Bucklin Trail to Killington Peak is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rutland, Vermont that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,470 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

This is a hike up to Killington Peak where there are far-reaching panoramic views to the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondacks of New York, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

21 days ago

As most have pointed out, this hike is very easy for the first 1 1/2 mile. It definitely gets tougher though! The last half mile (as of 10/19) was very icy. It made for a do-able, but challenging ascent to the top. Make sure to dress in layers, as the top of the mountain is significantly colder and has high winds. With all that said...the view is worth it!

21 days ago

A friend and I went on this hike hoping to see pretty foliage but realizing we were a little too late and most leaves were on the ground. She is a more avid hiker than I am, I typically stick to more moderate trails. Looking at the reviews people said it was pretty decent until the very top so I thought I’d go for it. Needless to say this trail kicked my butt, and hers too, but I struggled the most. The last quarter-mile is intense like people say especially now as it’s covered with ice. But even the mile before that is pretty much straight up with lots of rocks, mud and fallen leaves, even some patches of ice. So I think we hit the trail really the latest time in the season before it gets kinda dangerous. You definitely need micro spikes to get up that last quarter mile with all the ice. But overall it was an adventure is hike and Cooper’s lodge with a nice place to stop and rest and even a great place to spend the night if hiking the Appalachian trail.

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike, the last 200 yards I stopped, too steep for the shoes I had and did not want to take a chance on falling. But I will be back to get to the Summit.

hiking
26 days ago

I went into this hike figuring that the top would be socked in with fog. I won't repeat what everyone else has described about the challenge of the trail. It is accurate. The final climb did have some ice though that added to the challenge. I hunkered down for a snack at the top behind a ledge. Just as I was starting my descent the fog lifted and I was able to get some really neat pictures. Totally worth the effort. My first 4,000 footer.

1 month ago

Seems like a breeze, until you’re JUST about at the peak! Didn’t realize there was tram service up there until we redirected some not well-dressed tourists back to the tram as they started making their way down the steep rocky long trail in loafers and polos! Beautiful waterfall stop highly recommended to sit and listen to the white noise of nature.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike! Made it in around 5.5 hours. We hiked this mountain in October and the view was incredible!

1 month ago

We completed this hike in beautiful weather earlier today. Everything that the others have written about the trail starting gently and then finishing with demanding scramble is ‘spot on’. The views from the top were however absolutely magnificent and rendered all of the hard work getting there, worthwhile. We would thoroughly recommend this walk.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail! Like everyone else mentioned, starts off easy peasy with most of the elevation gained during the last bit which can be a bit challenging. We were blessed with clear blue skies and a gorgeous day to complete this hike up Killington. Highly recommend.

2 months ago

great trail

hiking
2 months ago

I would echo everything Josh S and Emily Gilson wrote. A very beautiful and picturesque hike throughout. Make sure you bring a jacket, plenty of water and bug spray (if you are an insect meal like me). We made it up and down in around 4 hours. I don’t recommend this for small children or dogs with short legs.

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful trail. Just wish I had more time to make it up to the top. Got to the 2.7 mile mark, but had to turn around because the trails were still covered in snow and they were getting pretty steep. Plus darkness was creeping up fast once the sun set over the mountain. The first three-fourth of the way up was pretty moderate. No crazy slopes until the last quarter and that was where all the snow and ice were at. I was able to get 2 mile mark in 20 minutes by running. Make sure you allow yourself sometime to go up this mountain. I believe about 2 hours up and 2 hours down should be good enough.

3 months ago

Great hike and quite challenging. The first 2 miles were a breeze. Then it got steep. Trail was well marked and maintained. Last 1/4 mile after Coopers lodge to the peak was super steep and had large boulders to climb. The hike was worth every step as the views from the peak are amazing! I highly recommend the climb!

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a hard hike. Really rocky and super steep at the end. Every bit of 8 miles round trip. Roaring brooks, a waterfall, Coopers Lodge, a cool summit and absolutely amazing views from the top. Fairly challenging and definitely fun.

3 months ago

Awesome views at the top.

As written before, the trail has a dual personality. After around 2.1 miles, you've hiked about 60 percent of the distance but only about 25 percent of the elevation. Once you start climbing, it's a slow grind to the top.

