7 Best Mountains in Vermont for Hiking & Skiing

by Jem
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Looking to explore Vermont’s best mountains? You’re on the brink of an epic adventure! From the ski-ready slopes of Killington Peak to the hiker’s haven of Mount Mansfield, Vermont is a mosaic of mountain experiences. Eager to uncover these elevated treasures? Let’s explore seven of the best mountains in VT!

If mountains make your world go round, Vermont should be at the top of your list. Tucked away in the northeast, this gem of a state is home to some of the most scenic peaks in the U.S. Think rolling green landscapes, trails dotted with wildflowers, and summits that offer views straight out of a postcard. That’s the charm of Vermont!

On my travels, I’ve had the joy of experiencing the rugged beauty of Mount Mansfield, the wild contours of Camel’s Hump, and the serene trails that weave through them. These mountains are more than just elevations. They’re the heart of the Green Mountain State, beating strong with adventure and tranquility.

If you’re itching for a hike, eager for crisp mountain air, or just want to lose yourself in nature, Vermont’s best mountains are ready for you. Join me as we discover the peaks that give this state its name. It’s time to explore the heights of Vermont, where every step up brings you a little closer to heaven. Here are seven of the best mountains in Vermont, carefully handpicked by myself.

The top mountains to visit in Vermont right now
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Best Mountains in Vermont

Vermont’s varied terrain is a paradise for those who revel in the great outdoors and cherish natural splendor. A trip to Vermont offers an encounter with mountain ranges that enchant visitors from every corner of the globe.

Whether you’re in pursuit of heart-pumping outdoor escapades or tranquil moments amidst scenic beauty, these noble peaks will render you speechless. Aside from presenting a roster of the finest mountains to explore in Vermont, I’ve woven in recommendations for cozy accommodations to enhance your stay.

Now, without further ado, here are my selections for the 7 best mountains to visit in Vermont.

1. Mount Mansfield

Ever wonder what the view is like from Vermont’s highest point? Mount Mansfield is where you’ll find your answer, and let me tell you, it’s spectacular. This isn’t just a mountain – it’s the ultimate playground for adventurers and nature lovers alike.

Starting your ascent, you’ll feel the anticipation build with each step as you navigate through lush forest trails and rocky paths. The hike up is a thrilling challenge that promises rewards at every turn. When you reach the summit, the ‘Chin’ of the mountain offers a panorama that’ll make your heart skip a beat. On a clear day, the view stretches across the state, with the Adirondacks and the White Mountains lining the horizon.

Mount Mansfield isn’t only about the climb. In winter, it boasts some of the best mountains for skiing in Vermont, with slopes that cater to every skill level. Stowe Mountain Resort comes alive with skiers and snowboarders seeking that perfect powdery descent.

Summer transforms the mountain into a green haven, with trails that invite you to discover hidden nooks and crannies bursting with wildflowers and wildlife. For those who love a dash of science with their adventure, Mount Mansfield is a living laboratory. Its unique arctic-alpine tundra ecosystem is a throwback to ice ages past. It’s a fascinating study for ecologists and a unique experience for visitors.

Whether you’re here to conquer the slopes, marvel at the tundra, or simply enjoy a picnic with a view, Mount Mansfield showcases the Green Mountain State’s natural beauty. With its vibrant, ever-changing landscape, it’s no surprise that many tout Mount Mansfield as the best mountain in Vermont.

An unparalleled adventure area for those who love the outdoors as well.
An unparalleled adventure area for those who love the outdoors as well.

2. Camel’s Hump

Just when you think you’ve seen all the beauty Vermont has to offer, along comes Camel’s Hump. Standing proudly as the third-highest peak in the state, this mountain’s silhouette against the sky is as iconic as it gets. With its distinctive, hump-like shape, it’s the perfect spot for those who crave a taste of the wild, unspoiled Vermont.

Don’t let the name fool you. Camel’s Hump is no desert mirage. It’s a lush, green paradise that comes alive in the summer. Hikers here are spoiled for choice, with trails that meander through dense forests and open onto sprawling meadows. And the summit? It’s like stepping onto the roof of New England, with a 360-degree view that’ll have you spotting the distant peaks of the Adirondacks and the Green Mountain range.

What truly makes Camel’s Hump stand out is its untouched charm. This isn’t a mountain that’s been overdeveloped or commercialized. It’s a place where nature takes center stage, and the local community works tirelessly to keep it that way. From the conservationists who protect its delicate ecosystems to the friendly faces you’ll meet on the trails, the spirit of Vermont shines brightest here.

