Mount Hunger - Hiking

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Summary

At 3,538’ Mount Hunger is considerably shorter than Mansfield, but a steep, fun climb and wide open rock summit give it the flavor of a 4,000+ footer. Just shy of four miles roundtrip, a 2,300’ elevation gain means you’ll be working almost the whole time.

Written by

Katie Titterton

Distance

4.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

27.0 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 hours

1-3 hours

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Topographical Map

Mount Hunger Hiking

Review

Intro

The Worcester Range rises across a valley from Mount Mansfield with Route 100 and the villages of Waterbury Center and Stowe between. Visitors focused only on Vermont’s tallest mountain may miss one of the state’s best hikes—and best views—to the right. At 3,538’ Mount Hunger is considerably shorter than Mansfield, but a steep, fun climb and wide open rock summit give it the flavor of a 4,000+ footer. Just shy of four miles roundtrip, a 2,300’ elevation gain means you’ll be working almost the whole time.

What Makes It Great

Many Vermont hikes begin as an uphill walk in the woods and break into interesting topography near the summit. Hunger has charming landmarks throughout: in the first half mile or so, hikers hop over streams on makeshift bridges (sometimes just logs or well-placed rocks). First-time hikers are delighted to find a little waterfall around a mile up the trail—especially inviting on a hot day. Nearer the summit, the trail opens into a little meadow that fills with alpine flowers, birds, and butterflies. A four- or five-foot sheer rock wall kicks off the very technical final few hundred feet. It’s fun to scale; some dogs and hikers may require a boost.

Mount Hunger’s summit is wide open. Though common in other tall ranges (think the Presidentials), not many of Vermont’s peaks share an open ridge trail. Even Camel’s Hump, right on the Long Trail, sees the trail go up, over, and back down under treeline. Hunger’s broad summit ridge invites hikers to keep going along the Skyline Trail to neighboring peaks Stowe Pinnacle and Hogback. Give in to temptation—if you’ve parked a car there or can easily get a ride. Otherwise, make sure you head back down the Waterbury trail.

The views are hard to beat. Vermont’s two most famous mountain faces (Mansfield and Camel’s Hump) feel almost within reach, the Presidentials rise to the east, and the Waterbury Reservoir and Vermont towns dot the valley below. Hunger is filled with locals at all times of year; during early fall, it can feel as busy as Camel’s Hump.

The parking area and trailhead are several miles up Loomis Hill Road—there are a few different ways to reach this access road from Route 100. Incidentally, at the base of Loomis Hill you’ll pass the parking area for the free and highly recommended Center Chains disc golf course.

Who is Going to Love It

Experienced day hikers and well-prepared moderate hikers. The scramble at the summit is a thrill if you’re ready for it, and the steady elevation gain makes the hike a great workout. Both of these factors make Hunger less forgiving to unprepared hikers.

This hike is all about attitude. You can charge right to the summit, but hikers willing to slow down and enjoy the trail will be rewarded with the mountain’s natural beauty, chances to swim and, if you’re a confident forager, snack on mountain berries. And plenty of photo opportunities.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Follow Vt. 100 .3 miles south of the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Turn left toward the Waterbury Center Post Office. At .3 miles, turn left on Maple Street. Just past the Fire Station, turn right on Loomis Hill Road. Go 1.9 miles. Continue left at the fork onto Sweet Farm Rd. Go 1.1 miles. The trailhead is on the right.

Location

Hunger Mountain

44.398023, -72.676133

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