Mohonk Mountain House Hike – Visitor Center To Skytop Tower

Mohonk Mountain House Hike – Visitor Center To Skytop Tower

Mohonk Preserve Hike

Mohonk Preserve Hike – Visitor Center To Skytop Tower Important Information

Trail Map: Trail Map 1

Trail: Undercliff Road, Laurel Ledge Road, Giant’s Workshop, Humpty Dumpty Road, Eagle Cliff Road, Path towards Mohonk Mountain House, Mohonk Mountain House To Labyrinth, Skytop Tower, Skytop Path going back to Mohonk Mountain House, Copes Lookout Path, Giant Workshop, Laurel Ledge Road, Undercliff Road then back to Visitor Center

Difficulty: Moderate To Strenuous
Distance: 8 Miles
Elevation Gained: 1395 ft
Entrance fee: $12 person when I went there. Pay at the Visitor Center
In the picture, the distance is 10 miles because I went to Zaidee Bower instead of Copes Lookout. But in this guide, the trail back will go to Cope’s Lookout instead of Zaidee Bower.

mapmyhike mohonk

Note: The information is just an approximation.



The entrance to the visitor center is:

41°44’04.6″N+74°11’19.7″W or 41.734620,-74.188805



Mohonk Mountain House Hike – Visitor Center To Labyrinth Trail

Trail: Undercliff Road, Laurel Ledge Road, Giant’s Workshop, Humpty Dumpty Road, Eagle Cliff Road, Path towards Mohonk Mountain House, Mohonk Mountain House To Labyrinth, Skytop Tower, Skytop Path going back to Mohonk Mountain House, Copes Lookout Path, Giant Workshop, Laurel Ledge Road, Undercliff Road then back to Visitor Center

Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center

mohonk preserve visitor center parking

The atmosphere felt nostalgic and new as I drove through the gates of Mohonk Preserve. I opened my car door and looked through the parking lot. This is the third time I was here but the air felt different. I looked at the trees and they were the color of gold. As if a pool of gold lies hanging at the branches. The leaves were changing colors. I was entrapped with visions of gold, green and rust colored leaves. I closed my jacket as the wind passed me by. Leaves took to the air in an elegant dance as if they were hearing a music that I could not understand. I stretched out my hand and touched some of them as they fall gracefully down to the earth. I looked around and saw a pool of gold beneath my feet, the same pool that I was able to see when I look up.

mohonk preserve parking lot fall mohonk preserve parking lot autumn mohonk preserve parking lot fall foliage
Mohonk Visitor Center Trail Mohonk Visitor Center Trail Road Mohonk Visitor Center Trail Steps


Undercliff Road

mohonk undercliff road

The once gray Undercliff road that I remembered was colored in gold. The trees were vibrant than ever. Some trees showed off a red color that made their trunks look like they were on fire. Nature was showing off its full glory. I walked further up in the road and a chilly wind crept into the air. A drop of water hit my face. I looked up and saw the clouds turning dark. More droplets of water poured into the landscape. I was a bit worried that I went to this place at the wrong time. Each drop of rain has the icy kiss of winter, a clear promised in that late October morning that the seasons were changing. But as rays of sunlight peeked through the holes in the sky, my apprehension was relieved and I became even more excited about the scenery that I was about to experience.

An earthen aroma, a softer light, colorful leaves, cool air, footsteps making a crackling sound and a taste of warm latte – the season of autumn wraps around my senses like a comfortable worn old blanket as I travel to the Mohonk Mountain House.


Mohonk Undercliff Road Fall Mohonk Undercliff Road View Mohonk Undercliff Road Fall Colors


Laurel Ledge Road

mohonk laurel ledge road

The air gave off a nice chill on Laurel Ledge road. It was cold, taking off the warmth on my face and leaving me paler than I used to be. I zipped my jacket and looked through the place were I was at. Everything as far as my eyes could see was covered with rust colored leaves. They took flight from up above, gliding for a fleeting moment, beautiful and graceful and then lay solemnly still at the ground. Each of my footsteps made a crackling sound as my feet smashed through a handful of dried up leaves and branches. It was beautiful and somewhat sad at the same time, I thought to myself.


