Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest point

Mt. Mansfield - Vermont's highest point at 4393', link - is located in the Green Mountains, with a ski resort owned by the Trapp family - of The Sound of Music fame - located on one side of the mountain and with a state park on the other.

I tried to scale its craggy slopes no less than three times, with success only on the third attempt. The first two times were on the same day in 2001. I first tried to go up the Long Trail but turned around for some forgotten reason, probably because there was snow and I didn't have the proper gear. I then decided to try the Cliff Trail, which starts at the upper terminus of the ski resort's gondola. I turned around after the rocks got a bit too icy.

On September 21, 2003 I made my triumphant return to the area and successfully took the Cliff Trail to the top.

Of the several routes available, the Long Trail involves more distance and elevation gain but is apparently fairly easy (link,link). The easiest is the take the (toll) Auto Road and then take what is apparently a gentle path to the summit. The Cliff Trail is the shortest at just 0.7 miles (link). However, it goes over large boulders and can be a bit rough for some. It involves stepping over a few 10' or so deep gaps that it wouldn't be good to fall into, as well as crawling through a couple gaps in the rock. However, it was fairly short and easy and I was able to return on it mostly hands-free by taking it slowly. As on Mt. Marcy, there were several Canadians besieging the peak. No sing-a-longs, but lots of loud talking. And, tons of normal Americans who had taken the Auto Road to almost the top and then hiked the rest of the way.

Supposedly, there's a longer version of the Cliff Trail which doesn't go directly to the Long Trail below the summit. That longer version branches off above the gondola, and goes south to join the trail from the top of the Auto Road. That version involves some ladders, and it's probably similar to Arcadia's Precipice Trail which will be covered in a future post. I didn't take it because I didn't have much information on it, I was alone, and it was a bit late in the day.


United States
44° 32' 60" N, 72° 49' 0.0012" W
April 5, 2008 – 1:35pm