Vermont's Gateway To Backcountry Skiing And Riding

Self-Guided Tours

 Planning a personal trip on the Catamount Trail?
Take a look at our recommended Self-Guided Tours! 

Self-Guided Tours are a great option for experienced skiers looking to take an independent trip on the Catamount Trail. Like any backcountry ski tour, a self-guided tour requires some prior planning. This resource is intended to help skiers unfamiliar with the Catamount Trail start to plan their personal trip. We’ve highlighted several multi-day trips along the Catamount Trail that also access cross-country ski areas. Keep in mind that these tours are meant to be a starting point in the planning process. Any number of adjustments can be made to alter the route, length, starting and ending locations, and cross-country ski areas visited. Check out the Trip Planning page as you get started, and read through the “Planning Tips” section below.


Recommended Self-Guided Tours


Bolton Valley to Stowe

Number of Days: 4
Total distance: 24-27 miles on the Catamount Trail, plus additional skiing at ski centers
Highlights: Visits to four cross-country ski centers, lodging at some of Vermont’s finest ski inns, and access to spectacular backcountry ski terrain.


Stowe to Morrisville

Number of Days: 3
Total Distance: 18.2 miles on the Catamount Trail, plus addition skiing at Edson Hill Ski Center
Highlights: A taste of northern Vermont, access to numerous networks of backcountry trails, and skiing at cross-country ski centers. 


Killington to Goshen

Number of days: 3
Total distance: 24.7 miles + additional skiing at Mountain Top
Highlights: Scenic trail through wilderness and the Green Mountain National Forest in Central Vermont. 


Brandon to Ripton

Number of days: 3
Total distance:17.3 miles + additional skiing at Blueberry Hill and Rikert Nordic Center
Highlights: Great skiing through the quiet and remote woods of central/northern Vermont, plus lodging at standout B&Bs. 


MA/VT Border to Somerset Reservoir

Number of days: 4
Total distance: 33.2 miles
Highlights: This tour winds along reservoirs, lakes, and rivers in southern Vermont The terrain is relatively flat for most of the trip, making it a good choice for those seeking a less strenuous tour 
Note: For each stage of this tour you will need to arrange transportation to/from accommodations in Wilmington.


Planning Tips


Know Your Route
Visit the Trail Sections List to access maps, route descriptions, and other resources for the appropriate sections you will be skiing. Know your route, and bring printed copies of maps and trail descriptions. Familiarize yourself with Trail Etiquette to follow best practices on trail. 

Arrange Transportation
Make sure to arrange a shuttle between your starting and ending point. The local taxi service works, but can be an expensive ride. Parking a second car at the ending point, or arranging to have a friend shuttle you and your equipment are also good options. Occasionally CTA members are willing to help shuttle; call the CTA office at 802-864-5794 to learn more about this option. Make sure to plan your transportation arrangements ahead of time as cell phone reception can be limited along the Catamount Trail

Arrange Accommodations
You will need to arrange your own overnight accommodations for each night on a Self-Guided Tour. Visit the Lodging and Inns page to view our recommended lodging options near the trail. It is possible to ski to some inns; however, getting from the trail to some inns will require additional transportation. For a fee, some inns will pick you up at the trail and drop you off the following morning. Call ahead to see if the inn of your choice provides this service. Utilizing a nearby taxi service, friend, or CTA member are also good options here. If you are interested in camping along the Catamount Trail, please visit our Camping page to learn about restrictions.

Skiing at Nordic Centers
If the Self-Guided Tour you choose passes through cross-country ski areas, you will need to purchase a pass at each center in order to ski their trail system. 

Ski with Appropriate Equipment
We recommend backcountry ski equipment for most sections of the Catamount Trail. In addition to skis, make sure you are adequately prepared for a winter expedition. Visit our Recommended Equipment page to double check your packing list. 

Stay Safe
We recommend these tours for fit skiers of at least intermediate skill with some prior backcountry experience. Visit our Safety on the Trail page for some key safety tips. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety on the Catamount Trial.

More FAQs about skiing on the Catamount Trail.