Laurel Ledge Road Sign Laurel Ledge Road Green Leaves Laurel Ledge Road Leaves


Giant Workshop

Mohonk Giant Workshop Entrance

The cave did not look friendly as if it would swallow me up in whole and bury me inside its narrow passages. Bars of sunlight slip through the sharp openings on the walls made the dust glitter amidst the air. The lights flicker, creating an incredible glow inside the Giants Workshop. Blue rectangular marks marred the walls, the floors, the ceilings to signify hikers where to go. The tunnels inside the caves were not something I typically see in the city. The walls were layers of stone that was not made by man. Brown and yellow leaves lay everywhere, as if the wind forcefully blew them there. The floor smelled like the earth and the walls seemed as if it would echoe all of the voices of people that went there.

Crouched like a drunken old man, I fought my way through. Rock after rock, I grabbed onto anything I could in order to give me leverage. The stones felt coarse and the only sound my ears could hear were the footsteps that I made. I climbed up the tunnel moving from one rock to the next. My body instinctively knew how to move. I felt like a kid searching, being curious and discovering things about exploration that I once forgotten. I reached the top with a big smile on my face and told myself, “That was fun!”


Mohonk Giant Workshop Path Mohonk Giant Workshop Cave Mohonk Giant Workshop Top


Humpty Dumpty Road

mohonk humpty dumpty road view

In front of me was a small hut that is built on top of a rock, just about 1000 feet from where I stood. I shudder to think what would happen if the hut crumbles and I fall down with it. At the front of the hut was a view of a vast expanse of rich forests and mountains. I wondered what animals lived in that vast ocean of trees as far as the eyes could see. Bears, fox, deers, wolves and all sorts of creatures were most likely preparing themselves for the winter. Do they enjoy the beauty of nature? Do they enjoy the changing of the color of the leaves like me? I wondered.


Mohonk Humpty Dumpty Road Viewpoint Mohonk Eagle Cliff Ascent Bridge Mohonk Eagle Cliff Acent Rock Scramble


Eagle Cliff Ascent

mohonk eagle cliff ascent

Moss and other forms of plant life covered the boulders as I ascent to Eagle cliff. The ascent was not steep but the path grew smaller and only one person could fit. The rocky path proved rather easy and short. It moved from one corner to the next but always moving upwards to the peak. My mind was on the beauty of nature and the photographs that I would get once I reached the peak, I did not care about the boulders or any obstacles that were in my path.

 eagle cliff sign eagle cliff ascending path eagle cliff rocks


Eagle Cliff

Mohonk Eagle Cliff Huntington Lookout

Eagle cliff offered great views to anyone who reached it. I knew there was an easier way to get to this place but I would rather scramble from one boulder to the next. There were a couple of small huts in the vicinity and each offered a new view of the world below it.

Note: The road was tricky at this point. One road leads north and the other leads south. I made sure I went to the southern road as it will offer the best views. I know the North path would take me to the same place but it would be boring.

Mohonk Eagle Cliff View Artist Mohonk Eagle Cliff View Point Mohonk Eagle Cliff View


Path Towards Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk eagle cliff road to mohonk mountain house

The landscape glowed in hints of green, red, yellow, gold, brown and every color imaginable underneath the dark eerie sky. The valley was very beautiful as if it were a painting freshly made that came straight from a great artist in Rome. The wooden fence felt wet from the light rain before but it made the view even more amazing. The trees were engorged in their late foliage, the lake was solemn and still, the clouds diffused the sun light which made the sky appear to be silver, and light cool breeze hit my face as I relaxed under the wooden hut to enjoy the breathtaking view before me. The sun tried to break through the clouds giving off shimmering white colors in the sky. The landscape was the embodiment of beauty and I was enjoying every minute of it.


mohonk mountain house hike mohonk preserve hiking mohonk trail hike
eagle cliff path vista eagle cliff path lake view eagle cliff path two huts


Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House

The house felt like it was made of wood and the staff was very friendly. The floor was kept clean and windows as well. The mansion had been fighting off mother nature for quite a while. I was surprised it looked great even after countless times of long summer days and cold winter nights have passed through its corridors. The walls were coarse to the touch and age was the mansion’s distinctive characteristic but it felt strong as if it would survive a thousand frozen winters and baked in a thousand more summers. Within the great walls of the mansion were incredible brown painted stairs of wood and beautiful paintings on the walls. Beautiful lights, wooden decors and tables covered in fresh table cloth can be found as well.

