Top three reasons to snowshoe and ski in the Gunks
Marvel at the Gunks’ expansive landscapes and sublime vistas
Diverse terrain allows adventurers of all skill levels to discover the Gunks
Replace the concrete jungle with dense forests, towering cliffs, and jaw-dropping wintry vistas
Located just two hours away from the Big Apple, the Shawangunk Ridge and its surrounding parks and preserves are a perfect getaway from the bright lights of city life. With miles upon miles of trails, this area is an absolute no-brainer if you’re looking to discover the area in a new light. Some of the gems include the Mohonk Preserve, the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and the Catskill Mountains, and, with the arrival of fresh snow, these snow-laden areas offer countless opportunities for winter exploration! Whether you feel like strapping on a pair of snowshoes or are in the mood for some cross-country skiing, these breathtaking locations will deliver. Hit the trails and discover soaring cliffs, large tracts of snow-covered pine forests, and witness frozen waterfalls and the icy structures they form. Soak up the sweeping views of towering summits around you while making your way across trails and thick mantles of snow!
December through March
New York, NY, is about 2 hours away
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your day
Half-Day of Snowshoeing in the Gunks
Discover the snow-blanketed Gunks region on a pair of snowshoes and admire the expansive icy landscapes its parks and preserves offer. Snowshoe across the snow-laden carriage roads and trails of the Mohonk Preserve, Minnewaska State Park, and the dramatic Catskills as your guide navigates you across the stunning winter wonderland.
A Full Day of Snowshoeing in the Gunks
Immerse yourself in the snowy Gunks region while exploring the Mohonk Preserve, Minnewaska State Park, and the Catskill Mountains. Hopping on a pair of snowshoes is an ideal way to discover this serene area and its forests full of snow-covered pine trees, marvelous open fields and majestic frozen waterfalls. Join an expert guide and enjoy the sweeping vistas and icy landscapes this winter wonderland offers.
Half-Day of Cross-Country Skiing in the Gunks
Get your skis primed and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the snow-blanketed Gunks! Visit the Mohonk Preserve, Minnewaska State Park, and the Catskills and discover pine forests, jaw-dropping frozen waterfalls and some sweeping vistas every step of the way. Let your knowledgeable guide navigate you through this wintry paradise and discover the state of New York in a new way!
A Full Day of Cross-Country Skiing in the Gunks
Strap on your skis, head for the snowy Gunks and start exploring! Discover the snow-covered pine forests, open fields filled with quality powder, breathtaking icy waterfalls, lovely streams and countless phenomenal views in of the area. Discover the Gunks and its jaw-dropping wonders the right way with the help of your knowledgeable guide and you’ll definitely want to come back for more!
Meet your guide
Our guided half-day snowshoeing experience with Miriam was better than we could have ever hoped for! Though we did not have previous snowshoeing experience, we opted for the adventurous route. Miriam made sure we felt comfortable throughout the experience but also provided us the challenge we were looking for. She expertly guided us through the park, and the route was beautiful. Would highly recommend!
Our tour guide shared his incredible expertise and knowledge of the trails/park. We had a blast, highly recommend.
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in the Gunks, NY
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 region, NY, please refer to the New York State website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A half or full day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing depending on your chosen itinerary
- Snowshoes and trekking poles (for the snowshoeing adventures)
What’s not included:
- Lunch and snacks
- Technical equipment for cross-country skiing
- Day passes for the Mohonk Preserve
How fit do I need to be?
The best thing about snowshoeing in the Gunks is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. There is a variety of trail options for snowshoers suitable for snow enthusiasts of all fitness levels.
To enjoy the cross-country skiing adventures, you’ll need to have decent cardiovascular fitness levels. You’ll be cross-country skiing on varied terrain for several hours at a time. While cross-country skiing is a full-body workout and it can be very challenging, your guide will help you choose the right terrain for your experience and fitness level.
What if I’ve never snowshoed/cross-country skied before?
Snowshoeing is easy and anyone can pick it up quickly. As the saying goes, “if you can walk, you can snowshoe”. If you’ve never gone snowshoeing before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, and go through safety and correct snowshoeing techniques with you before heading out on the tour. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
This cross-country ski adventure isn’t just for experienced skiers, it’s also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with decent physical fitness can participate. If you’re a beginner, you’ll stay on relatively flat and short low-altitude trails, and your guide will teach you basic cross-country techniques while you’re enjoying the beauty of the backcountry. For intermediate and advanced cross-country skiers, the Gunks region also has plenty of red and black trails to enjoy.
What do I need to bring?
For technical cross-country skiing gear, you’ll need to bring:
- Cross-country skis (can be rented)
- Boots and poles (can be rented)
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring for your snowshoeing and cross-country skiing adventures:
- Helmet (for cross-country skiing)
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Wool or fleece hat
- 2 pairs of gloves (one thin and one thicker pair) or mittens
- Headband or buff
- Neck gaiter and roll-neck
- Wide-brimmed hat or sun hat
- Wicking top and bottom capilene, bergaline, merino first layer
- Lightweight insulating micro fleece top and bottom layer
- Heavier insulating down top layer
- Top & bottom shell outer layer (e.g. Gore-tex)
- Ski pants (for cross-country skiing)
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear, socks and liners
- Extra clothing layers & socks
- Thermos with a warm beverage
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
- Water — at least 2 quarts in a non-glass container
- Sturdy waterproof hiking boots
- High gaiters (to keep the snow out of your boots)
- Toiletries (sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, personal medications, etc.)
- Lunch (food you can eat on-the-go–sandwiches, energy bars, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
- A pair of glasses (if you wear contact lenses)
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
For the snowshoeing adventures, your guiding service will provide snowshoes and trekking poles. Day pack is available for loan through your guiding service.
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.
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Cross-country skis, poles and boots from Eastern Mountain Sports Schools.
The rental location is in Gardiner, NY, and should be picked up the night prior to outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For these adventures, the guest-to-guide ratio is 15:1.
- Cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family!
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Gunks region can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has snowshoers or cross-country skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Gunks, most people fly into one of the international airports in New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service for 2 hours to the Shawangunks Mountains.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.