#4 Mt. Skylight

#4 Mt. Skylight - Pure Adirondacks

One of the best views in the Adirondacks but not the easiest to get to, Skylight is a great pick for hikers looking for an adventure. Providing one of the closest views of Marcy, Skylight’s open rock face offers incredible views of the neighboring 46ers.

Trail Stats:

Distance: 14.2 miles round-trip from Adirondack Loj

Elevation: 4,926 ft

Ascent: 2,747 ft

The hike up Skylight begins the same as Mt Marcy, hiking a rolling to gradual trail for 2.3 miles to Marcy Dam. If you are hiking with younger or less experienced hikers, they can accompany you as far as the dam and then turn back for an easy, gentle walk. Plus, the view from the dam makes it a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic or quick snack. The bridge across the dam washed out in 2011, so you’ll cross the stream a little before the dam. After reaching the dam, you’ll see the trail register ahead for all of the peaks that ascend from here. Continuing past the trail register you’ll pass some designated campsites off to the right, reaching the Avalanche Pass trailhead in 100 yards.

As you continue on the trail to Avalanche Pass, you will pass the Avalanche camps and soon afterward hit an intersection where you will take a left that heads to Lake Arnold. As you climb towards Mt Colden, you will eventually come to Lake Arnold, at which point you will stay left around the lake, descending slightly into a small and beautiful valley. Then you will begin hiking steeply up again, eventually coming to Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds. At the lake’s outlet, the herd path up Gray begins. Continue on to Skylight from Lake Tear of the Clouds by staying on the trail and following it past the lake for a quarter of a mile until you reach a four-way intersection. Take a right onto the trail to Skylight. The trail will lead you south, up a steadily climbing rocky trail for 0.4 miles until you break above the trees. The trail then levels out a bit and follows cairns for an easier 0.5 miles until you reach the summit. At the top, you will find a large pile of rocks – legend has it that climbers must carry a rock to the summit, otherwise it will rain on their way down. 

If you’re interested in a longer hike (17.2 miles round-trip), you can hike Skylight in conjunction with Gray and Marcy, a popular route that we’ve done before and described in a blog post here.

Directions to Adirondack Loj

From Lake Placid, take route 73 towards Keene, turning right onto Adirondack Loj Road, which you will follow to the end. There will be a tollbooth at the entrance where you will have to pay a $10 parking fee.


46 Adirondack High Peaks

Roster of Peaks
Keep it PURE

Remember to Leave No Trace! Buy a physical map, read it, plan, and prepare. Think about the NYS Rangers and medical personnel that exhaust themselves for a rescue that could have been avoided. Pack out your trash. Use a bear canister when primitive camping and cook away from where you’re sleeping. Do the rock walk to help reduce the impact on fragile alpine vegetation. Camp at designated campsites and never camp on or near summits.

Trail Conditions

Know before you go
The 46 of 46 Podcast

An outdoors documentary podcast of a local hiker's journey hiking all 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains to become an Adirondack 46er. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

Take The Pledge!
#LoveYourADK

Each year, millions of people visit the public lands inside the Adirondacks. However you choose to spend your time here, we know the Adirondacks will hold a special place in your heart. We feel the same way. To Love Your Adirondacks is to protect the lands, waters, and communities we all know and love.

Sponsored By

ADK 46er Journey: Brecka Coonradt

We welcome Brecka Coonradt, who shares her experience hiking the 46 Adirondack High Peaks to become an ADK 46er. Enjoy following along below as she shares her stories and lessons learned throughout her journey.

Read More

ADK 46er Winter Journey: Jay Whitbourne

I have seen some of the most amazing cloud inversions during the winter and had some of the most surreal moments when the snow conditions are just right, the sky is clear, the wind is calm and the air isn't nipping at your skin.

Read More

ADK Winter 46er Journey: Sam Perkins

I have learned so much over the years, and I continue to learn each time I go for a hike. I could go on and on about gear, trails, mountains, clothing, etc. A lot of it has been trial and error. I have spent a lot of time reading, looking at maps, learning more about weather, researching different gear… the list goes on.

Optional button