The only views are at the top, so I wouldn't recommend hiking if it's foggy or the top is in the clouds. That would be a long and hard hike not to see anything.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike, gorgeous trail. This is well maintained and it being my 1st Vermont hike was impressed by how well maintained the trail was. A very accessible trail head makes the start of the day even better. Well done Vermont. Tent platforms above Cooper Lodge makes it a nice play to say as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved the hike! My wife and I are always looking for a challenging workout. First 2.2 miles were gently rolling. The next 1.4 miles to Long Trail were strenuous, but enjoyable. It was great looking through the trees to Pico and Ramshead peaks as we gained elevation. Cooper Lodge was neat... never been to it before. The last part of the hike was interesting... steep, but not very long, and plenty of foot holds. Views were fantastic. 360 degree views. Gorgeous.

4 months ago

Great hike!! Not for the weak though! Beautiful views!

hiking
4 months ago

The first 2 miles are a stroll through the woods, the next mile and a half to summit is a pretty steep incline. Good workout, did it under 3 hours but didnt spend much time on summit.

4 months ago

Lovely hike on rolling terrain. Would disagree with some others opinions about how difficult the ascent was. Yes, climb was steady but not grueling or too taxing. Scramble at the top wasn’t long enough to get you winded before emerging into an open summit. Good amount of friendly people up there today. Enjoyable hike. 4:05 with stop for waterfall, summit pictures and my hiking partners asthma attack.

hiking
5 months ago

Excellent, well-maintained trail with amazing views. I purposely hiked it on a day the gondola was not running, so I had the summit to myself for a (very windy) 5-10 minutes. The first 2 1/4 miles is basically a walk in the woods. The next 1 1/4 mile is a steep climb up to the Long/Appalachian Trails, gaining roughly 1,800 feet. The climb moderates along the short Long Trail stretch, but the final 0.2 miles along the Killington Peak Spur is a near-vertical scramble, the upper part of which is exposed. The round trip took me about 4.5 hours, including half an hour at the summit. 2.5 hours of that was going up, 1.5 hours of THAT in the last 1.8 miles. The round-trip distance as measured by my GPS is 8 miles (4 each way).

This trail was DIFFICULT, not moderate. The last 0.2 miles to the summit is a near-vertical scramble, though it is supposedly possible to avoid this by using a ski trail from the Cooper Shelter. The bypass may make it the upper end of moderate. You will want a jacket for the summit, as it was VERY windy and cool at 4,230 feet even though it was nearly 80 degrees at the base. If one desires, this could be an overnight trip as the Cooper Shelter is close to the summit.

hiking
5 months ago

Took us 5 hours, this is including a long break at the mini waterfalls and a long lunch at the top. A walk in the woods for the first half of the trail which was a nice warm-up. The last quarter mile was a steep rock scramble, essentially climbing stairs. The rock scrambles were in the shade which was nice. The bare summit on a clear day made for amazing views. A few other people were at the summit enjoying the weather and view. A quiet, polite, and friendly group. My calves and glutes were very sore the day after. Hiked in trail runners. Be careful on the way down.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful trail.
We climbed it on a June morning in pleasant sunshine.
Started relatively flat for the first half then progressively steeper.
The last couple of hundred feet were a rock scramble and was too steep for us (58 & 63) particularly as the peak was by now above the cloud-line, so with no prospect of views and some regrets we turned back.
Rained most of the way back but we still felt elated by the hike.
Definitely recommended.
Aching cheek muscles from smiling so much!
Did not realise there was a cafe at the top. Should have researched better.

Amended to add.... Having done a few more trails now (this was my first) - it is NOT moderate. It is HARD.
Anything as steep as this was in the final stages (a near vertical rock scramble) is HARD (Particularly taking into account the length of the trail - 4 miles each way)
Up until then moderate was a fair rating.

snowshoeing
8 months ago

Really nice trail although we didn't make it to the top. Right now the first half of the hike is mud and ice. The second half has enough snow to use short snowshoes, and most of us just wore microspikes the entire time. Well marked and great for dogs and people. :)

hiking
8 months ago

Monday 2/19/2018

Weather: trail entirely snow-covered, beautiful and sunny, some strong wind at peak but trail until peak was below treeline so wind was generally minimal to moderate, very spotty light rain starting around 3:00 pm

9:45 am - 1:20 pm ascent from Bucklin Trailhead to Killington Peak Lodge
1:50 pm - 3:45 pm descent from Killington Peak Lodge to Bucklin Trailhead

The Bucklin Trailhead is accessible via an easily drivable dirt road that seems unlikely to become difficult to drive even in moderate snow or rain. There are no bathrooms at the trailhead, but there is a board with some trail information and maps.

