The Shawangunks | New York

Private Gym-to-Crag Rock Climbing in the Gunks

57hours Icon season


Spring through fall, but September and October are best

57hours Icon nearest-city

Nearest city

New Paltz, NY, is a ten-minute drive; NYC is less than two hours

57hours Icon duration


1 day

57hours Icon skill-level

Skill level


Ace your gym-to-crag transition in one of the premier climbing areas

If you’re a gym climber and you’re ready to experience outdoor climbing for the first time, a guided day of rock climbing is a great way to get to know some of the best climbing locations the Gunks has to offer. The Gunks is one of the premier outdoor areas, offering some of the best easy and moderate trad climbs in the USA. Let your guide make your transition from gym to crag a smooth one, reinforce your basic climbing skills and bridge the gaps to exciting outdoor rock climbing!

Book This Adventure

Private Gym-to-Crag Rock Climbing in the Gunks

From $350 · Full-day

This course is designed to introduce you to techniques specific to climbing on actual rock. If you are climbing outdoors for the first time, then this is the perfect choice for you. Your guide will help you make that transition to the crags with confidence. The focus is on safety, anchor building, rappelling, being lowered, belaying and leading theory, and placing gear. Put your indoor climbing skills to the test on some of the best trad climbs in this iconic NY destination!

Things you need to know

Covid measures in the Gunks

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Gunks, please refer to the New York State website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get in this adventure:

  • An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
  • A full day of rock climbing
  • All technical climbing gear

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to and from the meeting point
  • Accommodation
  • Meals and snacks
  • Mohonk Preserve entry fee for climbers ($20)

What will I learn on this course?

This course is designed to introduce you to climbing techniques specific to climbing on actual rock. Skills covered in the gym-to-crag class will include:

  • Introduction to gear placement and anchor building theory
  • Proper rappel and belaying techniques
  • Base site management
  • Use of guidebooks
  • Objective hazards and risk management
  • Special request skills

With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun!

Is there a minimum grade I need to climb in the gym before I go?

No. If you’ve been to the gym before, you are good to go. The Gunks offer a great selection of routes of all grades, so anyone can come and enjoy climbing on real rock. Your guide will find routes appropriate for your climbing level, be it 5.4 or 5.11, or anything in between.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Daypack large enough to carry all the items listed (a 20-35L bag)
  • Hiking shoes or sneakers
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Food you can eat on-the-go
  • Warm layers and rain jacket
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Technical gear list

All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll use:

  • Helmet
  • Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device and chalk bag
  • Rock shoes* (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
  • Ropes
  • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

What about group sizes and pricing?

For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1 and cost is per person. To ensure the best experience possible, this tour is private, allowing you to climb alone or with your party.

Costs per person will decrease as the group grows for this private day, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.

Climbing days can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

What is the minimum age requirement?

  • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • Teens aged 12-17 can go on their own, but a guardian will need to provide a signed waiver before an outing with the guide.
  • Kids younger than 11 can easily go out and try climbing, but only in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

As the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation.” You can expect your guides to be fully prepared for anything. Inclement weather can always get in the way of climbing, but your guide will know the best spots to move to if the weather takes a turn.

On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your climbing to a more favorable day.

If climbing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.

Do I need an insurance policy?

We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with emergency medical insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Cancellation policy

With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.

For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

You will meet your guide in New Paltz, the closest town to the Gunks, usually at the famous Rock and Snow gear shop. It’s about 85 miles from New York. The exact climbing spot in The Gunks will be discussed after the booking as guides make that decision after considering the skill level of the group and factors such as crag traffic and weather.

If traveling by train, the closest transit stop is Poughkeepsie via Metro North. Take the county bus to New Paltz. If traveling by car, you can get to The Gunks by heading north from the city on I-87, which will take you to New Paltz at Exit 18. Take a right on NY HWY 44/55 toward Mohonk Visitors Center.

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