Sam’s Point – The Gunks’ Natural Wonderland

Sam's point in the Shawnagunks

Sam’s Point is a section of the Gunks that many do not know of or have taken the chance to explore. A possible reason for this is because rock climbing in not allowed here. So why come here??

 If you are a normal human like most of us you are going to need to take a rest day on that Gunks climbing trip! Where else could it be better spent then exploring views & ridge lines such as this?

the view along the Shawnagunks Ridge

Honestly with miles upon miles of legally accessible & established climbing in other sections of the Shawangunks region there really isn’t a need to open up more in the foreseeable future. There are many climbers that spend decades climbing throughout these cliffs with hundreds of established routes they have still yet to climb!

Pathway through

Hiking the trails along the ridge lines of Sam’s Point gives you consistent views of the Hudson Valley and Catskill mountain range. If you are into horticulture you will also fall in love with the dwarf pine barrens that blanket the tops of the ridge. These dwarf pines stand only a mere 3 to 6 ft in height.

pines close up in Sam's point pines in Sam's point

A stop to make on your exploration of this natural wonderland is Verkeerder Kill Falls. This 180 ft high waterfall is the highest waterfalls in the Shawnagunks region.

Verkerder Falls in full view

 As the early afternoon sun moves across the sky, light hitting the water as it falls will greet you with a gorgeous rainbow in the mist of the falling water. The picturesque scenario and timing of the day makes for an excellent place to sit down and enjoy lunch at.

close up of Verkerder Falls

Now for those who may have heard of hiking Sam’s Point it is more then likely in conjunction with the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves. These caves are actually the largest known open fault with corresponding ice caves in the country.

entrance to the Ice Caves rock tunnels

The rock formations along this section of Sam’s Point has a series of natural tunnels & caverns allowing for ice to stay present as late into the season as early July! Even with ice not being present this underground network of walkways stays incredibly cold requiring you to wear pants and a Softshell even if it is 90+ degrees outside.

heading toward the light

There is sections within the caves in which wooden walkways have been constructed and solar powered lighting installed to ensure safe passage and minimize human impact throughout the caves. Bring a headlamp with you, it will definitely come in handy if a light is out!

wooden walkway through the cave

There are sections of the caves that otherwise would be extremely dangerous as just earlier this year someone fell through a section of ice into a 50 foot crevasse.

Ice within the caves

going down the steps side view from Sam's point

With so much nature beauty throughout Sam’s Point it would be a travesty for you not to take a day and explore these wonders that live throughout this section of the Gunks!

Read more about the Gunks: The #TimetoClimb America Tour: The Gunks

Choosing Hiking Boots: 5 Recommendations

For Address & park contact info and updatesSam’s Point Preserve

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