The final 21.3-mile homestretch of Vermont’s Long Trail treks north up the 3,668-foot summit of Jay Peak before descending to the Canadian border and then Journey’s End. Jay is not the only challenge of the day, though: as with much of the Long Trail, the route packs 7,600 feet of climbing into and undulating and rugged traverse.
Start hiking northwest from Tillotson camp on the first pair of climbs up Tillotson Peak and Haystack Mountain. From Haystack, the LT drops over 1,000 feet to Hazens Notch, before looping around Sugarbush Mountain to take on Buchanan Mountain. From the top of Buchanan enjoy views in all directions, especially northwest to Jay Peak (where the trail heads next).
After descending north along a ridge, cross VT-242 to arrive at Jay Camp, the base of the 1.5-mile, 1,500-foot climb to Jay Peak. Nearing the top of Jay, hikers are rewarded with more views back south over the expanse of the Long Trail. Navigate ski trails up to (and down from) the summit before descending down the Laura Woodward shelter.
From the Woodward shelter, the LT climbs the southern slopes of North Jay, one of three shorter ascents before the trail tracks north (past the Latitude 45 point) to the Canadian Border and then down to its northern entry point on Journey’s End Road.
Shelters: Tillotson Camp, Hazens Notch Camp, Jay Camp, Laura Woodward, Shooting Star, Journey's End
PRINT & GO: To download a PDF of this route, go to backpacker.com/printandgo.
-Mapped by Berne Broudy, AuthenticOutdoors.com
MORE LONG TRAIL MAPS
Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6 | Section 7 | Section 8 | Section 9 | Section 10 | Section 11 | Section 12
- Distance: 34.4
Location: 44.799111, -72.55096
Section 12 begins heading north/northeast from the Tillotson Camp. Ahead the trail ascends Tillotson Peak and then Haystack Mountain.
Location: 44.823978, -72.538605
Summit Haystack Mountain and pass a junction with the Haystack Summit Trail. Ahead the LT descends to Hazens Notch.
Location: 44.841374, -72.52505
Cross VT-58 and continue as the LT jogs west before turning back east to climb Sugarloaf Mountain.
Location: 44.849711, -72.515125
Pass a junction with a side trail to the Hazens Notch Camp. Ahead, the LT climbs Buchanan Mountain.
Location: 44.878787, -72.509986
Reach the summit of Buchanan Mountain; just ahead, the LT passes an overlook atop Chet's Lookout, a small boulder that affords views to the north. Ahead the LT descends to a saddle before climbing Domey's Dome and Gilpin Mountain, two summits along the same ridgeline.
Location: 44.903805, -72.496818
Reach the top of Gilpin Mountain, then begin descending to VT-242
Location: 44.912665, -72.504141
Cross VT-242; just ahead the LT meets a junction to Jay Camp (to the left).
Location: 44.913762, -72.510253
From Jay Camp, ascend to the north end of the Jay Loop and then continue northwest on the LT heading up Jay Peak (a 1.6-mile, 1500-foot climb). Near the top of the climb, the LT criss-crosses ski trails before the summit.
Location: 44.924013, -72.525412
Jay Peak (3,858'): Enjoy views in all directions from the top: Big and Little Jay are to the northwest. Descend following white marks down slope. At a T-junction ahead, worm through the snow fence to continue. This section is not currently marked.
Location: 44.937237, -72.534765
The LT passes the Laura Woodward shelter. Ahead the trail climbs to skirt the summit of North Jay before continuing northeast.
Location: 44.969649, -72.511694
The LT arrives at the Shooting Star shelter, and then continues heading northeast from behind the shelter (not well marked).
Location: 44.97567, -72.508159
Reach the summit of Burnt Mountain; then walk northeast along the top of the ridge before descending northwest to VT-105.
Location: 44.986874, -72.504301
Cross VT-105 and then begin climbing Carleton Mountain.
Location: 44.992067, -72.492201
Summit Carleton Mountain; pause at the overlook or continue northeast on the LT. Ahead the trail begins its final descent.
Location: 45.008666, -72.488187
The LT skirts the U.S./Canadian border before turning east for its final stretch.
Location: 45.004342, -72.466663
The LT passes a junction to Journey's End Camp.
Location: 45.002394, -72.465963
The LT ends at a trailhead/parking lot on Journey's End Road.
Views from Jay Peak
Location: 44.922817, -72.524266
Looking south from Jay Peak
Tillotson Camp Junction
Location: 44.799906, -72.551454
Location: 44.880979, -72.506673
An overlook atop Buchanan Mountain
Location: 44.891634, -72.499509
Long Trail at Dusk
Location: 44.90902, -72.501312
Scrambling up Jay
Location: 44.922645, -72.5243
On top of Jay
Location: 44.923454, -72.524956
Laura Woodward Shelter
Location: 44.937071, -72.534875
Shooting Start Shelter
Location: 44.969717, -72.511654
Through the Ferns
Location: 44.99255, -72.498686
Location: 45.002926, -72.489683
The LT passes through the mid-way point between the equator and the north pole.
Location: 45.008809, -72.488179
An obelisk marking the U.S./Canadian border
Long Trail Register
Location: 45.003599, -72.466189
A trail register at the north end of the Long Trail.