Appalachian Trail - Vermont

Destination: Vermont

| Activities: Backpacking and Hiking

The Appalachian Trail, while often rugged and remote, is designed to accommodate both people who want to hike the entire trail and those who choose to section hike it; that is, hike a new section every year. This year we continue our tradition of offering a section hike - this year in Vermont through the Green Mountains. Here the Appalachian Trail shares its path with another famous trail, Vermont's Long Trail. These two trails journey together from the Mass./Vermont border to just past Killington Peak. The terrain is a wonderful mix of rugged, rocky hiking and rolling forest trails.


  • Adding to your personal mileage on the AT!
  • Hiking both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont
  • Backpacking through beautiful and historic Vermont in beautiful autumn weather
  • Sumitting Killington where the star was christened 'Verd-Mont' in 1763
  • Hiking the Clarenton Gorge, swimming in a high mountain lake, enjoying spectacular vistas
  • Refining our lightweight backpacking techniques so our packs stay under 30 lbs

Departures and Prices

August 28 to September 04, 2022
$1495.00 - Limited Availability
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  • 1 - 3 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • two nights double occupancy lodging and five nights primitive camping
  • 2 dinners at restaurants, all breakfasts (including on trail), all dinners on trail
  • group camping, cooking, and safety equipment

Not included: Transportation to/from Rutland, VT and the trip hotel (hotel has an airport shuttle), trail lunches, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, personal expenses, activities not on the itinerary

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

This trip is rated 4 as it involves early mornings, strenuous hiking, carrying 30 pound packs, and significant elevation gain and loss - the difficulty of the hiking is often greater than the mileage indicates. You should be in very good physical condition and have wilderness backpacking experience. Keep in mind that hiking a trail such as the Appalachian Trail is, indeed, not flat and mileage can be quite deceiving. What may look like long mileage can go quite quickly if it is flatter and/or ridge walking while often shorter mileage takes more time because of the elevation gains and losses. Please note that any hiking on the AT involves steep descents and ascents with the possibility of 'exposure' (narrow trails and/or steep drop offs on one or both sides of the trail.) If you have height issues, please check with the office prior to registering. Rating: 1 2 3 [4] 5

This trip is recommended for experienced backpackers. Our preference is that you have participated in the Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking offered each year by AGC in June or have equivalent lightweight backpacking experience. If this trip is the one that fits your schedule but you have never backpacked or if it has been a long time since you have backpacked, you will need to plan on arriving 1 day early, 8/29/2020, by 3 PM to participant in an instruction day and to have adequate time for preparation. The additional charge for this day will be $250 per person ($175 if you share a room) and will include a room at the trip hotel (based on double occupancy) and your AGC guide. If you have any questions, please contact the office.

We will stay the first and last night in a hotel near near the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport in Rutland, VT. for ease of both arrival and departure. There are 2 single supplements available for these two night for an additional $200. In between there are five nights of camping. Most nights we stay in or near a shelter with varying amenities (e.g. fire pit, composting outhouses) depending on whether we are in designated wilderness or state park lands. All our camping sites have water nearby.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Arrival day! Please note: This trip is recommended for experienced backpackers. Our preference is that you have participated in the Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking offered each year by AGC in June or have equivalent lightweight backpacking experience. If this trip is the one that fits your schedule but you have never backpacked or if it has been a long time since you have backpacked you will need to plan on arriving at the trip beginning 1 day early, 8/29/2020, by 3pm in order to participate in an instruction day. The additional charge for this day will be $200 per person and will include a room at the trip hotel (based on double occupancy) and guide. Otherwise your first day is Sunday, when you will meet at 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 476 Holiday Drive in Rutland, VT. If you are flying, there is a shuttle from the airport and you should plan to arrive by 3:30 pm. We will start with introductions and a discussion of what to leave behind, and then go to dinner. We spend the rest of our evening getting ready for our wilderness backpacking adventure and, as is always a good idea at the beginning of a backpacking trip, get to bed early. (D)
Today, after breakfast, we will shuttle to our put in point, River Road in Killington, VT. Our hike takes us through Kent Pond, Gifford Woods State Park, Sherburne Pass, Maine Junctions (where the Long Trail turns West) and on to our destination for the night, Churchill Scott Shelter. Today is a series of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ that will definitely give our legs a first day workout. Mileage: 7.5 Longest continuous elevation gain: 1155 feet. Overnight: Churchill Scott Shelter B, D
Leaving Churchill Scott Shelter, we continue south heading first up Pico Peak and then onto the summit of Killington where the state was christened "Verd-mont" (French for "green mountain" in 1763. From the summit, which is rocky and mostly bare of vegetation, we will be treated to a panoramic vista of 5 states, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Mass., and Maine plus the southern provinces of Canada. Most of the trail today will be down with some sections steeper and more rocky than others. Our knees will immediately be happy we have our hiking poles. The destination for tonight is Governor Clement Shelter named after the 57th governor of Vermont. Mileage: 8.7 Longest continuous elevation gain: 2028 feet. Overnight: Governor Clement Shelter B, D
Our trail today will offer everything from river crossings and brief ridge walks, 'ups' and 'downs', dense hardwood and evergreen forest, water crossings to historic road crossing, one of which was built during the French and Indian Wars. One of the more spectacular offerings is the suspension bridge spanning the beginning of the Clarenton Gorge over the Mill River. Our destination tonight is the Minerva Hinchey Shelter area. Mileage: 9.8 Longest continuous elevation loss: 2523 feet. Overnight Minerva Hinchey Shelter B, D
Another great day on the AT! We begin with an 'up' to Bear Mountain. We'll gain approximately 700 feet, then head down to a road crossing at Wallingford Gulf Road. The AT is known for its consistent 'ups' and 'downs' and today we will experience that consistency. After descending from Bear Mountain we will once again ascend to White Rocks Cliffs and White Rocks Mountain where we will be rewarded with beautiful vistas. After admiring the view and catching our breath we will once again descend—this time to Little Rock Pond Shelter and the platform tenting area surrounding this beautiful mountain pond. Swimming is definitely an option here! Mileage: 9.9 Longest continuous elevation loss: 1000 feet. Overnight Little Rock Pond Shelter B, D
Today begins with a gradual descent from our campsite, past Branch shelter and Lost Pond shelter before beginning the long but gradual ascent of Baker Peak. Again, we will be rewarded with a wonderful vista. The descent from Baker Peak is steep and rocky but eventually gives way to a very pleasant down and even a bit of flat trail at the end of the day – a rarity for the AT!. Our destination for the night is Griffith Lake tenting area. Mileage: 9.8 Longest continuous elevation gain: 1114 feet. Overnight: Griffith Lake B, D
Unfortunately this is our last day on trail although, you could just ‘re-supply’ and keep going! For most of us thought, home is beckoning! This morning by comparison to our other mornings can be a bit leisurely, allowing us to thoroughly enjoy being on the AT before making our way to the pick up point. Our hike today may be short but definitely will not disappoint. We begin with (of course!) an up! We’ll summit Styles Peak for a last vista and then head down to Mad Tom Notch where our shuttle will be awaiting to whisk us back to civilization – a shower and soft bed! Mileage: 5.1 Longest continuous elevation gain: 1032 feet. Hotel in Rutland, VT. B, D
Zero miles? What will our bodies think?! After meeting for one last time at our hotel for breakfast we will say our last good-byes and those of you driving are free to leave. If you are flying out, the hotel has an airport shuttle and you can plan to fly out anytime. Hotel check out is 12 noon.


