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Sunset Ridge Out-and-Back

Difficult
 4.9 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is the quintessential Vermont hike, offering spectacular 360° views as your reward for climbing a steep pitch.


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Map Key

5.1

Miles

8.2

KM

Out and Back

4,342' 1,323 m

High

1,845' 562 m

Low

2,496' 761 m

Up

2,491' 759 m

Down

18%

Avg Grade (10°)

51%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features River/Creek · Views

Overview

One of the must-do hikes in the Northeast, Mt Mansfield via Sunset Ridge Trail is an experience one will soon not forget. In total, it is about 6.5 miles via an out and back, taking the hiker through forest lands, over rivers, and past a few false summits on the way to the true summit.

The second portion of the route is wonderful, with minor rock scrambling and a lot of hiking on exposed rock faces. The summit itself is the highest peak in Vermont and offers 360° panoramic views of the surrounding areas including the town of Stowe.

Need to Know

Parking fills up extremely quickly, especially on weekends. Over 40,000 take this route annually.

Description

Start your journey on Eagle Cut Trail, just a few steps north of the Underhill State Park parking lot. Eagle Cut Trail is an easy trail that first bisects some vehicle switchbacks on Mountain Road and then follows Mountain Road itself. Not much to see here as it is a means to an end.

A little under a mile later, end your trek on Eagle Cut Trail and CCC Road (also called Mountain Road) and get on Sunset Ridge Trail (there is signage for this trail and the Laura Cowles Trail).

The fun begins here as you traverse through forest, alongside many streams with multiple bridge crossings, and the incline starts in earnest.

After the low woods, the trail emerges into mountain evergreens and eventually exposed rock face up to the summit. Eventually, the trail breaks through the treeline as well.

When Sunset Ridge Trail concludes near the top, be sure to make a quick left onto the Long Trail (Mansfield to VT108) to truly reach the summit and bask in the wonderful view.

Descend the same route, or for a longer descent and crest hiking, follow the Long Trail to CCC Road and back to the Underhill Parking area.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lou Poulas

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 7 votes

#705

Overall
  4.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#3

in Vermont

#705

Overall
92 Views Last Month
10,536 Since Apr 4, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
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86%
14%

Photos

Peaceful and content after a day's hiking, you're sure to enjoy the view from "The Chin" looking down on Stowe.
Apr 4, 2017 near Morristown, VT
Trekking across Mount Mansfield's summit.
May 27, 2018 near Morristown, VT
The summit of Mount Mansfield leaves little to be desired.
Mar 30, 2017 near Morristown, VT
You can drive to the summit of Mt Mansfield or or hike the 2,500 ft in elevation over a one of kind 5.1 mile trail.... you know what to do!
Feb 28, 2018 near Morristown, VT
Don't be discouraged by the Sunset Ridge Trail's strenuous climbing and multiple false summits. The view up top is worth it all!
Mar 30, 2017 near Morristown, VT
Mansfield Summit in May - Nathan Palmisano
Jun 3, 2018 near Morristown, VT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 19 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Nov 24, 2020
Anna Ulrich
Gorgeous views, particularly when the clouds clear. Very exposed and windy at the top, better protected and in and out of brush as you get 1/3 down. 2.5mi
Aug 9, 2019
Maxwell Spiegel
Fun hike
Nov 3, 2018
Elisabeth Frazier
tough conditions, rain, sleet, hail, snow, and 70 mph winds
Sep 14, 2018
Chris Rogers
Camden class trip.
Sep 2, 2018
Clay Foster
Great day for a hike to the chin 6.5mi — 4h 58m
Aug 24, 2018
Lindsay Eichenberger
Jul 18, 2018
Mike Foley
5.6mi
Jun 11, 2017
Sid D