Stowe Pinnacle Trail

A must-do hike in Stowe, to a granite dome with 360-degree views of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
4.9 km
Ascent
470 m
Descent
470 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
343 m
High Point
787 m
Gradient
16˚
VIEW ON MAP
Stowe Pinnacle Trail Map

Description

Stowe Pinnacle is a knob of rock on a mountainside above the town of Stowe. It’s a local classic hike, and should not be missed if you spend any time in Stowe during summer or fall. The steep-sided formation is not the tallest summit around, but it still grants an amazing view due to its rocky, nearly treeless summit. The hike is somewhat challenging because of its steepness but follows a well-maintained trail.

Beginning from the trailhead on Upper Hollow Road, the trail heads uphill right away and only gets steeper as you go. It’s a cool hike through typically moist Vermont forest, where you’ll navigate rocks, roots, and mud the whole way. In places, you’ll find rock stairs, wooden ladders, and even steeper parts that require hand-and-foot scrambling. The steepest part comes just before the summit, but caution and determination will see you through to the top. Note that children and dogs can complete this trail, but maybe not the smallest or timider among them. Use your good judgment and don’t take unnecessary risks.

When you’ve had your fill of the views (or had enough of the weather–it can be quite cold and windy), return the way you came, being extra careful descending the steep parts. Instead of turning back right away, you can continue your hike up the mountain on Hogback Trail, which eventually reaches Skyline Trail and the top of Hogback Mountain.

The Stowe Pinnacle trailhead has very limited parking, so it’s best to come early in the morning or on a weekday when it won’t be as popular. If parking is full, you can instead do the Pinnacle Meadows Trail, which is shorter and a bit easier, but still includes the exciting final scramble to the summit.

Sources: https://gostowe.com/activity/hiking/ https://fpr.vermont.gov/putnam-cc-state-forest https://www.summitpost.org/stowe-pinnacle-trail/162722

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, November

Features

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area