Accessible from the nearby towns of Waterbury and Huntington, getting to Camel’s Hump is a breeze. While there’s no strudel at the summit, the local eateries down in the valley will happily fill that void with some hearty Vermont fare. This is one of my favorite hikes in New England, promising a rewarding ascent and a summit experience that feels like you’re on top of the world.

Undoubtedly the third-highest summit in the state.
Undoubtedly the third-highest summit in the state.

3. Killington Peak

Hunting for the best mountains in Vermont? Let’s zoom in on Killington Peak. Known affectionately as ‘The Beast of the East,’ it’s a premier destination for skiers with its diverse array of trails and vibrant après-ski scene. Come summer, the snow gives way to reveal a network of hiking trails that promise fresh air and stunning views.

The mountain caters to all levels of skiers, from beginners to experts. This ensures that everyone has a chance to experience the rush of gliding down its slopes. The lifts run efficiently, whisking visitors up to the peak where the entire state seems to unfold below. For hikers, the peak offers a rewarding challenge with the promise of panoramic vistas at the summit.

Killington isn’t all about the adrenaline rush, though. It also offers peaceful moments amidst nature’s splendor. The trails meander through hardwood forests and past mountain streams, perfect for those seeking a tranquil escape. The summit, accessible throughout the year, provides a spectacular backdrop for a picnic or a moment of reflection.

Accessibility is a breeze, with the nearby Rutland airport and well-maintained roads leading to the mountain. The local towns provide a warm welcome with their comfortable lodgings and hearty Vermont cuisine. Killington Peak stands out in Vermont’s best mountains as a destination that invites exploration and creates lasting memories with each visit.

With its varied selection of trails and lively après-ski scene, it's a top destination for skiers.
With its varied selection of trails and lively après-ski scene, it’s a top destination for skiers.

4. Mount Ascutney

If you’re mapping out the best mountains in Vermont, make sure Mount Ascutney is on your list. This isn’t your average mountain. It’s a place where every trail promises a new adventure and every summit delivers views that’ll have you reaching for your camera.

For those who love a good hike, Ascutney won’t disappoint. The trails here are as varied as they come. You’ll find easy-going paths perfect for a family stroll to more challenging routes that will give even seasoned hikers a run for their money. And the Weathersfield Trail? It’s a fan favorite for a reason, with waterfalls along the way that are nothing short of magical.

But Ascutney isn’t all about the climb. This mountain is dotted with spots that are rich in history and local lore. It’s a place where every lookout has a story, and the journey is just as captivating as the destination.

Around Ascutney, you’ll find some of the best mountain towns in Vermont. They’re the kind of towns where you can kick back with a local brew and swap stories with the friendly folks. When it comes to grub, you’re in for a treat. The local cuisine here is as hearty as it gets, perfect after a day on the trails.

Getting to Mount Ascutney is a breeze, with well-marked roads leading you straight to the heart of the action. Whether you’re coming in from a nearby city or cruising through the countryside, you’ll find that all roads lead to adventure here. Once you’re done exploring for the day, the towns of Windsor or Woodstock offer cozy accommodations and a warm welcome.

It's a place where each route leads to an exciting new experience.
It’s a place where each route leads to an exciting new experience.

5. Mount Abraham

Tucked away in the Green Mountains, Mount Abraham stands out as one of Vermont’s best mountains for those who love a 360-degree view. Affectionately known as ‘Abe’ to locals, this peak offers a hike that’s as rewarding as it is beautiful. Trust me, it’s one not to miss when in VT!

The trek to the top of Mount Abraham is one that will stick with you. It’s a moderate climb, meaning you’ll get your heart rate up without overdoing it. The Long Trail leads you through lush forests and over rocky outcrops, culminating in a summit that offers expansive views of the surrounding landscape. On a clear day, you can see all the way to New York’s Adirondacks and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

Mount Abraham isn’t just a summer destination. Come winter, it’s a wonderland for backcountry skiing. With trails that cater to skiers of all levels, it’s one of the best mountains for skiing in Vermont. Imagine carving through fresh powder with the same epic views you’d get in the summer—only this time, they’re all glistening white.

The area around Mount Abraham is as charming as the climb itself. Small towns with big personalities dot the landscape, offering cozy spots to refuel and relax after a day on the mountain. Local eateries serve up dishes that taste all the better after a day of fresh air and exercise.

