Another School Year, Another East Rock Hike

statue at the top of East Rock

Picture this: You are two weeks into the school year and a friend posts pictures of an incredible sunset overlooking New Haven. A week later, another friend posts a sunrise photo at the same location. If you are confused, fear not since I will inform you about East Rock, an iconic New Haven landmark and a must-do at Yale.

views from the top of East Rock
When you reach the top of East Rock, try to make out the different landmarks you see!

Every year, especially during the beginning of the fall semester, East Rock is filled with students. From sunrise hikes, sunset hikes, suitemate bonding trips, or club-sponsored activities, Yale students flock to East Rock for views of New Haven and to complete a bucket list item.

For further context, East Rock is a prominent trap rock ridge that rises to over 350 feet above its base and lies only a mile away from Yale’s main campus. Besides views of Yale and New Haven, you can see views of Long Island Sound and the harbor from the top of East Rock. Furthermore, its proximity to Yale, and location in East Rock, a quiet neighborhood in New Haven with quaint cafes and shops, makes it popular for a quick weekend outing.

view of the top of East Rock from the base

Depending on the route you take and the duration of your breaks, a roundtrip hike to East Rock from Cross Campus can take as little as 2 hours to complete. As busy students, this makes East Rock the ideal weekend activity for students who want to explore New Haven, are in a time crunch or want to complete a leisurely activity with friends.

After successfully reaching the top of East Rock, before heading back to campus, don’t forget to treat yourselves to a sweet treat in one of East Rock’s many cafes and markets. 

East Rock Market mural

Bagel and smoothie
Stopped by East Rock Market and treated myself to a post-hike smoothie and everything bagel <3

Finally, when you are back in the comfort of your dorm, you can pat your back and cross off “East Rock hike” from your bucket list. Who knows, perhaps a hike to West Rock will be next?

stairs leading to the top of East Rock
The stairs in East Rock are much more effective than the stair master (they are also a shortcut for reaching the top of East Rock)