High Peaks of Vermont Backpacking Trip

Burlington, VT
4.8 (6 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Hike Vermont’s Long Trail
  • Backpack over Mount Mansfield
  • Summit Ski Area Peaks
  • Majestic Ponds & Rivers
  • Stay in a Long Trail Shelter
  • Point-to-point Thru-hike
  • Hike Above Treeline


On this amazing Vermont backpacking adventure, we will trek on the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the US, through the spectacular Green Mountains of Vermont. We will enjoy a thru-hike (so no backtracking!) that summits the state’s tallest mountain and earns us views from the peaks of several iconic ski areas. We will spend one night with a view of the stunning valley bellow Spruce Peak, and we’ll camp near majestic Sterling Pond. To top it all off, we will experience a night in a Long Trail Lodge on the shoulder of Mount Mansfield.

Join us for a backpacking adventure in the incredible mountains of Vermont! Call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your spot today.

Read more …
From USD
$1305 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-6 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 21MI / 34KM


Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

This trip features typical New England hiking with steep ascents over short distances with no switchbacks. Expect technical, broken terrain that will sometimes require you to use both hands going both up and down. Some peaks include significant scrambling over large boulders and some smooth rock slabs. Guests often need extra coaching and guidance to navigate these sections.

Hiking Distances:

4-7 miles

Backpack Weight:

35-45 pounds


Significantly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 2195 feet

Heights Exposure:


Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.


  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 35-45 lb backpack for 5-7 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on significantly rugged terrain
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Vermont backpacking trip a solitude 2. You can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time.


Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 


  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Drive Time: 55 min
  • Hiking Mileage: 3.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft

On this iconic Northeast backpacking adventure, we begin in Burlington and drive through rural Vermont to our starting trailhead. Our hike starts in lush Vermont deciduous forests full of maple, beech, and birch trees. Today is a relatively light day to get our legs warmed up for the next three days. Our hike takes us up 1,400 feet with some great views of the mountains and a unique cave, which requires negotiating a ladder.  Shortly after the cave, we join Vermont’s famous Long Trail. We’ll set up camp at an established tent site and enjoy the quiet forest with a delicious dinner cooked by your guide.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,195 ft
  • Elevation Loss: 750 ft

Today we’ll enjoy a tasty breakfast, then break camp and head out on the trail for a low mileage but rugged day summiting Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak! As we ascend the mountain we will quickly leave the trees behind and transition to rocky footing and over a mile of hiking above the tree line. Hiking above the tree line anywhere is a treat, but in the Northeast, it’s truly amazing. We’ll take some time to relax and enjoy the panoramic views stretching from New Hampshire’s White Mountains to New York’s Adirondacks. Your guide will prepare a picnic lunch before the group descends from the peak to the Long Trail’s Taft Lodge where we will spend the night. The historic Taft Lodge was built in 1920 and rebuilt in 1996. It is a rustic cabin with communal accommodations, similar to backcountry huts. There is often time on this day to relax at the lodge, or explore the area surrounding it, in the afternoon. We’ll cap today off with another guide-prepared, backcountry meal at the lodge.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft
  • Elevation Loss: 2,050 ft

This day begins with a long descent of Mount Mansfield into Smugglers’ Notch. After crossing the road in the Notch, we will begin our climb up Spruce Peak, another iconic Vermont summit, and the top of a winter ski lift. After ascending through lush forests, we’ll opt for a descent to a steep but beautiful vista, looking back through the notch. Then we’ll summit Spruce Peak and enjoy more dramatic Vermont views. We will wrap up today after descending from the peak and reaching majestic Sterling Pond, where we can enjoy the views from the lake and out over the valley. We will camp at a site nearby and enjoy a final, delicious backcountry dinner.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 650
  • Elevation Loss: 2,130 ft
  • Drive Time: 75 min

Although today is our descent out of the mountains, our climbing isn’t quite done yet! From camp we’ll descend gently for about half a mile before ascending nearly a mile to the top of Madonna Mountain. This is a great place for a snack and to enjoy the “view of the day” from a rocky outcropping above the ski lift. We’ll begin our descent on the Long Trail, then break off and follow ski trails down from the mountains. Today is a rocky, rugged descent that features stunning, unobstructed views of the surrounding valleys. Our shuttle will be waiting, and will take us to Burlington for drop-off at the hotel of your choice. What a week it’s been!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Burlington, Vermont to the hike and back
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (see recommendations)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

Your guide will conduct a virtual orientation meeting (via conference call) at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins to review the packing list, communicate the first day’s logistics and answer any last minute questions you have. Your guide will give you the phone number for this call during the pre-trip contact approximately 10 days before your trip start date.

Early on the morning of Day 1 your guide will pick you up from your accommodations in Burlington, Vermont.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time during the orientation conference call. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6:30 and 8:30 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Precautions

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in Vermont's Green Mountains

The weather in Vermont’s Green Mountains can be erratic, which makes it important to follow the packing list and be prepared for a diversity of conditions including temperate and humid to below freezing to windy and rainy. Thunderstorms in the summer are common, but so are sunny, blue bird skies on long summer days. The below temperatures are for the mountain town of Stowe. Many of our hikes in Vermont are at higher elevation, so will be 5-10 degrees colder and have a bit more precipitation.

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Month High Low Precip Days
June 62° 47° 13 days
July 66° 52° 13 days
August 64° 51° 13 days
September 57° 43° 12 days
October 44° 31° 13 days



Two friend traveling and spending time in tent while drinking coffee in the morning. Happy people in camping. View from inside. Couple of travelers

Backcountry Camping

Two friend traveling and spending time in tent while drinking coffee in the morning. Happy people in camping. View from inside. Couple of travelers

2 Nights

Sleeping for two nights on this trip are in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Taft Lodge

1 Night

The historic Taft Lodge is a rustic backcountry shelter. It was originally built in 1920, but completely rebuilt in 1996. It has charming mountain creeks flowing nearby and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. It is a communal shelter in which we use our own sleeping pads and sleeping bags. We recommend having earplugs for tonight’s stay in case of snoring (it does have a lodge keeper and designated quiet time.)

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 4.8 (6 reviews)
Siohban Z

Experience was Amazing

10 months ago

We entered this trip with some uncertainty, because this was our first real backpacking excursion. The experience was amazing, but certainly pushed us both physically and mentally! This is a super fun trip, but this is also tough trip for a novice hiker. Our guide, Emily, was absolutely phenomenal! The food she prepared was amazing. Every meal felt like a homemade meal vs typical camping meal. She kept the entire group feeling safe and confident! She managed to subtly help each individual person as they needed throughout the journey. The lodge accommodations were a bit tough. It felt like being at a sleep away camp with 20 random adults. This was definitely my least favorite part about the trek. This is a great trip if you are looking to push yourself mentally and physically while enjoying the beauty and energy the mountains offer! It's a great way to disconnect from the normal day to day.

Corrine S

Well taken care of from beginning to end.

10 months ago

This trip was an incredible experience. I love a challange and the hiking was definitely that. The food was excellent and the trip overall was well organized and I felt well taken care of from beginning to end.

Bob C

Ultimate Experience

11 months ago

My daughter and I had the ultimate experience when hiking with Quincy on the most technical part of the long trail in northern Vermont. It was grueling, and we pushed it beyond anything we have before, but he made sure we were safe and well taken care of. Food was excellent, camp vibe was Always positive and everything was coordinated clearly before during and after. Already booked again to go to the Rocky Mountains next year. Highly recommend these guys and we’ve done many trips around the country with other guide companies to compare them to.

See All Guest Reviews!

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