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Mount Skylight

Adirondack Park


Overview

The fourth highest mountain in New York State, Mount Skylight has an elevation of 4,926 ft and a long approach, making this best suited for more experienced hikers.

Mount Skylight gets its name from the open, bare and flat summit—perfect for gazing up into the sky! This high peak is a favorite among hikers and is known for its two large cairns.  What is a cairn?  A cairn is a man-made pile of stones — there are two used to mark the summit of Mount Skylight. 

The hike to Mount Sklyight is a 14.2 mile round-trip, or can be extended further if combined with Gray Peak and Mount Marcy. Depending on your speed and experience, it could take you 10 - 15 hours to hike.

A single trail goes up to the mountain’s summit from the Four Corners Junction, between Mount Skylight and Mount Marcy. The most popular way to get to the summit is for hikers to come up from the west on the Fledspar Brook Trail and climb the peak in conjunction with a visit to the Lake-Tear-of-the Clouds.  This lake is the highest source of the Hudson River.  From there, you could opt to climb Gray Peak, another 46er. 

The trail can also be reached by descending from Mount Marcy to the north, or Panther Gorge and Elk Lake to the southeast.  All of these hikes are extensive and are often done with an overnight camping stop.

Note -- there's an old tradition that persists, where hikers bring a rock to place on Mount Skylight's cairns. This act is supposed to ensure good weather and good luck -- It doesn't. What it causes instead is problems. In 2019, the Adirondack Mountain Club's Summit Stewards reported that they lugged 80 crates of rocks back 'down' the mountain, with each crate weighing 75 pounds!  

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