There are hikes, and there are hikes. I’m not sure what the difference is between hiking and hiking, but I do know one of those words is in italics. But, if you’re looking for an amazing, under-the-radar hiking experience, look no further… I present: The Camels Hump. This hike is considered one of the Green Mountains’ best-kept hiking secrets. It’s Vermont’s third-highest mountain, and on a clear day you can see forever. Not literally, but pretty far.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, the mountain itself has been the subject of local lore since time immemorial (or at least since European explorers first recorded it in the 1600s as “the resting lion”). It was first designated as “Camel’s Rump” in 1798 when cartographer Ira Allan bestowed that loving moniker, which changed to the more eloquent “Camel’s Hump” in 1830. Camels Hump State Park was gifted to Vermont by Colonel Joseph Battell in 1911.
Against all odds the park has been preserved and kept out of the greedy hands of developers, communications towers, and ski resorts (though they really missed an opportunity to hold a ski competition where a local kid goes up against a snobby German skier with a beautiful mane of golden hair to “save the mountain” like in those awesome ’80s movies, see fig. 1).
The Camel’s Hump Trail is a moderate 6 miles, and you can also hit up the Burrows Trail, for another 2.4 miles to the top. There is primitive camping allowed off the trails, and in the lower elevations. However, the Green Mountain Club does offer year-round camping and lodges.