Climbing is permitted from dawn until dusk (the Park closes at dusk). HOWEVER, on your first visit of the year, you must pick-up your physical copy of your climbing permit at the Visitors Center with a valid photo I.D. between 9:00 am-4:30 pm. Mon-Thurs the inside of the Visitors Center is closed but you can use the service window just left of the main doors to pick up your permit.
It is free to climb at Thacher, but there is a $6 parking fee during the regular season (May-Nov). The contactless pay booths will tell you if you need to pay. The NYS Parks Empire Pass is valid at Thacher Park.
The Thacher Climbing Coalition has partnered with Gunks Apps to develop an app guidebook. It can be downloaded to your phone for $10 (and helps support the TCC!).
- The cliff is unique in that you park at the top of the cliff and hike to the bottom
- The hike to the bottom requires going through a small squeeze chimney
- You CANNOT access the routes from the top. They must be sport lead from the ground-up
- All routes are established for sport climbing and equipped with bolted anchors and either lowering rings or pigtails for lowering
- Many routes require a stick clip to reach the first bolt (the TCC has provided ~10 stick clips scattered throughout the base of the cliff)
- There are no restrooms at the base of the cliff. Carry wag bags and dispose of them properly or use the restrooms at the Hailes Cave Pavilion.
- It is highly recommended to wear a helmet!!
- Although the park allows dogs, no dogs are allowed in the climbing area
- Pack out all trash and follow LNT practices
- The cliff becomes very slippery in the rain but sections dry easily with sun/wind
You can always Dial 911
(518) 872-1237 – Park Office
(518) 487-5400 – Albany County Sheriff
Developed camping is available at Thompson’s Lake State Campground and is only a 5-min drive from the cliff. There are hot showers, bathrooms, some electric sites, and a beach. The campground is only open during the summer.
Dispersed camping is available at multiple State Forests in the area for free. Use this interactive map from the NYS DEC to find acceptable public lands to camp at.
The Indian Ladder Trail is a very popular hiking trail with views of waterfalls and cliffs. The Park is also known for mountain biking, trail running, x-country skiing, swimming (at Thompson Lake).
You can find additional information about Thacher State Park by visiting their website.
2022 Climbing Application Directions:
- Click this link or the permit link on Thacher Park’s homepage to download the application. It will be a fillable pdf so there is no need to print it out.
- Open the PDF using Adobe PDF Reader for the easiest results. You can download the program here if you do not have it.
- Just click the blue boxes and fill out the necessary information. When complete make sure to save it.
- Email the completed application to JBThacher@parks.ny.gov and remember to pick up the physical copy of your permit at the Visitors Center with a valid photo I.D.
They will give you a climbing pass (to keep on you) and a dashboard pass to display in your car. ID is required to pick up your permit. Once you have your passes, you must sign-in/out at the trailhead register using your permit number (issued at the park office) each time you climb, this is mandatory. Please email the TCC if you have any questions/concerns during your visit (firstname.lastname@example.org). As always, have fun and be safe!
If you are looking to get involved with the Thacher Climbing Coalition, subscribe to our mailing list with the button at the bottom of our website or email us at email@example.com.