Mount Hunger via Waterbury Trail

Straight up the slope of Mount Hunger to its panoramic summit.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
5.6 km
Ascent
696 m
Descent
696 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
386 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
19˚
Mount Hunger via Waterbury Trail Map

Mount Hunger is one of the taller mountains near Stowe, Vermont. Like other tall mountains in the region, it is capped by a subalpine zone of shrubby conifers and bare granite. This makes for incredible, 360-degree views during clear weather. From Mount Hunger, you can see up and down the spine of its range, and across the valley to the Green Mountains and Mount Mansfield—the tallest in the state.

Description

There are a few ways to reach the top of Mount Hunger, but the one described here is the most direct route from the Stowe side. It is the Waterbury Trail, and it leads more or less straight up the mountainside–not very long but quite steep. You’ll quickly travel from lower elevation mixed hardwood forest up to the spruce-fir zone, and eventually into the wind-warped subalpine. All along the way are rocks and roots to step over, but nothing too difficult. At one point, you must cross a flowing stream, but it’s easy to step across on rocks unless flows are especially high. This trail should be avoided during the spring mud season or anytime after heavy rain because some sections become awash with water and mud. The trail’s final obstacle is a short section of low-angle scrambling guarding the summit, but it’s manageable if you’ve made it that far.

The mountaintop is broad and relatively flat, with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the view. There is no shelter from the elements, though, so you may not want to linger for long. Expect chilly and windy conditions up high, even if the weather starts out pleasant at the trailhead.

Sources: https://fpr.vermont.gov/putnam-cc-state-forest https://www.summitpost.org/mount-hunger/213410

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area