Mount Skylight, Mount Marcy, and Gray Peak Loop Trail

HARD 6 reviews
#3 of 12 trails in

Mount Skylight, Mount Marcy, and Gray Peak Loop Trail is a 17 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

17.0 miles 5127 feet Loop

dog friendly



nature trips





wild flowers






off trail

Two enormous bald summit 46ers and a trailess Gray Peak in a day loop hike form Heart Lake. A state highpoint as well. This is an epic hike that will gain you three more Adirondack 46er peaks along with the State Highpoint, Mt. Marcy. Make sure to follow the GPS track and pay attention to the trail junctions as there a few. You'll pass by alpine lakes, the start of the mighty Hudson River, and descend the state highpoint past a beautiful waterfall. This hike can be done in one very long day or in an overnight with a stay at Marcy Dam where the loop hike begins.

1 month ago

An amazing hike and very challenging. It took us 12 hours. half the group did skylight, the other half didn't bring enough water to do it. we got stuck in a pop up thunder storm on the way up Marcy. definitely a hike I will never forget!

2 months ago

An amazing hike but pretty challenging. The loop incorporates some of the most impressive sights in the High Peaks. Plan on being out for a full day as its a long hike (it's more like 19 miles round trip) with a lot of climbing. It took my group about 12 hours. It was April when we did the hike so there was still a lot of snow. To do the loop, take the Avalanche Pass Trail past Marcy Dam and then go left on the trail to Lake Arnold. After Lake Arnold, the trail descends into a valley with many wet areas. At one place you walk across floating boards in a bog; this section might be troublesome after heavy rain. Past the Uphill Lean-To you go left and climb up to Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds. Gray Peak is trailless but the herd path is easy to follow. Just look for it on the other side of the stream right at the lake's outlet. It's steep but not too long. The spur trail for Skylight is much easier, and the views from the summit are spectacular. The ascent of Marcy from Four Corners is exhilarating and almost completely above treeline. From Marcy's summit we could see hundreds of miles in every direction. I was awed looking towards Mt. Haystack and seeing the really deep Panther Gorge that separates the two peaks. The descent on the Van Hoevenberg Trail was comparatively easier and was a respite after a hard, but rewarding day. Don't forget to visit Indian Falls on the way down, we didn't go see it but it's a really short detour where there's supposed to be a nice lookout.

5 months ago

Very challenging trail path offers you three peaks in a roll. Three peaks are very close. The Gray is an unofficial trail but gives you a direct view of Whiteface Mt if you sit on the rock at the summit. The Skylight is on the opposite side.
Skylight is my favorite trail to the peak. It takes only 20 mins on the well worn path with steep slope.
Marcy is very rocky when you get close to the summit. No doubt you can have panoramic view of other mountains. We even saw the Green Mt and White Mt. This depends on the weather condition.

5 months ago

My friend and I did the Marcy, Skylight, and Gray Loop. However, Gray is considered a unmaintained herd path and isn't marked so we passed it by accident. We would of back tracked but would of risked not making it out before dark so we decided against it. The hike is NOT 16.9 miles like the site says. If we had done Gray it would of been a total of just over 19 miles. But besides that it was a challenging but amazing hike! So glad we split it up between two days. The views are amazing from Skylight and we had the peak to ourselves. Marcy is very touristy but it was still breathtaking.

6 months ago

climbed the loop of grey, skylight, Marcy in one very long day. we did on Saturday and the weather was perfect. the views were amazing on skylight. my gf and I felt very rewarded with three more peaks in this epic loop. if you plan on having breaks and extended photo time leave early or make a two day. love it all

6 months ago