Mount Mansfield- Underhill, VT
Mt. Mansfield was a surprisingly fun hike. Well, more fun for me the second time I hiked it than the first. My first time hiking it I parked at the parking lot off route 108 which was pretty easy to find as it’s near the ski lift parking lot. We hiked up the long trail to “the chin” or the highest peak of the mountain and that’s when the clouds and bad weather began rolling in. By time we got to the summit there were no views and rain was coming down pretty hard. We decided to continue onto our plan of the 6-8mile loop. We reached Cliff trail and that’s when the weather really turned on us – hail, thick fog and bad winds. We decided it was in our best interest to walk down the ski slope as we could barely see a foot in front, the lifts were easy to follow down visually. My knees and legs did not like walking down a ski slope in the rain, It probably took me 2 hours to walk 1 mile down due to the bad condition. However, seeing the ski lift parking lot made me feel so much better! Plus, went to a dog-friendly hotel that night and got a hot shower and tried to not think about how painful that hike was.
Attempt two of Mt. Mansfield was a lot more pleasant than attempt one. This time I started at the parking lot at the end of Stevensville Rd. We took the Butler’s lodge trail up to the long trail. Then we took the long trail to “the chin” and had some amazing views! Some parts were kind of steep and required some rock climbing-ish maneuvers but Java did amazing! After the summit, we took the sunset ridge trail down to the CCC trail and ended back on the Frost trail. Overall the descent was rather mild and was so much more enjoyable than attempt one! I would definitely recommend this loop to anyone who fully wants to experience hiking Mt. Mansfield!