Killington Peak via Bucklin Trail

Mountain:  Killington Peak (4241')
Trails:  Bucklin Trail, Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, Killington Spur
Region:  VT - Southern  
Location:  Mendon, VT
Rating:  Moderate/Difficult  
Features:  Summit, views, 4000-footer, lodge/restaurant, fire tower, brook
Distance:  7.2 miles  
Elevation Gain:  2500 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 4:55  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 7:07  
Season:  Fall
Hike Date:  10/11/2008 (Saturday)  
Weather:  Clear
Author:  Kevin Cummings

Route Summary   

This is a hike up to Killington Peak where there are far-reaching panoramic views to the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondacks of New York, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

  • Start on the blue-blazed Bucklin Trail and follow it for 3.3 miles all the way to the junction with the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. You will cross Brewers Brook on bridges after 0.2 mile and again at 1.2 miles into the hike. Bucklin Trail closely parallels Brewers Brook for about the first 1.4 miles of the hike. The first two miles climb gently and then the ascent becomes quite steep.
  • Upon reaching the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail (they run together at this point), turn right and follow the white-blazed LT/AT for just 0.1 mile.
  • Next, turn left onto Killington Spur which will lead you to the summit after a 0.2-mile pitch straight to the top with some scrambling up large rocks to the open, rocky peak.
  • Descend via the same route.

Place         Split
Bucklin Trailhead (1800') 0.0 0.0
Killington Peak (4241') 3.6 3.6
Bucklin Trailhead (1800') 3.6 7.2



Map of hike route to Killington Peak (map by Webmaster)

Trail Guide   

I would rate this route to Killington Peak as moderately strenuous. The initial approximately 1.5 miles is a nice walk along a brook; the next approximately 1.5 miles is a steady climb with the last 1,000 feet being a hand-over-hand scramble to the mountain's summit.

We did the climb on a busy Saturday during the October Columbus Day weekend and ran into less than eight fellow hikers on trail. Once we got to Killington Peak the crowds were there because of chairlift access; other than that we were in beautiful solitude.

The views from Killington Peak are spectacular in all directions. Well worth the three-hour hike up.

Towards the end of the hike you run into Cooper Lodge on the Appalachian Trail / Long Trail segment.

I strongly recommend this hike.

VT - Southern

  Driving Directions   

The Bucklin Trailhead is located in Mendon, Vermont, not far from Route 4.

From Rt. 4:
  • Turn south onto Wheelerville Road off of Rt. 4 in Mendon, Vermont. This turnoff can be found 5.1 miles east of the northern junction of Rt. 4 and Rt. 7 in Rutland; or 4.1 miles west of the Inn at Long Trail in Sherburn Pass.
  • Follow Wheelerville Road for 4.1 miles.
  • Park at the turnout on the left at Brewers Corner, located on a sharp corner of Wheelerville Road.


Cooper Lodge, located 100 feet from the junction of the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail and the Killington Spur, is a bunk house for campers. At 3,850 feet, the lodge is the highest shelter on the Long Trail.

Shortly downhill from Killington Peak are facilities associated with the resort. The ski lodge at the summit has restrooms and a cafe with light food and beverage.

More Killington Peak Trail Reports   



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