Thursday, July 18, 2024

Exploring Camels Hump: A Hiker’s Journey

Exploring Camels Hump: A Hiker’s Journey

The final time I hiked over Camels Hump Mountain, a 4000-footer in Vermont, was in 2008 once I hiked the Lengthy Path. Now in 2024, some 16 years later, my aim was to hike all the opposite trails that go up, down, and round Camels Hump as a result of I’m pursuing the Facet-by-Facet patch given out by the Inexperienced Mountain Membership for climbing all the trails that result in the Lengthy Path from the edges.

The Facet-to-Facet path checklist is fairly modest by trail-bagging requirements, with solely 88 trails totaling 166 miles. However they’re distributed alongside the 273-mile size of the Lengthy Path and might require lots of driving to get to. There’s the added problem that a lot of their trailheads are on seasonal forest service roads which may be inaccessible in the course of the winter, successfully limiting the portion of the 12 months that they are often hiked. Just a few trails additionally require climbing parts of the Lengthy Path, corresponding to shelter spurs, so I’ll need to re-hike parts of the Lengthy Path once more to achieve them, however it’s all good enjoyable.

The Burrows Trail is a popular way to climb Camel Hump
The Burrows Path is a well-liked approach to climb Camel Hump

Camels Hump is a well-liked vacation spot in Vermont, and when you can climb the height by way of the Lengthy Path, there are a number of different routes potential as nicely. Some trails loop across the mountain, so you possibly can create intricate routes that observe a number of trails. That was my plan for this journey.

Right here’s a turn-by-turn route abstract that lists the paths I adopted, the space in miles for every, and the route of journey, which I wanted to jot down down so I wouldn’t head within the improper route at among the junctions. The aim of this recreation was to hike as many trails of their entirety with out repeating sections. The full distance of this journey was just below 15 miles with 5200′ of elevation achieve.

  1. Forest Metropolis Path – 0.8 East
  2. Burrows Forest Metropolis Connector – 0.2 Northwest
  3. Burrows Path – 2.1 Northeast
  4. Lengthy Path  – 0.8 North
  5. Alpine Path – 1.8 South, then West
  6. Lengthy Path – 0.5 North
  7. Monroe Path – 1.8 East
  8. Dean Path 0.3 South West
  9. Hump Brook Tenting Space Spur – 0.2SE
  10. Campsite
  11. Hump Brook Tenting Space Spur – 0.2W
  12. Monroe Path – 1.3 East
  13. Monroe Path – 1.3 West
  14. Dean Path – 0.8 Southwest
  15. Allis Path – 0.3 South East
  16. Lengthy Path – 0.2 West
  17. Forest Metropolis Path-  2.2 West

I needed to ford a small stream crossing close to the start of the Forest Metropolis Path: the Inexperienced Mountain Membership was constructing a brand new one. Not that it issues all that a lot as a result of many of the trails I adopted on Camels Hump has water streaming down them. That is Vermont in spite of everything!

I adopted that path to the Forest Metropolis – Burrows Connector after which headed up the Burrows Path, which is sort of widespread. It begins pretty simple after which turns into harder by way of rockiness as you ascend, climbing steadily till you attain a clearing on the map labeled as Hut Clearing. From there, it’s simply 0.5 miles to the summit of Camels Hump.

The Hump Tent Site has a bear box.
The Hump Tent Website has a bear field.

There, I ran right into a thru-hiker named Garmin, whom I’d met two days earlier on the Birch Glen shelter once I’d hiked up the Beane Path for my side-to-side. She was sitting on the summit for almost an hour once I arrived. We mentioned our hellos and chatted briefly earlier than she took off and headed north. I quickly adopted, additionally heading north and descending to the Alpine Path.

The Alpine Path loops across the east aspect of Camels Hump. Though it’s not listed on my Avenza map, the path signage lists an Alpine Path North and an Alpine Path South. The Alpine Path North is sort of ledgy with intermittent views to the east. These ledges had been slippery as a result of they had been moist, so I took it simple, not desirous to fall. The north part ends at a junction with the Monroe Path earlier than turning into Alpine Path South, passing the wreckage of an airplane crash. You possibly can nonetheless see the place the touchdown gear was connected to the wing. The path climbs again as much as the Lengthy Path simply south of the summit, and I continued to summit Camels Hump for the second time that day.

Airplane crash wreckage
Airplane crash wreckage

I felt drained, particularly since I used to be carrying an in a single day pack to sleep on the mountain. So I descended by way of the Monroe Path and turned up the Dean Path to achieve the Hump Tent website. This can be a giant tent website with tent platforms, a bear field, and a delegated consuming space. I pitched my tent, ate a sizzling meal, after which dozed for some time earlier than falling asleep till the subsequent morning.

I used to be up early, ate a hearty breakfast, and adopted the Monroe Path down the east aspect, solely to hike again up once more. I nonetheless needed to return to the height’s west aspect to achieve my automobile. I adopted the Dean Path once more to the Allis Path, which was essentially the most stunning path in Camels Hump and one which in all probability doesn’t get a lot use. it’s solely 0.3 miles lengthy however passes a advantageous viewpoint of the summit with a bench and a plaque honoring David Morse. It reads “1914-1999.  Could all who move this manner be impressed to like this land as he did. Sept 2000. Montpelier part. GMC.”

Camels Hump from the Morse plaque
Camels Hump from the Morse plaque

I continued again to the Lengthy Path and adopted it south to the Montclair Glen Lodge, the place I’d spent the evening once I hiked the Lengthy Path in 2008. Solely that previous shelter had since been torn down and changed with a brand new one in 2009 (see prime picture). From there, I hiked down the part of the Forest Metropolis Path that I hadn’t hiked beforehand again to my automobile.

What struck me on this backpacking journey, the primary I’ve executed in Vermont in almost 16 years, is how well-maintained the Inexperienced Mountain Membership trails are. Whereas the GMC’s constitution is to guard the Lengthy Path, it’s clear that in addition they put an infinite quantity of effort into protecting the aspect trails in fine condition, too, significantly in a high-use space like Camels Hump. Given the small dimension of the GMC in contrast to an enormous group just like the AMC, that’s fairly spectacular. I can’t wait to discover the remainder of the side-to-side trails on future hikes.

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