Long Trail (Section 12): Tillotson Camp to Journey's End

This 21-mile homestretch of Vermont's Long Trail conquers one more mammoth Green Mountain summit (Jay Peak) before trekking north to the Canadian border and Journey's End.

Photo: Berne Broudy & Mike Donohue

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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

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6 | Section 7 | Section 8 | Section 9 | Section 10 | Section 11 | Section 12


Trail Facts

  • 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

Chet’s Lookout

Location: 44.880979, -72.506673

An overlook atop Buchanan Mountain

Domey’s Dome

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

Latitude 45

Location: 45.002926, -72.489683

The LT passes through the mid-way point between the equator and the north pole.

Border Obelisk

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.

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