The Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze is a challenging scramble through a boulder field and up a narrow crevice in a rock cliff leading to amazing panoramic views of the Shawangunk Ridge and beyond.
Mohonk Mountain House is a private resort. Access to hike the 85 miles of trails on the property requires buying a hiking pass which must be purchased in advance. Day hiking guests are not permitted inside the Mountain House and must park at the lot near the gatehouse, which is a 2.2 mile walk to the Mohonk Mountain House.
Hike Length: 1.5 miles for the Labyrinth itself. In addition, you will need to walk 2.2 miles to and from the hiker parking lot to Mohonk Lake, making it a total of nearly 6 miles.
Elevation gain: +800 feet
Location: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY
Parking for day guest hiking passes is located adjacent to the Mohonk Gatehouse (Google maps link). Note that this is a 2.2 mile walk from the Mountain House and you are not allowed to drive and park any closer. There are restroom facilities and vending machines in the parking lot.
- Shawangunk Trails Map – NY-NJ Trail Conference (paid, print)
- Shawangunk (Mohonk Mountain House – Map 106A) – NY-NJ Trail Conference (paid, Avenza)
- Mohonk Lake Region Hikers Map – Mohonk Mountain House (free)
Labyrinth and Lemon Squeeze Trail Description
First, you’ll need to walk approximately 2 miles from the hiker parking lot towards the Mohonk Mountain House/Mohonk Lake area.
At the Gatehouse parking lot where day hikers must park, there are bathrooms, vending machines, and garbage bins. Look for the trailhead with the sign for the “Walking Trail to Mountain House”.
From here, we’ll follow several trails and carriage roads like the one below that connect with each other.
Follow the green arrow signs which will lead you to Mohonk Mountain House. There are also signs towards the Labyrinth & Lemon Squeeze.
Continue to follow the green arrows.
When you reach Mohonk Lake, look for the sign pointing towards the Sky Top Path – a 30 minute walk along a level but steep trail up to Sky Top Tower. If part of your group isn’t up for doing The Labyrinth, they can take the Sky Top Path and meet the rest of the group at the top.
A note at the bottom also indicates that The Labyrinth & Rock Crevice is just 100 yards to right right. Follow the sign and walk down the gravel path along the edge of Mohonk Lake.
This trail offers a stunning view along the lake of the Mohonk Mountain House.
Just a few steps ahead, look for the opening on the left side of the trail.
This is the start of the The Labyrinth and is marked by a sign outlining what you should expect.
The “Labyrinth” Path up to the Sky Top Tower is a difficult 45 minute rock scramble.
During the 300 foot ascent, you will be required to climb 3 ladders and over, under and through various rock formations.
Along the way you will encounter such challenging formations as: “Headache Rock” – ” Fat Man’s Misery” – “The Lemon Squeeze” – “The Crevice”
The Crevice is a deep, narrow crack, or fissure, in the face of the rock cliff at the far upper end of this trail.
The ascent to the top of the crevice is by means of a series of narrow ladders. The scramble is rigorous and should be attempted only by those in excellent physical condition who are not afraid of heights.
From here, you’ll follow red arrows the entire way.
Pay close attention because sometimes the trail goes in unexpected directions – over, under, and through cracks in rocks, climbing ladders, crossing bridges, and using steps drilled into the rock to help navigate the rock scramble.
After passing through a relatively forested section, the trail emerges onto an exposed talus field at the base of a cliff.
After crossing the boulder field and squeezing through yet more cracks, you’ll reach a sign pointing towards the Crevice, and the final ascent, via a series of ladders.
Next, you’ll climb another ladder.
This puts you in the final passageway of the Crevice – a deep crack in the face of the cliff barely wide enough for a hiker.
Walk through the Crevice and look up to see a boulder wedged high above you.
The last part of the Crevice involves climbing ladders through a very narrow crack that may require you to take off your backpack and wiggle your way through.
At the top of the Crevice, you’ll emerge onto the top of the cliff. Enjoy the view here!
From here, continue uphill. You’ll pass a small wooded area with a sign noting that it’s a one-way trail and that hikers should not head downhill. Just beyond this sign is Sky Top Road and another incredible viewpoint.
Continue to follow Sky Top Road uphill a short distance to reach Sky Top Tower.
The present tower was completed in 1923 as a memorial to the founder of Mohonk Mountain House, Albert K. Smiley, who died in 1912.
The tower, which is built of stone, has an unobstructed view in four directions of six states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
When you’re done taking in the view, walk down from the tower, head outside, and take the Sky Top Path downhill towards Mohonk Lake and the Mountain House. The path skirts the edge of the lake. There are several great spots with gazebos to get views of the lake and Mountain House.
From here, head to the “putting green” circle in front of the Mountain House and take Huguenot Road to begin the hike back to your car. Now, instead of following the green arrows we followed earlier, simply follow the red arrows with the car symbol to make your way back to the parking lot.
On your way back, just before you reach the junction with Sky Top Road, you’ll reach Garden Overlook at a cliff. Turn around and enjoy the view.
Once you reach the junction with Sky Top Road, you’ll be retracting your steps back to the parking lot, following the red arrows, along the same way you came.