Accessibility is a breeze, with nearby Bristol providing a quaint but lively base camp. If you’re coming from afar or just escaping the city for a day, Mount Abraham is an easy add to your outdoor itinerary. And when you’re sitting atop Abe’s peak, looking out over Vermont’s splendor, you’ll know the trip was worth every step!

Among Vermont's finest mountains, Mount Abraham shines out.
Among Vermont’s finest mountains, Mount Abraham shines out.

6. Mount Ellen

No list of Vermont’s best mountains would be complete without a nod to Mount Ellen. In my opinion, it’s one of the best places to go in VT for those who love to mix skiing with their hiking. As part of the Sugarbush Resort, Mount Ellen offers some of the finest ski slopes in the East during the winter and transforms into a hiker’s paradise when the snow melts.

In the winter months, Mount Ellen is a parafise for snow enthusiasts. With its high elevation, it boasts some of the most reliable snowfalls in the region. As such, it’s a top pick for the best mountains for skiing in Vermont. The trails here are diverse, offering everything from gentle greens to challenging black diamonds, ensuring that every skier and snowboarder finds their groove.

As the seasons change, the snow-covered slopes give way to lush green trails, perfect for summer hikes. The summit of Mount Ellen provides a tranquil space to take in the views of the Mad River Valley and the distant peaks of the Green Mountains. It’s a serene spot where you can enjoy a picnic, snap some photos, or simply sit back and breathe in the mountain air.

Mount Ellen isn’t just about the physical activities, though. It’s also a place where you can find a sense of community. The mountain hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from festive winter gatherings to summer music series. These events bring together locals and visitors alike, creating a vibrant atmosphere that’s as invigorating as the mountain air.

For those who seek a mountain that offers both thrilling winter sports and peaceful summer trails, Mount Ellen is a must-visit. It’s a mountain that truly celebrates the outdoor lifestyle, no matter the season.

It's among Vermont's top destinations.
It’s among Vermont’s top destinations.

7. Jay Peak

As we round out our exploration of the best mountains in Vermont, Jay Peak stands as a testament to the state’s natural grandeur. Known for having some of the deepest snow in the East, Jay Peak is a winter haven for skiers and snowboarders alike. Truly, it’s a staple on the list of the best mountains for skiing in VT.

The pinnacle of Jay Peak is its summit, reaching an impressive 1,176 meters. It’s not just the height that’s remarkable, but the journey to the top. Hikers and skiers alike are rewarded with panoramic views that sweep across the Green Mountain State and beyond. On those exceptionally clear days, the Canadian border is just a stone’s throw away, and the vistas stretch into the horizon.

Jay Peak’s environment is a haven for biodiversity, with a variety of plant and animal life that changes with the elevation. As you ascend through the various ecological zones, keep your eyes peeled for the rare and beautiful species that call this mountain home.

The surrounding area is steeped in culture and history. The nearby town of Jay serves as a vibrant gateway to the mountain. Here, the heritage of Vermont is alive and well, with local festivals that celebrate the seasons and a community that welcomes visitors with open arms.

Jay Peak is a destination where the love for the outdoors meets a rich cultural backdrop. It’s a place that captures the essence of Vermont’s adventurous spirit and its tradition of hospitality. As we conclude our tour of Vermont’s majestic mountains, Jay Peak leaves us with lasting impressions of awe-inspiring landscapes and the warmth of its local charm.

One example of the state's breathtaking natural beauty is Jay Peak.
One example of the state’s breathtaking natural beauty is Jay Peak.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Mountains in Vermont

Before you head out to enjoy a trip of a lifetime visiting some of the best mountains in Vermont, I thought I’d take a moment to answer a few questions. Below you’ll some of the most frequently asked questions about the best Vermont mountains. I hope my answers help you have an unforgettable adventure!

What is the most mountainous area of Vermont?

The most mountainous region of Vermont is the Green Mountains, which run the length of the state. This area is home to some of the best mountains in Vermont. These include Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, and the aforementioned Mount Ascutney, Mount Abraham, and Mount Ellen. The Green Mountains offer a diverse range of outdoor activities, from hiking and skiing to simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

What is the biggest ski mountain in Vermont?

Killington Resort holds the title for the biggest ski mountain in Vermont. In fact, it boasts the largest ski area in the Eastern United States! With over 150 trails and 21 lifts, it’s a premier destination for those wondering where to ski in Vermont. Its extensive terrain caters to all levels, from beginners to expert skiers.