We followed Bucklin Trail (blue blazes) for about 3.4 miles. Our time on Bucklin Trail was entirely under tree cover and the snow on the trail was generally powdery but packed down enough that big hiking boots would have been sufficient footwear (we wore micro spikes which was also fine). The incline for the first 30-40 minutes was slight, but increased suddenly to moderately strenuous after we crossed the last of a series of bridges.

We turned right on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail (white blazes) and followed it for 0.2 miles to a wooden cabin with tarp-covered windows. After passing the cabin and some snowboarders who pointed us onward up the Long Trail, the snow became very powdery and the trail was not nearly as packed down as it had been. We continued on the Long Trail for about 100 steps until we hit the sign for the Killington Spur where we turned left (really more like continued straight) following blue blazes. The Spur was short (0.2 miles) and required moderate scrambling up a steeper slope. We sank a bit in the powdery snow, but the slope was steep enough that snowshoes might have been hard to use. The last 200 steps to the summit were a bit icy and required the use of our hands, but the trail was still surrounded by trees which we grabbed to anchor ourselves as needed. Only when we finally reached the summit did we emerge from the trees. There was a set of utility buildings at the summit, but the views off into the distance in all directions were excellent. We continued straight across the summit for about 0.2 miles (past the top of double black diamond Catwalk run) until we hit the Peak Lodge which had a large cafeteria, bathrooms, water, and comfy couches where we rested for 30 minutes while eating divine egg and cheese sandwiches from our B and B (shout out to Hartness House!).

On our descent, we butt slid down the Spur from the summit most of the way to the cabin. Having returned through the most powdery part of the snow cover, we stopped briefly in the cabin to change into dry socks before continuing downward.

All in all, an excellent, not-too-difficult winter hike with beautiful scenery throughout!

snowshoeing
9 months ago

Beautiful trail, perfect for snowshoeing. Gradual ascents for the most part and very picturesque. A little confusing at the top where the trail ends and you need to navigate the ski trails to the summit as the walkway traverse was closed. The ski trail I went up was extremely steep and sheer ice but nothing like a good burn at the end to make you appreciate the view, and the excellent chowder in the summit lodge. Don't get that on every 4K peak for sure!

snowshoeing
10 months ago

1/10/18 Snowshoed up Bucklin Trail carrying our skis and boots (my pack was 32# I'm sure my friend's weighed considerably more). Came out at the North Ridge Triple lift, traded for ski gear and glided down to our car at the Skyship Gondola parking lot. Planned to go over the top to Peak Lodge but it took us longer than expected to make the trip up and we were running out of daylight. The whole trek took us almost 6 hours. Snow conditions were PERFECT! Forecast said high of 25degrees, we didn't have a thermometer with us. Trail was soft enough for grip and no ice. Step off the packed trail and it dropped at least a couple feet. The alpine forest is dreamy!

10 months ago

It was an easy hike overall, very nice and well marked trail. We went to this hike at 29th, Dec with my 11yo daughter , the temperature was -5F may be lower. My daughter didn't like the idea of winter hike but she did well. It took us around 3hs to get to the peak, because we had to talk to my daughter couple times when she wanted to give up. We took it slow as you expected when hiking with kids. the trail had a lot of snow and was really cold but we didn't need to put crampons on. the peak was beautiful but wind was very strong, we had a quick lunch in the lodge and warmed up. it helped. i didn't like the view with so many lifts and people in the background. won't consider to do it again.

Coming down the trail was easy. It took us around 1h or so. We basically ran down together. Overall it was a beautiful winter hike. 

hiking
11 months ago

Wow, what a challenging winter hike! You will walk through 2 miles of well maintained wood trails, which is a great warm up for the immediate and continuous steep ascent to the summit. It also has its advantages as a good cool down on your way back to the parking lot. You see a stream running through, you will cross it a couple of times as well. There's snow over the mud at the base of the trail now, so you will get a bit dirty. The ascent begins with snow covered ice for a while, then into the snowy woods where the temperature dropped quite a bit. Where the trails intersect near the summit, there's a cabin and a ski trail that goes around it, so you might see people up there even now. The summit was steep and a scramble and in the ice it was much more dangerous that I had planned on. There were no views on this day, but I imagine w/out snow, it's quite beautiful. After our hike, we discovered that there is a warming shelter and/or ski lift restaurant not far from the summit, which would have been great to know about in advance. Anyway, I'd hike this again in the summer or fall for sure & plan to spend more time at the summit.

hiking
Saturday, November 04, 2017

Fun rock scramble at the end. Little icy and muddy.

hiking
Friday, November 03, 2017

Great hike Rocky at top. Crossing the Long Trail cool sites!

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