I went here once before and sunset caught up to me. Instead of spending 1 hour walking back to my car and having the chance that it will be very dark, one of the staff offered to give me a ride. I was very much grateful. He loved working there. He said that the owners treated him well. The place was very beautiful. I knew from the excitement of his voice that he was telling the truth.

mohonk mountain house lake view mohonk mountain house top view mohonk mountain house trail view



Mohonk Labyrinth

As the name implies, the Labyrinth in Mohonk was like a maze. A maze of rocks for anyone who wishes to explore. The rocks did not care about minutes, hours or even time. It did not care about yesterday nor tomorrow. The path was just there for anyone to explore. I did not care about time as well, I was just there enjoying the present, not caring about the future nor the past. I had my hiking boots, backpack, and jacket to keep me warm, it was time to make tracks. I was moving from one obstacle to another. My feet was light and a smile can be seen on my face through out the journey. I cared little about the mud stuck on my boots, the heaviness of my backpack, nor the length of the trail.

Each footstep coincides with how much fun I was having. The more steps I did, the more fun I had. There were narrow crevices, wooden bridges, holes on the ground and red markers to signify where the path leads. I would often times create my own path to explore and it was the beauty of the journey of this hiking trail. I was there to explore.

Note: I only know of two great rock scramble trails that are near NYC. The first one would be Breakneck and the second is the Labyrinth in Mohonk. During the weekends, this place is often packed with tourists. Since the path narrows and only one person can go through, the place can be packed during the fall foliage. You can spend two hours waiting in line in lemon squeeze. Luckily, I went here on a weekday which provided me ample time to experience the rock scramble all for myself.

labyrinth rock scramble labyrinth rock scramble boulders labyrinth rock scramble view from the top


Lemon Squeeze

Mohonk Lemon Squeeze

The crevice was narrow and the path was covered with brown leaves that the wind blew. The light of the sun shines through at the opening on the top. Lemon Squeeze was like a crack on a wall that you enter but in this case, it was like a crack in a mountain and you have no idea where it leads. It was as if the mountain was slit in half by giant sword and I was walking at the space that was created by it. The rocky vertical walls of the crevice made it impossible for me to climb up. The only way was to go forward and see what lurks at the end of it. At the end was a wooden ladder to help people get to the opening at the top. The climb was rather difficult as I had to squeeze through a hole and barely anything to grab onto other than the ladder.

The reward after the lemon squeeze was a cliff with an amazing view. My eyes were experiencing marvelous delight as I saw different shades of green, gold and red. Nature was showing off again. The gallery of a sea of trees in vibrant colors sent my senses into a blaze of excitement. The dark clouds disappeared, and blue sky could be seen. The sun was shining down the trees as if it knew how to make the landscape more beautiful. The colors of fall would fade someday in time but not on that day. On that day, the world looked great in my eyes. On that day, everything was right, everything was beautiful.

Note: These pics are from different hikes and not on the same day.

mohonk lemon squeeze top mohonk lemon squeeze views mohonk lemon squeeze view
mohonk lemon squeeze vista mohonk lemon squeeze viewpoint mohonk lemon squeeze vista ledge early fall


Skytop Tower

Skytop Tower View

The Tower lay like a giant on a hill. It stood tall among all the other structures. It was something I only imagined in books and fairy tales like the tower where Rapunzel lay down her hair. The walls felt thick and sturdy. A great monolith of concrete and stone.

The top of the tower offered 360 degree views and was all alone on the top on this weekday. The brilliant rays of the sun could be seen caressing the carpet of gold, green and red colors of the forest below me. The wind blew fiercely at the top, and made me want to shout out the words that was deep within my heart which were “This is freaking amazing!” I wanted to shout and let my voice echoe through the beautiful fall colored trees before me. I wanted my voice to be carried by the wind and heard throughout the valley. I wanted to but couldn’t. It would have been so cool if I did.

mohonk skytop tower mohonk skytop tower viewpoint skytop tower mountain house view


Copes Lookout

copes lookout

The fiery, golden and vibrant colors of the forest were gone. The sky was falling asleep and the darkness faded all the colors of the valley. I looked at the sun, and it was a fiery yellowish orb of light slowly sinking beyond the horizon. The threads of light lingered and it mingled with the clouds giving it a red, orange and yellow color. It was time to go home and go back to the city. I put on my coat and headed back to my car. The adventure was over. But like the sky that is ever changing, the leaves that changes their color in time, so is life in a way. There are times of adventure, times of comfort, times of beauty and times of struggle. I headed back home to prepare for the next adventure 🙂

Note: These cope’s lookout pictures are from another hike.

copes lookout view copes lookout afternoon copes lookout viewpoint




Note: The information is just an approximation. Trails, weather, distance, difficulty, views and all other information on this hike can change in time. You are responsible for your own safety. Please look at our terms of use/service page for more information.

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