Slackpacking Vermont

Destination: Rutland, VT

| Activities: Hiking and Slackpacking

Vermont’s mountains aren’t called the Green Mountains for nothing! This section of the Appalachian Trail is characterized by dense and verdant forests, offering great autumn foliage and a chance to get away from the crowds. In Vermont, the AT also coincides with the Long Trail beginning at the Massachusetts border, just north of Mount Greylock. The two trails share a footpath for 100 miles through southern Vermont, crossing notable peaks such as Stratton and Bromley. Killington Mountain in central Vermont marks the first time the AT reaches an elevation of 4,000 feet since Tennessee. We'll cover a little over sixty miles, returning at the end of the day to our lodging in the small ski town of Killington, VT. You'll hike significant mileage on this trip - between 10-15 miles each day, which does require being in excellent physical condition. Maximum group size: 12


  • Hiking both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont
  • Backpacking through beautiful and historic Vermont in fabulous autumn weather
  • Summitting Killington where the state was christened 'Verd-Mont' in 1763
  • Hiking the Clarenton Gorge, swimming in a high mountain lake, enjoying spectacular vistas
  • Returning to a comfortable bed and hot shower at the end of every day
  • Earning your trail name and learning the lore of the Appalachian Trail
  • Carrying only what you need for the day on your back

Departures and Prices

September 11 to September 17, 2022
$2395.00 - Available
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  • 2-3 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Six nights lodging
  • All meals from dinner on Sunday through breakfast the following Saturday
  • Daily shuttles back and forth to the trailhead

What's not included: Airfare/travel to/from Rutland, VT (RUD), alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

This trip involves hiking from 10 to 15 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with significant elevation changes and footing that is rocky and uneven at times. It requires being in very good physical condition. While you can always choose to stay in town for the day, there are no options for shortening the daily hikes. This trip is rated 4. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2 hour hike once a week) and/or strength training is usually required. Rating: 1 2 3 [4] 5.

This is a hiking trip on the Vermont section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. The AT runs along the same path in this particular section as the Vermont Long Trail - the first long distance hiking trail in the US. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is rocky and steep. We're staying in the ski resort town of Killington, Vt.

We will be spending 6 nights at a large vacation home in the resort ski village of Killington, VT. Our beautiful home for the week is a large, 2 story, vacation rental home that sleeps up to 16 guests. It has 10 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms, good gathering space, a spacious kitchen, WiFi, linens, hot tub, washer and dryer and many other amenities.

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.

Meet at 4 p.m. at the Rutland, VT airport (RUD). From the airport we'll shuttle approximately 30 minutes to our lodging for the week - a large, vacation home in the ski resort of Killington, VT. After settling in a bit an exploring the lodge, we'll gather for introductions and go over the information you need for a week of happy and healthy hiking! After introductions we'll enjoy the first of many home cooked meals by your fabulous guides! (D)
Our first day on trail and what a day it’s going to be! After breakfast, we’ll shuttle to our put in point - the Sherburne Pass Trail - a .5 miles access trail that begins next to the Inn at Long Trail. One of the nice aspects of the AT is that it crosses back country roads providing easy access to the trail. We'll soon stand at 'Maine Junction' - the spot where the AT turns south and the Long Trail heads north. The rest of our day brings summits of both Pico and Killington along with passing several AT shelters including Churchill Scott and Copper Lodge. Once summiting Killington, we’ll take the chair lift down to the base and our shuttle will pick us up, head back to our lodge and maybe the hot tub!

Mileage: 12.1. Biggest overall elevation gain: 1,900 feet (B,L,D)
Here we go - off for another day. We’ll start where we left off yesterday - the top of Killington Peak. After taking the chair lift to the top we’ll keep heading south on the AT. Our trail today will test those “down” muscles. Although the terrain is rolling the main direction will be down. Beautiful trail under thick canopy with plenty of autumn colors and great glimpses of the valley below.

Mileage: 11.4. Biggest overall elevation loss: 3,048 feet (B, L, D)
Another wonderful day! We’ll begin with Clarendon Gorge - a wonderful, rock strewn gorge along with a suspension bridge over the Mill River, better than coffee to wake you up! We continue past Minerva Hinchey Shelter (named for the Green Mountain Club’s long-time secretary) and on to Patch Hollow (at the base of Bear Mountain). After summitting Bear Mountain we’ll have a bit of downhill until the next climb - up to the junction of the AT and the White Rocks Cliff trail. At this point you enter a wonderful cairn “farm” with dozens of cairns randomly placed makes this spot a wonderfully interesting place for a break and contemplation. Do save some energy for the next beautiful spot on trail - Little Rock Pond Shelter and Campsites, complete with a sandy beach and gorgeous pristine high mountain pond - swim anyone?

Mileage: 14.8. Biggest overall elevation gain: about 1,500 feet. Biggest overall elevation loss: 750 feet (B, L, D)
Wonder what today will bring? More picturesque high mountain ponds, streams and summitting more peaks, what else! Today we’ll have some excellent opportunities for picture taking of beautiful forest streams and ponds as well as views from the top of both Peru Peak and Styles Peak. We end our day at the interestingly named Mad Tom Notch - an excellent beginning for an AT story!

Mileage: 12.1. Biggest overall elevation gain: 1,877 feet (B, L, D)
Our last day on trail and what a good day this will be. We’ll go back to Mad Tom Notch and turn south for one last time. Our first peak will be Bromley Peak - part of the Bromley Ski Resort and gives us a beautiful 360-degree view of the surrounding area. After enjoying this perfect vista, we’ll head to Spruce Peak and then onto Prospect Rock - each offering their own beauty and vista. Sadly, we’ll see our shuttle and we’ll have to leave the woods for now, but we’ll enjoy our celebration tonight of a great week on the AT (and the Long Trail).

Mileage: 10.4. Biggest overall elevation gain: 600 feet (B, L, D)
After sharing one final breakfast together, we’ll have to leave our vacation home and head back to the airport for those flying out. But we’ll leave with wonderful memories and plans to continue our quest to hike the Appalachian Trail.

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  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at the lodging. You'll go out for the last dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the lodging and have dinner there. For lunches, before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-intolerant although we can not guarantee a completely gluten-free diet, if we know well in advance. If you’re severely allergic or if you have other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register. If you’re vegan, you may want to bring some additional protein bars.
  3. 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 guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll randomly pair you up with someone else.