On clear days, Sky Top Tower offers views in all directions of up to six states. It’s no wonder it’s one of the top destinations on the Mohonk Mountain House property. We visited on a rainy day so some of the views were limited, but it was still worth it and we highly recommend visiting.
Mohonk Mountain House is a private resort. Access to hike the 85 miles of trails on the property requires buying a hiking pass which must be purchased in advance. Day hiking guests are not permitted inside the Mountain House and must park at the lot near the gatehouse, which is a 2.2 mile walk to the Mohonk Mountain House.
Hike Length: 5.1 miles
Elevation gain: +800 feet
Location: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY
Mohonk Mountain House Parking
Parking for day guest hiking passes is located adjacent to the Mohonk Gatehouse (Google maps link). Note that this is a 2.2 mile walk from the Mountain House and you are not allowed to drive and park any closer. There are restroom facilities and vending machines in the parking lot.
Mohonk Mountain House Trail Maps
- Shawangunk Trails Map – NY-NJ Trail Conference (paid, print)
- Shawangunk (Mohonk Mountain House – Map 106A) – NY-NJ Trail Conference (paid, Avenza)
- Mohonk Lake Region Hikers Map – Mohonk Mountain House (free)
Mohonk Mountain House Trail Description
At the Gatehouse parking lot where day hikers must park, there are bathrooms, vending machines, and garbage bins. Look for the trailhead with the sign for the “Walking Trail to Mountain House”.
From here, we’ll follow several trails and carriage roads like the one below that connect with each other. It’s about 2.7 miles and an hour of hiking to Sky Top Tower.
The suggested walking route from the Gatehouse to Sky Top Tower is via Huguenot Trail to Whitney Road to North Lookout Road, then Glen Anna Path to Huguenot Drive to Sky Top Road. The important thing to start is to follow the green arrow signs which lead to Mohonk Mountain House.
Continue to follow the green arrows.
On Huguenot Drive, you’ll eventually reach a junction, where you’ll want to follow the sign towards Skytop Tower by turning left onto Sky Top Road. If you go right you’ll head to Lake Mohonk and the Mountain House.
About a half mile later you’ll pass the first of several viewpoints, the Dawn Seat.
About a quarter mile later, on your right you’ll pass by Lily Pond.
A little further ahead you’ll reach another gazebo with views of the valley and farms to the southeast.
The road continues to climb and in a short distance you’ll reach Odell Overlook, offering broad views the Shawangunk Ridge through Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park.
The trail now winds and climbs further up towards Sky Top. As you approach the top, you’ll be able to get your first glimpse of Mohonk Lake on your right.
Straight ahead, you’ll see Sky Top Tower, which stands at 1,542 feet above sea level.
The present tower was completed in 1923 as a memorial to the founder of Mohonk Mountain House, Albert K. Smiley, who died in 1912.
The tower, which is built of stone, has an unobstructed view in four directions of six states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
When you’re done taking in the view, walk down from the tower, head outside, and take the Sky Top Path downhill towards Lake Mohonk and the Mountain House. The path skirts the edge of the lake. There are several great spots with gazebos to get views of the lake and Mountain House.
From here, head to the “putting green” circle in front of the Mountain House and take Huguenot Road to begin the hike back to your car. Now, instead of following the green arrows we followed earlier, simply follow the red arrows with the car symbol to make your way back to the parking lot.
On your way back, just before you reach the junction with Sky Top Road, you’ll reach Garden Overlook at a cliff. Turn around and enjoy the view.
Once you reach the junction with Sky Top Road, you’ll be retracting your steps back to the parking lot, following the red arrows, along the same way you came.