the northwest trail towards tab… 5.2mi
Jul 28, 2019
Samantha Schwartz
Oct 21, 2018
Itso Facto
Aug 28, 2018
Courtney Moroney

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started