Washington County High Point Trip Report

Mt Ellen and Camel's Hump (4,083 ft)

Dates: June 23, 1997 and August 4, 1998
Author: Fred Lobdell

General: Their respective topographic maps show Mt. Ellen with a summit elevation of 4,083 feet and Camel's Hump as being 4,080+ feet. The Green Mountain Club lists both summits as being 4,083 feet. As noted by Roy Schweiker, however, the topographic map shows the triangle that presumably marks the summit of Camel's Hump as being just outside the Washington county line. If the map is accurate both as to the elevation and the placement of the summit, then Ellen is probably the true county high point. At the present state of our knowledge, I would regard this as being "too close to call" and I would strongly recommend climbing both peaks. Besides, Camel's Hump is a very nice hike to a rocky, open summit with fine views in all directions.

Mt. Ellen is accessible via a number of side trails, one of which I will mention below. I did it as a ridge line hike along the Long Trail from Lincoln Gap to the south to Appalachian Gap to the north. For a route up Mt. Ellen, take VT 17 from its intersection with VT 116 north of Rocky Dale east about 3 miles to Jerusalem Road. Turn right on Jerusalem Road and follow it about 1.3 miles to a fork, and take the left fork. Continue on this for about 0.6 mile to the trailhead for the Jerusalem Trail. Park here.

Directions to summit: If you're doing the ridge line hike from Lincoln Gap, you may recall that the summit of Mt. Abraham is reached at 2.6 miles from the gap. Continue north on the white-blazed Long Trail another 3.7 miles to the summit of Mt. Ellen, which is marred by some ski equipment. From here it is another 5.3 miles, over the summit of General Stark Mountain, to Appalachian Gap. Thus, the total one-way distance for this hike is 11.6 miles.

Via the Jerusalem Trail, it is an 8.6 mile round trip. Take the blue-blazed Jerusalem Trail 2.5 miles to its intersection with the Long trail. Turn right (south) and reach Ellen's summit in another 1.8 miles. Return the same way.

Camel's Hump access: From Exit 11 on I-89, take US 2 east about a mile to the village of Richmond. Take a right on Bridge Street and cross the Winooski River. Turn right again and then take the first left; you should be heading generally south on Huntington Road. Take this about 9 miles, through Huntington to the village of Huntington Center. Here, on the north side of town, there will be signs for Camel's Hump State Park. Turn left and then right after about a half mile, following the signs. About 1.3 miles from the last intersection, there will be a fork. The right fork leads to the trailhead for the Forest City Trail, which is longer and has more elevation gain that the Burrows Trail. Take the left fork to its end where there is ample parking for a couple of dozen cars. The trail begins at the far end of the parking area.

Directions to summit: Hike up the blue-blazed Burrows Trail 2.4 miles to its junction with the Long Trail. Turn right (south) and ascend, somewhat more steeply, the white-blazed Long Trail 0.3 mile to the open summit.

This hike gains about 2,350 feet of elevation.