Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Labyrinth Trail and the Crevice

Mohonk Mountain House Preserve.
Shawagunk Mountains,

Ulster County,
New York

Hiking Trails:

Huegenot Trail
Whitney Road
North Lookout Road
Glen Anna Path
Fox Path: Red blaze
Shore Road
Labyrinth Trail: Red blaze
Sky Top Path
Tallman Path
Whitney Path
Lookout Road

Total Time: 2:45 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 miles
Level of Difficulty: Very Difficult
Level of Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Points Of Interest: Labyrinth scramble and giant crevice, beautiful gardens, and Sky Top view
Pros: The best scramble in the area, narrow and challenging crevice, fantasy-like grounds, and amazing views
Cons: Very expensive to park

Hiking Partners:
Debbie, Rafael, and Eli Koegel

Google Map of Parking:

View 2013 Hiking Locations in a larger map

This is a great hike, and perhaps the best scramble in southern New York State. The Shawangunk Mountains terminate at the Mohonk area, and they provide extremely dramatic scenery of sharp white cliffs and giant fallen boulders. The Mohonk Preserve has many scrambles and challenging trails through these cliffs and fallen boulders. The best one is the Labyrinth Trail with the Crevice, which is what we took for this hike.

Although Mohonk gives you access to the entire property, they charge an awful lot to enter ($20 for a day pass per person!) and make you park all the way down. This is very disappointing and I hope they lower their prices. On weekdays you can pay $5 more and park up at the hotel, and on weekends there is a slow shuttle bus that goes from the parking area to the hotel, but my experience with this bus was that it is inneficient.

We parked at the parking area on Mountain Rest road, took the Huegenot Trail to Whitney Road, North Lookout Road, and then the Glen Anna Path the Fox Trail. This is the most direct route to the hotel area. The Fox Path is a small climb up and slightly challenging. From here we walked on the hotel grounds through the botanical gardens and to the lake to observe the large trout that are stocked at the dock.

The Labyrinth Trail starts here, going in and out of giant fallen rocks, caves, and small crevices, until it reaches an area on top of the boulders for a boulder hop. After this part is the Crevice, a giant crack in the rock where the trail goes through on ladders narrowly squeezing through to the top.

At the end of the Labyrinth Trail we stopped for lunch at the tower, and then header back via the Sky Top Path to the Hotel Grounds, and walked along the road tho the Tallman Path, which we took south to Whitney Road, Lookout Road, and back to the Huegenot Trail to the parking area.

Map of the Route

Mohonk Mountain House from the start of the Labyrinth Trail

Rafael Climbing Through a Rock Pile on a Ladder
on the Labyrinth Trail

Eli Inside a Crack in the Rock in the Labyrinth Trail

Large Fallen Rock on the Labyrinth Trail.
Me and Eli Koegel

Walking on the Rocky Area.
These Rocks all Fell Off the Cliff at Some Point in Time

Me Climbing Through the Crevice

View While Ascending Crevice

View Looking Out From the Crevice

The  Narrow Passage Inside the Crevice

View From Atop the Crevice

Me at the Top Above the Crevice

Rafael Emerging from the Crevice

At a Gazebo at Sky Top

Some Crazy Person Climbing Up the Tower at Sky Top

View from Inside the Tower,
Looking out a Window

View of the Mohonk Mountain House from the Sky Top Tower
Facing North Towards the Catskill Mountains in the Background

View from the Tower Facing  East Towards the Hudson Valley.
Schunnemunk Mountain is in the Distance.

Me on the Top of the Tower

View of the Trapps and Millbrook Mountain from Sky Top.
Facing Southwest.

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