Vista Rock is one of the most impressive rock outcrops in the Park.
Reaching 130 feet, it’s the second highest natural point in Central Park after Summit Rock. Because of its height, Park designers chose it as the site of Belvedere Castle, which was originally designed as a lookout tower and place from which to enjoy expansive views of the surrounding landscapes. The best view of this massive outcrop is from the shores of Turtle Pond, which also shows Belvedere Castle, made from the same stone, dramatically emerging from it.
Although the rock is a significant Park feature, it also presented an obstacle when building the Park. In order to create the 79th Street Transverse Road, engineers had to create a tunnel through the rock using gunpowder, a feat of engineering that created another distinctive and impressive feature.