Let’s HikeVT! This week, we’re sharing the best sunrise views. Browse these moderate and difficult hikes for access to (possibly) the best views in Vermont. Complete them in the early morning, or as an overnight hike. Don’t forget to share your photos online: #HikeVT!
- Bald Mountain, Westmore
- Puffer Shelter, Bolton/ Stowe
- Theron Dean, Starksboro
- Skyline Lodge, Ripton
- Bromley, Winhall
Bald Mountain, Westmore — Moderate
» 4.2 mi round trip, approx. 1,450 ft elevation gain
The Long Pond Trail to summit Bald Mountain is almost entirely found on private land. It gradually follows an old logging road to a log landing where it then enters the woods. The trail winds through open hardwoods and crosses streams as it steadily climbs towards the top. There are a few steep and rocky pitches as you approach the top. There is a fire tower that provides the perfect spot to view the sunrise.
Driving Directions: From Lyndonville, drive north on US-5 for 6.7 miles. Turn right onto VT-5A north and continue for 9.9 miles. Turn right onto Long Pond Road and continue for 2.1 miles; the parking area will be on the left. Map it.
Puffer Shelter, Bolton — Difficult
» 10 mi round trip, approx. 2,089 ft elevation gain
You can’t talk about sunrises in Vermont without mentioning Puffer Shelter. It can be done as a day hike but is more suited as an overnight. There are two ways to access the shelter, but the shortest route is via the Lake Mansfield Trail to the Long Trail South.
The Lake Mansfield Trail is a moderate climb to Taylor Lodge. From the lodge, follow the Long Trail south as it climbs over rugged terrain with steep, rocky sections and a ladder to Puffer Shelter. There is only room for 6 hikers and no tenting overflow options, but the views and sunrise from the shelter are unmatched.
Driving Directions: Take Moscow Road west from VT-100, south of Stowe. Follow the paved road, which turns into the Nebraska Valley Road and becomes gravel-surfaced, 6.7 miles to the gate of the Lake Mansfield Trout Club. In summer, you may drive through the open gate to the hiking season day-use parking lot that is to the north of the main building of the Trout Club.
For overnight parking, turn right on Old County Road just before the closed Trout Club gate. There is a large parking lot on the left a few hundred yards down the road. Map it.
Theron Dean, Starksboro — Difficult
» 3.6 mi round trip, approx. 943 ft elevation gain
Follow the Long Trail south from Appalachian Gap over a steep and rugged climb to Theron Dean Shelter. Although it is not a long hike to the shelter, there are rock scrambles, ladders, and a cave to explore along the way. You will be rewarded with a lovely sunrise view from the shelter after your tough hike.
Driving Directions: From Route 100 in Waitsfield, turn right onto Route 17 for 6.2 miles until you reach the Long Trail parking near the height of land through Appalachian Gap. Map it.
Skyline Lodge, Ripton — Moderate
» 5.2 mi round trip, approx. 1,460 ft elevation gain
Follow the blue-blazed Skylight Pond Trail as it gradually rises and switchbacks to the Long Trail. Go straight onto the spur trail down to Skyline Lodge and Skylight Pond. The shelter is a lovely place to sit and watch the sunrise over the pond. The pond at dawn is also a great spot to see some wildlife!
Driving Directions: Follow VT-125 2.9 miles west of Middlebury Gap. Take USFS-59/Steam Mill Road north for 3.6 miles to the trailhead for Skylight Pond Trail. Map it.
Bromley, Winhall — Moderate
» 6.0 mi round trip, approx. 1,460 ft elevation gain
Follow the Long Trail north as it gradually climbs past Bromley Shelter. It then climbs more steeply to the summit where you will find views from every angle. The grassy, open ski trails make it a wonderful spot to lounge and watch the sunrise.
Driving Directions: From Route 7 in Manchester, take Exit 4 and follow Route 11/30 east for 4.5 miles until you reach the Long Trail parking lot on the left. Map it.
Questions? Our visitor center staff is here to assist you. Call (802) 244-7037 or email [email protected].