Vermont's Best Mountains for a Day Hike

Leah Fishman

If you're itching to get out of the city and explore Vermont's scenic beauty, then you're in luck. Vermont is home to some of the best mountains for a day hike, offering stunning views and unforgettable experiences. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a newbie, this list of the best Vermont mountains for a day hike has got you covered. Happy hiking!

Tags: Hiking, Off the beaten path, Dog Friendly

  • Camels Hump, United States

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    • leah

      Camel's Hump is a super recognizable mountain peak in Vermont (just look for the camel's "humps") and provides spectacular views. Trails in the State Park are heavily used in winter, summer, and fall, and the Burrows Trail and Camel's Hump View Trail are accessible and great for hikers of all ages and abilities. The Monroe Trail is moderately difficult and popular, and the Long Trail is difficult and passes over the summit.

  • Stowe Pinnacle in Stowe, United States

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    • leah

      The hike at Stowe Pinnacle offers a moderately difficult but rewarding 3.6-mile round-trip trek to one of Vermont's most photographed viewpoints! You can choose to start at the Upper Hollow Road trailhead or shorten the hike by a mile by starting at Pinnacle Meadows lot. The climb is 1,520 feet and takes about 2.5 hours, but the stunning views of the Green Mountains make it worth it.

  • Mount Horrid, United States

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    • leah

      The Long Trail to Mount Horrid offers stunning views of the Vermont landscape with very little effort. This easy 2.1 mile out-and-back trail is located in the Joseph Battell Wilderness near Rochester. Come prepared for some mildly rocky terrain and a 1,033 feet ascent before reaching the Great Cliff Viewpoint. The trail is open all year, but I recommend a visit between April and October due to slippery and muddy conditions during winter.

  • Snake Mountain, United States

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    • leah

      Hike up the West Trail to the winding Summit Trail for a great view of the surrounding farmlands, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks from the peak of Snake Mountain. The 4.1-mile out-and-back trail starts perpendicular to Mountain Road in Addison, VT and has a steady incline all the way up the West Trail, which takes a 90-degree bend towards the peak before joining the steeper and winding Summit Trail.

  • Elmore Mountain, United States

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    • leah

      Elmore Mountain is a popular 3.6-mile out-and-back hiking trail in Vermont with a moderate difficulty level, taking an average of 2 hours to complete. The trail is open year-round and offers scenic views of Lake Elmore and the surrounding mountains. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but must be kept on a leash.

  • Owl's Head Mountain, United States

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    • leah

      Owls Head is a 3.7-mile out-and-back trail located in Groton State Forest, Vermont. The hike features a moderately challenging route with an elevation gain of 1,050 feet and takes an average of 2 hours to complete. The trail is known for its scenic views of Lake Groton and the surrounding wilderness area!

  • Moss Glen Falls in Stowe, United States

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    • leah

      Located in Stowe, Moss Glen Falls is easily accessible via a three-mile drive on Randolph Road from Route 100. After parking at the trailhead, a short hike leads to the base of the falls. For more insane views, continue up the trail for scenic views of the valley. The hike is around 2.9 miles round trip and takes about an hour, but plan to spend extra time by the falls.

  • Mount Equinox Skyline Drive, United States

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    • leah

      Mount Equinox is a popular destination in Vermont, offering stunning views from its 3,848-foot summit. The Burr and Burton Trail is a 5.2-mile out-and-back route that takes you to the top, with an elevation gain of around 3,200 feet. It's a challenging hike, but the breathtaking views from the summit make it well worth the effort. Along the way, you'll pass through beautiful forests and rocky terrain, with a variety of flora and fauna to enjoy. It's recommended to visit during the spring, summer, or fall months, as the trail can be snowy and icy in winter.

  • Mount Abraham, United States

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    • leah

      Mount Abraham is one of the five peaks of the Abraham Range in Vermont, and it is the highest of them at 4,006 ft / 1,221 m. It's a popular hike for those who want to experience panoramic views of the Green Mountains, Adirondacks, and the Champlain Valley. The most common route to the summit is via the Long Trail, which is approximately 6.8 miles round trip with 2,400 ft of elevation gain. This trail can be challenging at times, especially near the summit where there are steep rock scrambles. Make sure to bring appropriate gear, including sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water.

  • Hamilton Falls, United States

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    • leah

      The Hamilton Falls hike is a 3.3-mile out-and-back trail located near Jamaica, Vermont. The trail features a waterfall and is rated as moderate, with some steep sections and rocky terrain. It takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete. The best time to visit is from May through October. The trail leads to the beautiful 125-foot Hamilton Falls, which is a popular spot for swimming in the summer months. The hike also offers scenic views of the surrounding Green Mountains.

  • Stark's Nest in Waitsfield, United States

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    • leah

      Stark Mountain Trail is a 2.5-mile hike located in Mad River Glen, Vermont. The trail follows a wide and well-established "work road" that leads to the summit of General Stark Mountain, which sits at an elevation of 2,036 feet. Along the way, hikers will be treated to scenic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including a large waterfall and the Birdland area. The trail can be considered moderately challenging due to the steep vertical gain, but it is a popular hike that takes an average of 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.

  • Spruce Mountain, United States

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    • leah

      Spruce Mountain is a super popular 4.3-mile out-and-back trail near Plainfield, Vermont, with a moderately challenging route that takes around 2.5 hours to complete. The trail takes you through a forested path to the summit of Spruce Mountain, where you can enjoy stunning 360-degree views from a fire tower. The best time to visit this trail is between April and November.

  • Mount Mansfield, United States

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    • leah

      Mount Mansfield is Vermont's highest mountain and has a summit ridge that resembles a human face when viewed from the east, with features such as the Adams Apple, Chin, Nose, and Forehead. The Long Trail is mostly above treeline for around 2.3 miles, making it the longest stretch of alpine zone in Vermont, with delicate vegetation that needs to be protected. Mount Mansfield is also home to about 200 acres of Arctic Tundra, one of only two places in Vermont where this can be found, the other being Camels Hump!

  • Mount Pisgah, United States

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    • leah

      Mount Pisgah is a challenging 4.1-mile out-and-back trail near Orleans, Vermont with an elevation gain of 1,653 ft. The trail takes an average 3 hours to complete and is best to visit from March through October. It is a popular area for birding, fishing, and hiking, and dogs are welcome on the trail, with some off-leash areas!

  • Mount Philo in Charlotte, United States

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    • leah

      Check out Mt. Philo State Park, Vermont's first state park, on top of a 968' mountain with stunning views of Lake Champlain Valley and the Adirondacks. You can hike the 3.8-mile network of easy to moderate trails, have a picnic, or even camp out (fees apply). Don't forget to bring your furry friend on a leash too!

  • Mount Ellen in Warren, United States

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    • leah

      Mt. Ellen (one of Vermont's five 4000+ ft peaks) lies on both the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail, offering up views of Vermont's peaks, Lake Champlain Valley, and the Adirondacks. The summit can be reached by the Long Trail from the north or south, with an elevation gain of 1600-2200 ft, or from the west via the Mt. Jerusalem trail, which is the shortest route but involves the largest elevation gain of about 2600 ft.

  • Sterling Pond, United States

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    • leah

      Sterling Pond Trail in Stowe, VT, is a moderate half-day hike, covering 2.0-3.0 miles and taking 2-3 hours to complete, with a climb of 880'. The trailhead is located at 6443 Mountain Rd, and the hike offers access to a unique mountain-top pond that's perfect for swimming, fishing, and checking out local wildlife!