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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Mansfield
Underhill, VT, Stowe, VT

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking down the Laura Cowles Trail
Looking down the Laura Cowles Trail

Route: Eagle Cut Trail, CCC Road, Sunset Ridge Trail, Laura Cowles Trail, Sunset Ridge Trail, Long Trail, (Mt. Mansfield - The Chin), Long Trail, Sunset Ridge Trail, CCC Road, Eagle Cut Trail

For the first of two Vermont hikes, I headed to the west side of Mt. Mansfield. While there were plenty of clouds in the region, the forecast called for them to clear during the morning.

After paying the entrance fee, I set foot up the road from the main office, then turned right to the upper lot and Eagle Cut Trail trailhead. This short trail crossed the road multiple times and had excellent footing and gradual grades. After this trail ended, the roadwalk continued, soon reaching the next trail junction.

From here, I took the Sunset Ridge Trail for a few hundred feet, then turned onto the Laura Cowles Trail. Though rated on the map as a double diamond, it didn't seem overly bad - a bit rocky and a few minor scrambles. Breaking out at treeline just before the upper Sunset Ridge Trail junction, the fog had still not yet lift.

From there, I headed to the Long Trail north, passing through the alpine zones to the summit and benchmark. After unsuccessfully waiting a few minutes for the fog to lift, I headed back down, this time staying on the Sunset Ridge Trail.

The Sunset Ridge Trail looked to be quite impressive - and, as I dropped in eleveation, it was indeed impressive as the fog started to lift, revealing views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The trail was exposed for some distance and, around treeline, had a few minor scrambles.

By the time I returned to the parking area, it had turned into a sunny day.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Mansfield - The Chin
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal (due to weather)
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Friday, August 27, 2010
Hike Commenced: 9:10 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,820'
Destination: Mt. Mansfield (The Chin)
Ascent Commenced: 9:13 AM
Summit Reached: 10:36 AM
Time Elapsed: 01:23
Trailhead Elevation: 1,870'
Summit Elevation: 4,393'
Distance: 2.4 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,543'
Hike Ended: 12:29 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 3:19
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,663'

The Eagle Cut Trail trailhead
The Eagle Cut Trail trailhead

Looking down the Sunset Ridge Trail
Looking down the Sunset Ridge Trail

Looking south from near the summit of Mt. Mansfield in the fog - Click to enlarge
Looking south from near the summit of Mt. Mansfield in the fog

Topographic map of Mt. Mansfield - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: From Underhill Center, take Pleasant Valley Road north 1.0 mile, then take a right onto Mountain Road. Upon entering Underhill State Park, there will be a parking lot on the left and the office on the right ($3 per person fee as of summer 2010).

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