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Mt Ellen, VT - July 28, 2012


Well-known member
Sep 23, 2005
MA & Fayston, VT
Date(s) Hiked: July 28, 2012

Trails(s) Hiked Up : Lower FIS/woods > Southbound > Looking Good > Rim Run to Summit
Trails(s) Hiked Down: Rim Run > Elbow > Northway > Inverness

Total Distance: 2600+ vertical , round trip was about 4.5 hours

Difficulty: Easy to Steep Uphiill/Bushwack to mix of easy and Steep down hill

Conditions: Mixed sun & clouds, 80 degrees at the base, 66 degrees at the summit

Special Required Equipment: Lots of water !

I was at Mt Ellen this weekend and on Sunday we decided to hike to the summit with our dog. We ski at Mt Ellen in the winter and are used to the terrain and often walk the dog around the base area of the mountain. I had previously done a challenging hike up Lower FIS in that late fall and when I asked my son the route he wanted to take he picked Lower FIS rather than the work road or other options. The lower part of the trail is an easy hike but it all changes once you begin the ascent where it crosses under the Slide Brook chair.

On Sunday it was warm and humid and FIS is very overgrown and dense with brush, grasses and ferns. We alternated between bush wacking on the trail and hiking in the dense woods that parallel the trail as we made our way up the mountain. This was not an easy way up the mountain as we were making our own trail through pretty dense cover. We stopped at the Glen House which was open and was a good stop for a water refill.

Here’s a view of the valley from the top of the North Ridge quad:

We reached the summit and met a couple that hiked up from Jerusalem trail. There was a refreshing breeze and nice views to the east and low clouds obscuring the view to the west. We made great time heading down the mountain via a grassy Elbow to a recently mowed Northway and Inverness trail. The dog took a well deserved swim at the Mt Ellen snowmaking pond. It was a challenging hike but a great experience with my son. Next time we’re in VT we’ll be hiking some yet to be determined part of the Monroe Skyline.


Staff member
Jun 4, 2004
NEK by Birth
Glen House was open? Wow. In allege times I hiked ME that is the first time I heard of it being opened (or at least unlocked). And you're right that almost any unmowed ski trail can make for difficult hiking. I had to whack my way through four-five foot weeds and golden rod on Cliffs once a few years back. That stuff hides rocks, holes, and water bars. Ugh!