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Reaching for the Sky: A Guide to Hiking Adirondacks’ Fourth-Highest Peak, Skylight

Table of Contents

Hiking Mount Skylight

The Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York offer some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world, and hiking to the summit of Mount Skylight, the fourth highest peak in the Adirondacks, is an unforgettable adventure. With an elevation of 5,926 feet, Mount Skylight is an imposing peak that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Getting There

The trailhead for Mount Skylight is located off of Adirondack Loj Road in the town of North Elba. From Lake Placid, follow Route 73 south and turn right onto Adirondack Loj Road. The parking lot at the end of the road is the starting point for the hike.

The Hike

The hike to the summit of Mount Skylight is approximately 14 miles round-trip and is considered a difficult hike, with an elevation gain of approximately 3,600 feet. The trail begins at the Adirondack Loj parking lot and follows the Van Hoevenberg Trail for approximately 2.5 miles. At Marcy Dam, hikers can take a brief rest before continuing on towards the Mount Skylight trailhead. The trail to Mount Skylight is unmarked and can be difficult to find, so hikers should take care to pay attention to the trail conditions and use a map or GPS device.

After reaching the summit of Mount Skylight, hikers can continue on to the nearby Mount Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks, for an even more challenging adventure. However, the trip to Mount Marcy adds several miles to the hike and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers.

Tips for the Hike

  • Start early to ensure enough daylight for the hike and to avoid crowds.
  • Bring plenty of water and food, as well as a first aid kit and other essentials.
  • Dress in layers and wear sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes.
  • Take care to respect the natural environment and leave no trace.
  • Check the weather forecast before beginning the hike and be prepared for changing conditions.
  • Consider hiking with a group or hiring a local guide for a safe and informative experience.


Hiking to the summit of Mount Skylight is a challenging but rewarding adventure that offers breathtaking views of the Adirondack Mountains. With proper preparation and respect for the natural environment, hikers can enjoy a safe and unforgettable experience on this remarkable trail.

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