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  1. #1
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    Default Mt Mansfield camping

    How are the camping spots here. We plan on taking our dog here for his first time backcountry camping but Iím having trouble finding any info. I see spots on the ridgeline off the LT but how are things in other spots of the park?


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  2. #2
    Registered User VT-Mike's Avatar
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    There's a tenting area about 1.2 miles south of Bulter Lodge on the LT. Camp ground in Underhill State Park. I would try to avoid the ridgeline as much of the area is fragile alpine zone. A lot of hard work goes into protecting this environment, once damaged it can take a very long time to recover. There's also Taylor, Butler and Taft lodges on Mansfield. A fee is charged ($5? per person) not sure their dog policy and this might not fit your backcountry experience. Maybe try calling GMC they should good info on the area. Hope your canine enjoys their first backpack! My loves being out there!!
    -My feet are my only carriage so I've got to push on through-

  3. #3

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    There is no camping on MT Mansfield. Period. It's exposed and a fragile alpine area. You are not to leave the trail or cross the scree wall defining the path. This is state land and camping is only allowed at designated spots.

    There is a cabin on either end of the ridge. Butler lodge on the south end and Taylor lodge on the north end. If you want to tent, you must use the designated tenting area south of Mansfield down in the woods and off the mountain. Taylor Lodge would probably be best with a dog, as it is much larger then Butler lodge. Personally, I would leave the dog home or go somewhere else. There are sections of the trail there where it will be difficult to get the dog through. Do not try to bring the dog up the Chin. Use the Profanity trail instead. It may also be challenging to get him up/down the forehead with the ladders you have to climb.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4

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    Underhill state park is a nice campground, even though it's a couple miles from the LT. Leantos/campsites available
    You could tart there, or you can take one trail down and another back up to loop back to the LT. The sunset ridge trail is all exposed and a great trail on a nice day
    https://vtstateparks.com/assets/pdf/underhilltrails.pdf

    Taft and butler are both well kept. Twin brooks a bit south on the LT has some platforms and seemed a decent place to tent. multiple sites

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by sethd513 View Post
    How are the camping spots here. We plan on taking our dog here for his first time backcountry camping but Iím having trouble finding any info. I see spots on the ridgeline off the LT but how are things in other spots of the park?


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    How big is your dog and how much does he weigh? On the Chin and Forehead you will have to literally carry your dog. I had enough trouble just getting myself over these two spots.


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    Thank you for all the help everyone. The dog is 105lbs ridgeback. Carrying him isnít an option. Heís sure footed and can be helped along with his harness but Iím not picking him up.

    Not being allowed to camp makes sense as well since itís been so hard to find info.


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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sethd513 View Post
    Thank you for all the help everyone. The dog is 105lbs ridgeback. Carrying him isnít an option. Heís sure footed and can be helped along with his harness but Iím not picking him up.
    Not being allowed to camp makes sense as well since itís been so hard to find info.
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    I didn't really consider the dog issue (never hiked with a dog). But that might be one of the most difficult areas for a dog. Lots of short scrambles, some ladders, a few questionable areas, etc

  8. #8
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    The two standard approaches to Mansfield summit both have super-steep gnarly bits just below the summit. Not much of it -- maybe only one or two tenths of a mile -- but what there is rivals or beats the worst you'll see in the White Mountains. At the south end (Forehead) there is an alternative/foul weather trail around the worst of it.

    Most of the summit ridge is highly developed and you wouldn't want to camp there anyway. Big ole microwave towers will probably cook you overnight. You really need to hang out at either Butler Lodge or Taylor Lodge. Butler is nice, I stayed there. I think it cost $5. Maybe not even that. Nothing like the AMC huts.

    Stealth camping... probably not, except very low (ie. miles from the summit ridge.) From 2000' up, the woods are dense, steep and scrubby.

  9. #9

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    Caretakers only stay on until Columbus day weekend.

    Mansfield in no place for a big dog unless you drive up. Actually, that whole northern end of the LT is pretty rough for a dog. Lots of steep ups and downs requiring three points of contact at all times, even the occasional 30 foot aluminum extension ladder up the side of a cliff. You'd be better off down on the AT segment of the LT where the trail is a little easier and more forgiving. Especially since this is your first hike with the dog.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #10
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    If you cannot lift your dog up the ladders then leave him at home. Seriously. I like dogs and I've spent the night with one at Taylor who weighed about 40 lbs, and he was calm enough that his owners could use a rope to pull him up the 20 foot cliffs where there are ladders. Not all dogs are that calm and not all dogs are that light. For heavier and more nervous dogs, I would advise to skip that section.

    In all cases, if you bring a dog, respect the dog's abilities and personality. That might mean you will be forced to turn back.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Caretakers only stay on until Columbus day weekend.

    Mansfield in no place for a big dog unless you drive up. Actually, that whole northern end of the LT is pretty rough for a dog. Lots of steep ups and downs requiring three points of contact at all times, even the occasional 30 foot aluminum extension ladder up the side of a cliff. You'd be better off down on the AT segment of the LT where the trail is a little easier and more forgiving. Especially since this is your first hike with the dog.
    I appreciate that. This isnít his first hike. He can do 6 miles and 3000 feet in the whites. Itís just his first backpacking trip staying in the back country. He always hikes with a bag with dummy weight to make up for not having all his gear like he does now. Iím not looking to carry him or make him go up ladders. Heís pretty sure footed for 14 months but weíve been very easy on him as heís grown and there is no need for him to get hurt. Maybe we will start north of Stratton pond and hike down to it. Or possibly mass/ct/ny line area. Iíd like to get to the white before the freezing rain sets in but might have to wait for heavy winter. Thanks again everyone for the help. Thatís why this forum is so awesome.


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  12. #12

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    Seth, I just came through the Whites, and there was nothing as challenging as the chin and forehead of Mt. Mansfield. You need to listen to what folks are telling you.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    Seth, I just came through the Whites, and there was nothing as challenging as the chin and forehead of Mt. Mansfield. You need to listen to what folks are telling you.


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    Yea we wonít be going up there with the dog. Maybe weíll spend a few nights up there next season without him.


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