|Peak Summited||2019 Camel's Hump|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||Bugs were not too bad|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
Great hike! Did this in the afternoon following Mount Mansfield in the morning. Both were great hikes, but if I could only choose one, I have to say Mansfield wins (but maybe I just need to explore this mountain a little more:-)).
Overall Summary: Monroe to Dean to Long, up to the Summit, then Long to Monroe for the descent. Moderate to difficult at times. There were bugs, but with bug spray, I ended up with no bites and only swallowed a few ;-). Minimal traffic. On the trail I passed four pairs of hikers and saw two pairs at the summit. Mostly well marked (notes below). Total distance (Garmin) was 7.1 mi, elevation gained was 2959 ft and total time was 3 hours 10 min. (includes stops and I ran for portions).
I agree with some previous posts that heading up to the summit from the south side on the Long Trail would be preferable to going down from the summit on the south side – very steep and the shape/size of the rocks makes for a harder descent.
I started just before 4pm and was able to park in the main parking lot. Because the trail starts on the east side of the mountain, it seemed very Hobbity – green, damp and dark. I'm betting that a morning start to this hike would be wonderful. Towards the end of Dean and for a good portion of the Long Trail which moved closer to the west, the afternoon sun filtered through the trees and gave everything a warm glow. Very pretty.
Dean and Monroe were light moderate to hard moderate. They both had pretty decent grades with lots of roots and rocks, but there were a few stretches where the trail would level off and/or be fairly smooth.
The Long Trail kicked my butt. It being my second hike, my legs weren't fresh, but there were sections of Long that were wicked hard, fresh or not. For a good portion of the trail, you climb rock after rock, each about 1.5 ft-2ft tall. It was like a master stair-climber for 30 min. The closer you get to the top there are more rocks to scramble over and more ledges with beautiful views (and steep drop offs). The Long Trail was hard, but totally worth it in the end!
I liked the climb of Mt. Mansfield a little better, but the summit of Camel's Hump wins out. Maybe it was the time of day, maybe because there were less people there, maybe because of the added peacefulness brought on by the pool of water or perhaps because the climb was a little harder, but it just seemed superior and worth a few extra moments to let it sink in.
The descent was good – Monroe is a solid trail. Lots of rocks and roots, and some slippery wet spots, but overall a pretty steady descent.
If I were to come back, (and I probably will), I would want to check out the Alpine Trail. There is a bomber wreck from WWII that can be seen off the trail and a plaque commemorating the crew and the event near where Monroe meets the parking lot. I also heard that the Burrows trail on the west side of the mountain is pretty good!