Hiking Camel's Hump
A short drive from Waterbury is Camel's Hump, the state's fourth-highest peak at 4,083 feet. (It's also the state's highest mountain without a ski area.) Its distinctive profile is clearly visible from a number of points in central Vermont, including Interstate 91; once the site of a Victorian-era summit resort, the mountain attracts hundreds of hikers annually, who ascend a demanding trail to the hump's barren, windswept peak. This isn't exactly a place to get away from crowds on sunny summer or fall foliage weekends, but if you're a serious hiker it's well worth the effort for the spectacular vistas and the alpine terrain along the high ridge.
One popular round-trip loop-hike is about 7.5 miles (plan on 6 hr. or more of hiking time), departing from the Couching Lion Farm, 8 miles southwest of Waterbury on Camel's Hump Road (ask locally for exact directions). At the summit, seasonal rangers are on hand to answer questions and admonish hikers to stay on the rocks to avoid trampling the rare and delicate alpine grasses, which in Vermont are found only here and on Mount Mansfield.
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