Equinox Skyline Drive Worth the Trip

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A Scenic Climb Up Equinox Skyline Drive

-My husband taking in the view at Equinox Skyline Drive

Of all of the mountains in Vermont, Mount Equinox is the one I cherish the most.

My childhood home in Manchester was located at the base of the mountain, and I spent countless hours admiring Equinox’s dramatic height and beauty. I used to daydream that Equinox would become a ski area so I could race from the summit all the way down to our backyard in my Fischer skis. In retrospect, I’m eternally grateful that never happened.

Instead, Equinox Skyline Drive is a 5.2-mile toll road that takes you to the 3,848-foot summit. Built in the 1940s, Skyline Drive is the longest, privately-owned paved road in the United States. On a recent trip to Manchester, we drove to the top of the mountain on a beautiful, sunny day. It has been 15 years since I drove to the top, and my husband Dave (from Massachusetts) had always wanted to take a ride up. It was well worth the trip.

What’s interesting about the mountain is that it’s owned by monks. Equinox Skyline Drive and about 7,000 acres are owned by the Carthusians, a Roman Catholic monastic order. Shortly before reaching the top, there’s a flat stretch of road where you can see the monastery to the southwest.

The views from Equinox, the tallest peak in the Taconic Mountain Range, are panoramic and stunning. Even though much of the summit parking lot is closed this season due to construction of a new visitor center, you can hike to Lookout Rock for a better view. It’s also worth stopping along some of the pull-off areas and flat stretches of road to take in the scenery.

Drive carefully and take lots of photos.

**If you go: Mount Equinox 
Route 7A, south of Manchester

Bennington County, Manchester, Mount Equinox, My Favorite Places, Scenic, spring, Summer, Travel Tips
  • From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    Posted at 14:45h, 04 June Reply

    I would love to visit the mountain. I will be in Vermont on the 16th to go to King Arthur. I will have to make the next visit a trip to Mount Equinox. Gorgeous photos.

  • Larry
    Posted at 15:05h, 04 June Reply

    Hi Erica… we’ve missed you! I have done the drive to the top and totally enjoyed the experience… it was nice being reminded of that excursion! Larry

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 15:09h, 04 June Reply

    Hi Susan — It is so worth the trip up to the top. Just try to go on a sunny, clear day.
    King Arthur Flour is wonderful, too. Have a great trip!

    Hi Larry — I know. This whole motherhood thing has taken up a lot of my time! I’m easing back into blogging. Hope you are doing well.

  • Todd Larson
    Posted at 01:05h, 05 June Reply

    Great post, Erica. It makes me want to visit the mountain!

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 01:17h, 05 June Reply

    Thanks, Todd! It is a fantastic spot.

  • Baydog
    Posted at 02:52h, 05 June Reply

    Never been. We always see Equinox from the north face of Stratton. What does Stratton look like from Equinox?

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 03:19h, 05 June Reply

    Baydog – The west side of Stratton can be seen in the far distance of the bottom photo. It took me some time to figure out where Stratton was when we were up there, but eventually I spotted a few ski trails. Got that boat in the water yet? Happy sailing!

  • Baydog
    Posted at 03:57h, 05 June Reply

    Already waterblogged!

  • Scott
    Posted at 14:33h, 06 June Reply

    Beautiful! I try to make it up the mountain any time I’m up visiting – worth every penny! The view from the road overlooking the monastery (where your Outback is) is alone worth the cost!

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 15:16h, 06 June Reply

    Hi Scott,

    I totally agree! The view overlooking the monastery was the highlight for us. Thanks!

  • Pingback:Farewell, Summer - Happy Vermont
    Posted at 11:41h, 04 March Reply

    […] Phoebe for her first swim in Lake Champlain with Dave and his parents. 2. Driving to the summit of Equinox Mountain in Manchester. 3. Lounging in the grass at The Inn at Weston. 4. Walking along the Stowe Recreation […]

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