Mohonk Mountain House is a historic resort situated on over 1,300 acres near the town of New Paltz, New York. The resort boarders the Catskill Mountains. It is perched on a ledge overlooking Lake Mohonk, a glacial lake.
Resort guests enjoy the all inclusive meals and activities when staying overnight in the Mohonk Mountain House. However, day passes are also available. There are several ways to obtain a day pass, including making an appointment at the spa, having dining reservations, or purchasing a hiking pass.
Hiking Day Pass
A hiking day pass is the least expensive way to gain access to the hiking trails at Mohonk Mountain House. However, hikers must park at the Mohonk gatehouse and begin their hikes from this parking lot. Most experienced hikers may not be deterred by this, but it means a much longer hike to reach some of the vistas and attractions.
Upon entering through the gate house, you can ask for a trail map. There’s also a trail map available online.
A hiking day pass does not include access to the Mohonk Mountain House. While you’ll have beautiful views of the Mountain House while hiking, you are not permitted to access the immediate grounds of the Mountain House. Do to that, you need to be an overnight guest, or have dining or spa reservations for the day.
Dining Day Pass
By reserving dining, you also receive access to the Mountain House and grounds for that day. Dining day passes get to park at the Mountain House, in parking lots directly behind the resort. This gives you close access to the resort, hiking trails, the garden, and more.
No matter which meal you have reservations for, we learned that access to the Mountain House property begins at 8 AM that day. Confirm this when you make your reservation. Note that day passes do not include access to the swimming beach.
The least expensive dining reservation seems to be breakfast. However, lunch and dinner can also be reserved. We reserved lunch for the day and chose the outdoor dining option. The outdoor BBQ lunch is typically held at the picnic tables overlooking the lake. This area is called the Granary. If the forecast is calling for storms, the outdoor BBQ is moved into the pavilion. The pavilion serves as an outdoor, but covered, ice skating rink during the winter.
Mohonk Mountain Trails
There are a variety of hiking trails around the Mohonk Mountain House property. One of the most popular is the Skytop Trail. This leads to the Skytop Tower, which is a large tower at the top of the mountain, built in memory of the founder of the Mountain House.
Obviously, the trail to the tower is uphill. However, there are many places along the trail to rest and enjoy the view.
Another trail, and probably the most challenging, is the labyrinth and the lemon squeeze. This hike is a rock scramble, with a very tight squeeze through rocks at the end. We didn’t attempt the trail, but watched the hikers a bit from the trail above.
If you have a dining or spa day pass, be sure to experience the Mountain House a bit, and take a tour or sit in the many rocking chairs lining the main porch.
The resort is a National Historic Landmark and has been visited by five U.S. Presidents. There’s beautiful woodwork throughout the Mountain House, and the history of the resort is available during a tour of the property.
While in the area, be sure to visit the other attractions of the Catskill Mountains. Also, check out these other attractions in New York.