Summit Rock

At more than 140 feet, Summit Rock is the highest natural elevation in Central Park.

Visitors can journey up the massive bedrock outcrop via the south slope’s carved stone stairs to enjoy the vista at the peak, sunbathe on the lawn, or sit at the stone “amphitheater” with views to the wooded slopes to the south and east.

Early in New York City’s history, the site of Summit Rock and other nearby spaces were inhabited by some 1,000 New Yorkers, mostly German and Irish immigrants who had homes and gardens in the area.

Summit Rock once commanded a full view across the Hudson River to the scenic New Jersey Palisades, which over time thinned to a small slice of distant views along West 83rd Street. When Central Park was constructed, the elevation made it a natural place for designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to build a carriage and pedestrian overlook.