Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Upper Works to Four-Corners or over Mount Marcy
Round Trip Distance
18.0 miles over Marcy, 20.2 miles from Upper Works
Average Round-trip Time
10 to 12 Hours over Mount Marcy, 11 to 13 hours from Upper Works
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Do not attempt to cross Flowed Lands unless the conditions warrant. The summit can be very windy with artic temperatures and severe wind chill. Be sure you are prepared for this.
Over Mount Marcy
Please see the Mount Marcy page on details on how to access the summit of Marcy. From the summit of Marcy you will descent off the south side toward Four-Corners and go over Schofield Cobble. The descent is fast and somewhat steep. It is 1.1 miles to the intersection; head straight ahead to access Mount Skylight.
The climb up Skylight from Four-Corners is steady and at times very steep. Once the trees get very short the trail can disappear under windblown and deep snow conditions, make your way to the summit as best you can but be sure to know where the trail is for the descent.
From Upper Works
From Upper Works follow the trail to Flowed Lands and Lake Colden which isn’t all that demanding and can be accomplished relatively fast. Once at Flowed Lands depending on ice conditions it is common practice to hike over the Flowed Lands to access the trail near Lake Colden. If you don’t like the idea of hiking over the frozen waters you can also opt to use the trail, which goes up and over several rolling hills, requiring additional elevation gain and loss.
From the dam hike along the Opalescent River and continue on the trail past the Uphill Lean-to and the intersection for Feldspar. The climb remains steady and eventually you will come to Lake Tear of the Clouds. You can also hike over this lake is you feel comfortable and the conditions are adequate. Once past the lake you are at Four-Corners where you need to take a right onto the trail. See above for the remaining portion of the trail to the summit of Mount Skylight.
Please refer to our basic list of winter gear recommendations for day trips and remember this list is only a recommendation and you should take into light your experience, group size, length of trip, conditions, weather forecast, and any unforeseen incidences.