(16 reviews)
4.8 Food
4.9 Lodging
4.9 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Traci M.
2 years ago

Mary U.
2 years ago

Ronda S.
2 years ago

I love how AGC helps me accomplish and conquer things! The climbs were long but the payoffs were well worth the effort! Can't wait to go back next year!

Kristen B.
2 years ago

Meeting new people and catching up with the guides and participants I'd hiked with previously.

Rachael S.
2 years ago

It was SO hard. It was a bit concerning that there was so little water. The weather was very hot and humid. All of this beyond our control; which leads me to convey that....... I always felt safe, I always felt listened to, and I always felt that the guides we doing all that they could to keep the trip moving forward and with a positive spin. It was SO hard.

Ronda S.
4 years ago

Anna Clair! She was great. Also, seeing Jan who always makes a great meal and has great guiding skills!

Susan G.
4 years ago

Great guides-Jan and Anna Claire and wonderful like minded nature loving women. The AT never dissapoints!

Peggy K.
4 years ago

Carol H.
4 years ago

I learned so many tricks to the fine art of camping - in such a supportive environment. All were much more experienced than me and had lots of good info on how to make camping life easier. Jan's insistence on 30 lbs or less kept us all on track and able to leap tall mountains with a minimum of stress. Anna Claire did a great job of leading us, keeping up a good pace and getting us where we needed to be. I had so much fun!!

Gena L.
4 years ago

Best guides ever!

Ronda S.
5 years ago

Awesome guides! Of course the Bears Den Hostel! All the gals were great!

Eileen H.
5 years ago

Particularly good group of women participants. Jan as always provided leadership, education, ingenuity in addressing situations. Karen was helpful, hard working, knowledgeable, fun to be with, complemented Jan well.

Kimbra M.
5 years ago

meeting women who shared similar interests learning skills necessary to backpack safely

Gena L.
5 years ago

New section of the at for me

Pandora R.
5 years ago

Claire L.
5 years ago

Highlights of the trip include the positive interaction among the group and the pace of the hike. The trip was very relaxing and enjoyable.

  1. I have not backpacked in years, is this the right trip for me?

    If it's been a long time, we strongly suggest you come to an optional day at the beginning (there is a small additional fee) so that you can learn about lightweight backpacking and some of the systems we use. You'll find it makes the week go more smoothly and you'll have more fun. If you've never backpacked before. we recommend you take our Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking first.
  2. Where do we eat?

    In town you will be eating in restaurants where you can order off the menu. You will be bringing your own food for lunches (we'll send you suggestions). Breakfasts and dinners will be cooked on a campstove- you'll be amazed at just how good backpacking food can be.
  3. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can easily accommodate vegetarians on this trip. Other types of dietary needs can be more difficult and cannot be accommodated unless you bring supplemental food. Please call us if you have specific dietary issues before you register.
  4. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guaranteed you have your own room at the hotels. Otherwise we'll pair you up with someone.
  5. Can I bring my own tent?

    If you have a single tent that you would like to bring, please let us know as not all campsites can accomodate unlimited numbers of tents. Your tent must weigh 2.5 pounds or less to qualify.