Does Vermont have the Appalachian Mountains?

Yes, Vermont is home to a portion of the Appalachian Mountains, which extend over 2,000 miles from Canada to Alabama. The Long Trail, which traverses Vermont from north to south, follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains, which is part of the Appalachian chain. This makes Vermont a significant part of the beautiful Appalachian mountain range.

What is the best peak in Vermont?

The best peak in Vermont, particularly for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities, is often considered to be Mount Mansfield. It’s the highest mountain in Vermont, standing at 4,395 feet (1,340 meters). Mount Mansfield is renowned for its stunning views, hiking trails, and as a premier ski destination during the winter months. The mountain resembles the profile of a face when viewed from the east, with distinct forehead, nose, lips, chin, and Adam’s apple topographical features.

Some of America's most picturesque peaks can be found in this treasure of a state.
Some of America’s most picturesque peaks can be found in this treasure of a state.

What is the best month to ski in Vermont?

The best month to ski in Vermont typically falls between January and March. During this period, the state’s ski resorts, including those on Jay Peak and Mount Ellen, are in full swing. You’ll find the most reliable snow conditions in these months. February is often the sweet spot for powder hounds seeking the quintessential Vermont skiing experience.

Is Vermont skiing as good as Colorado?

Vermont offers a skiing experience that is unique and should not be missed. While Colorado is known for its high-altitude resorts and champagne powder, Vermont’s ski mountains, such as Jay Peak and Killington, are renowned for their challenging terrain, historic charm, and picturesque New England landscapes. Each has its own merits, and many skiers enjoy both for different reasons.

How high is Vermont’s highest peak?

Vermont’s highest peak is Mount Mansfield, which stands at 4,395 feet (1,340 meters). It’s a favorite among hikers and skiers, offering stunning views and a variety of trails. Mount Mansfield is a jewel among Vermont’s best mountains. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the grandeur of the Green Mountain State.

Are there big mountains in Vermont?

Yes, Vermont is home to several significant mountains, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers and skiers. The Green Mountains, part of the Appalachian range, run north to south through the middle of the state and include some of the most notable peaks in Vermont. Here are a few of the prominent mountains in Vermont:

  1. Mount Mansfield: The highest peak in Vermont, standing at 4,395 feet (1,340 meters). It’s a popular destination for hiking and skiing, with Stowe Mountain Resort located on its slopes.
  2. Killington Peak: Part of the Green Mountains, Killington Peak reaches an elevation of 4,241 feet (1,293 meters). It’s home to Killington Ski Resort, one of the largest and most famous ski resorts in the Eastern United States.
  3. Camel’s Hump: With an elevation of 4,083 feet (1,244 meters), Camel’s Hump is an iconic mountain in Vermont, known for its distinctive hump-like shape. It’s a popular hiking destination and is part of the Green Mountain range.
  4. Mount Ellen: Part of the Green Mountains, Mount Ellen has an elevation of 4,083 feet (1,244 meters) and is known for its ski resort, Sugarbush.
  5. Stratton Mountain: Standing at 3,940 feet (1,200 meters), Stratton Mountain is another well-known ski destination in Vermont.

Recap: Vermont’s Best Mountains

As our journey through the peaks and valleys of Vermont comes to a close, it’s clear that the state’s mountains offer more than just a backdrop for postcards. From the ski-ready slopes of Jay Peak to the hiker’s haven of Mount Ascutney, each summit has its own allure. These mountains are not merely landscapes; they’re experiences waiting to unfold.

If I had to choose one mountain to recommend, it would be Mount Abraham. Its trails lead to breathtaking vistas that encapsulate the spirit of Vermont. Standing at the summit, with a panoramic view that stretches across the horizon, there’s a sense of connection to the natural world that is both humbling and exhilarating.

For those seeking the quintessence of Vermont’s outdoor adventures, these mountains are a treasure trove. They beckon skiers, hikers, and nature lovers to explore their slopes and trails. Each visit promises fresh air, stunning views, and the chance to make lasting memories.

Remember, Vermont’s peaks are not just to be seen – they’re to be experienced. Whether you’re carving down the slopes or trekking up the trails, the best mountains in Vermont offer a gateway to adventure in every season. So pack your gear, set your sights on the Green Mountain State, and prepare for an escapade that will echo in your stories for years to come!

The most beautiful mountains in Vermont for all types of travelers
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