Hike to the Camel's Hump Summit
Vermont › Monroe Trailhead
Added by Shannon Kalahan
Hike the third highest peak in Vermont and take in gorgeous 360 views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Explore the remains of a World War II bomber crash near the summit, along one of the intersecting trails.
You'll begin your Monroe Trail hike at approximately 1500', parking in one of three designated gravel lots along Camel's Hump Road in Duxbury. This trail is 6.8 miles round trip, and gains approximately 2583' in elevation. It is located on the east side of the mountain.
Much of your hike will be through a deciduous forest (mainly maple and birches) along a well maintained trail that gains elevation steadily. The last quarter mile or so can be tiring in spots, as that section of trail is littered with large boulders and natural staircases. The summit of the mountain is an open, rocky face with spectacular 360 views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. On a clear day, you can see high peaks in 3 states (Mount Mansfield in VT, Mount Washington in NH and Mount Marcy in NY).
Camel's Hump State Park sprawls over approximately 20,000 acres within the Green Mountains, and is designated at a Forest Reserve and a Registered National Landmark. It is the only undeveloped alpine area in the Green Mountains. That means there are several areas that are off limits to protect the sensitive alpine tundra vegetation – make sure to stay on the trails (do the rock walk!) and keep dogs on a leash once you hit the alpine zone.
Throughout the trip you will intersect a few different trails, but those junctions are all clearly labeled. That being said, be sure to watch for the signs and trail markers as you go. Because it is a protected, undeveloped area, the cell phone reception is minimal along most of the trail.
As with any major change in elevation, you should prepare for a variety of weather conditions. We hiked this trail on a 70 degree day over the Memorial Day weekend, which is generally considered the unofficial start of summer. At the trailhead, we were over-heating in short sleeves. As we approached the alpine zone, there was still snow on the trail and extremely strong winds once we left the cover of the forest. Be safe, bring layers, including at least one water/wind resistant layer.
Furthermore, since this is an undeveloped area, you will need to pack in and out your water, food and supplies. Primitive camping is allowed below the alpine zone, as long as primitive camping restrictions are followed.
The plant life along the trails and the open summit make this hike a must if you're in the area. It's a long day-hike, but the view at the top is the best in the area and shouldn't be missed!
- Appropriate hiking shoes and clothes, including layers suitable for any weather
- A camera and tripod
- Food, water and supplies, as there are no facilities on the trail
- Hiking poles will help with steep sections
- Backpacking essentials if you intend to camp
- If you're sensitive, consider bug spray for the forest, sun block for the summit
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography
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A great hike in the fall for an amazing 360 view of the rainbow of foliage. Last bit of the trail you surpass the tree line. When I did this, we parked along the entry road near the beginning of the longer trail, hiked to the top, took the shorter route down and picked up our car a little way back down the road. Most people do the much shorter up and back route straight up, which is more crowded and just boring exhaustion till you reach the top.
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