The trailhead for the Long Trail to the summit is about a quarter-mile north of the entrance for the Stowe gondola. You can park there, or there is some limited parking about 100 yds north of the trailhead. There's no sign on the road marking the trailhead, but just as you enter the trail there is a board with information and a sign-in sheet.
This trail is not a long or technically difficult accent, but it is physically strenuous. The first mile is very steep with some rocky sections, but mostly just a tough walk-up. The second mile (up to Eagle Pass) is much rockier and requires some scrambling, although nothing technically difficult, it is unrelentingly steep. In particular, the shallow gully that runs approx. 0.4 mi up to Taft Lodge is virtually all rock, some smooth, some jumbled, at a steep, continuous pitch. From Taft Lodge, you have only 0.6 mi to the summit. The first 0.3 mi is actually one of the easier parts of the trail, but then you come to the summit block. There are about four short, very steep scrambling sections between here and the summit. They really aren't all that difficult, but they are exposed and there's nothing to fall on but rock. We watched a couple (who were strong hikers) turn back only a few hundred yards from the summit because they were too intimidated by one of these sections. So the bottom line is, if you are uncomfortable making a few exposed, class 3-ish sort of moves, take the Profanity Trail instead of the Long Trail to the summit. The summit itself is terrific. You pass the last scrambling section to reveal a huge expanse of rock with great views in all directions. The visibility was not great the day I was there, but you could still make out Lake Champlain and many other Green Mountain peaks. If you are in good physical condition and have a little scrambling experience, this is a very rewarding hike.
none in summer
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