OverviewThe Sherburne Pass Trail is the most popular trail to the summit of Pico Peak. Starting from, you guessed it, Sherburne Pass on Route 4, the trail winds up the north side of the peak for 2.7 miles to where it meets the Pico Link Trail at the Pico Camp bunkhouse. From there, the easy trail gets a little more rocky and difficult but is only 0.4 miles to the summit amidst three buildings and the top of a ski lift. Pico is the 6th highest peak in Vermont and is located just north of higher Killington Peak.
The trail is spectacular in early October when the leaves are changing with excellent views from the summit of other Green Mountain peaks as well as the Adirondacks to the west. It rises about 1900 feet from the trailhead to the summit and will take an average hiker 2-4 hours to complete round trip. You can combine this trail with a short loop option as well.
Be prepared for crowds as this is a very popular hike. It could be done any time of the year but during ski season, it's best to avoid this one except when the Pico Mountain Ski Resort is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Getting ThereSee the Getting There section of the main page for directions to the trailhead.
Route DescriptionFrom the trailhead, head south on the wide trail and sign in at the Register.
The first part of the trail is a pleasant hike through scenic forest.
At the 1.1 mile mark though you will come to a couple of sinkholes. This is called Sink Hole Brook and it disappears into a small pond on the right side of the trail.
At about 2 miles, you will come into the open on a ski run for about 50 yards before the trail takes a left back into the forest.
At 2.7 miles, you will come to Pico Camp, a bunkhouse with room to sleep 12.
On the right side of the building is a signed trail junction for the Pico Link Trail. Take this turnoff noting it is now only .4 miles to the summit.
The Pico Link climbs up through steeper and rockier terrain before coming to a maintenance road. Cross the road and go slightly left to get back on the trail for a short distance to the summit.
You will come out to the top of a ski lift next to an Information/First Aid building.
Climb the stairs to this building and walk to the back of it and continue to a spot between this and two other buildings. On your right will be a small higher rockier area with a blue painted dot on the highest rock. This is the summit.
If you want excellent views south and west, you can continue to the farthest building from the ski lift and find an almost hidden path behind it that ducks back into the woods. Just a couple minute's walk brings you to a viewpoint to the south, and then farther down the path, a rocky viewpoint to the west.
You can either return via the same path you came up, or, if you want to make a short loop, descend down the ski run to the left of the big Pico Peak sign at the summit that has the ski run map on it.
Go down this run until the maintenance road appears on your right. Then, walk the road for a short distance until it comes to the part of the trail where it came out on a ski run for about 50 yards. Head down the path through the middle of the ski run grass to where it ducks into the forest on your right and return to the trailhead.
Essential GearNothing needed in summer. Definitely want a camera in October. If you are hiking in winter, snowshoes would likely be needed. Doubtful you'd need an axe on this mostly gentle trail.
Note that the only water on the trail is at the Sink Hole Brook.