Sterling (Whiteface) Mountain

Sterling (Whiteface) Mountain

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.58190°N / 72.7399°W
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 3715 ft / 1132 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Whiteface in the autumn morning

Whiteface mountain is a steep, heavily wooded mountain in northern Vermont that somehow still manages to offer some views from it's summit and slopes. The mountain itself is best viewed from the farmland north of and above the Lamoille River or from Madonna Peak / Smugglers Notch ski area to the south. It sits within the Mt. Mansfield State Forest and is overshadowed by its famous neighbor to the south with whom it cannot compare. However it also receives far fewer visitors thus is a good destination for those seeking solitude.

The mountain is nicely bisected north to south by the Long Trail which passes very close to the summit. A short side trail leads to the highpoint which is one of a few small rock outcroppings. From these outcrops there are views north and south. There are also views from the Whiteface Shelter and the northern slopes.

Year around enjoyment can be found here. The trails to the summit are fairly well marked and easy to follow although they can be steep and injurous. It can be snow-shoed or postholed in winter. Be aware that this peak is a bit of effort in snow. Be prepared.


Johnson Trailhead:
What most people would consider the primary trailhead for this mountain is outside of Johnson in the Lamoille River Valley. Two miles west of town on Vt. 15 is a new LT trailhead on the north side of the road. Park there, head south across the road, and follow the white blazes for 6.4 trail miles.

Smugglers Notch:
The other end of the LT is accessed via the well known Smugglers Notch on Vt. 108 out of Stow, Vermont. There is a small picnic area with ample parking a little south of the top of the notch. From there it is only 5.4 trail miles.

Smugglers Notch Ski Area (Smuggs):

Getting There

Info on the way.

Red Tape

There are no permits, fees, or other red tape. The shelters are first come, first served.


Camping is allowed in almost all areas, provided that you camp at least 150 ft away from any trail or water supply. Often the woods are quite dense and the ground not so conducive to tenting though.

Whiteface Shelter .5 miles south of the summit on the LT. No tenting or fires.
Bear Hollow shelter 3.1 miles north of summit on the LT
Beaver Meadow Lodge 1 mile south of the summit on the Whiteface Trail

No fees should be paid for using the shelters or camping.

Long Trail

Whiteface MtnFrom the LT through a rare break in the trees.

The Long Trail is a long distance backcountry hiking trail. It begins (or ends) at the Massachusettes state line in the south and continues north to the Canadian border. The LT is approximately 270 miles long.

The US has a well organized and active long distance community and this path sees lots of use by backpackers. About 70 people per year successfully complete the LT and become End to Enders. The southernmost 100 miles is also part of the more famous Appalachian Trail.

For more information on the mountains along the trails please visit:
Long Trail Mountains

For more information on the organizations behind the trails please visit:
Green Mountain Club and LT website

Carbohydrate replacement therapy

You're back at the trailhead and your thoughts naturally turn to food and drink. Where do you go?

Here are some suggestions in and around Johnson:
Long Trail Tavern on Vt. 15 just outside of town is a beverage and burger tradition among LT thruhikers although the trail no longer passes in front of the building.

Plum & Main Restaurant in "downtown" offers up excellent food anytime of day.

There is also a great diner downtown that serves good breakfasts but I can't remember it's name at the moment.