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Trail Conditions

Trip Log
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About


Mt. Garfield, Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain
Bethlehem, NH, Franconia, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
The bare lower portion of the Garfield Trail
The bare lower portion of the Garfield Trail

Route: Gale River Road, Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, (Mt. Garfield), Garfield Ridge Trail, Frost Trail, (Galehead Mountain), Frost Trail, Twinway, (South Twin Mountain), North Twin Spur, bushwhack, (North Twin Mountain), North Twin Trail, bushwhack, North Twin Trail, herd path, North Twin Trail, herd path

After spotting a vehicle at Little River Road, we started at west Gale River Road, which was completely snowfree. While the first washed out bridge had been repaired, the second and third were still out. The second was passable via a crude ladder, however the third required a brook crossing.

The Garfield Trail was fairly bare for the first mile or so. The water crossings were running a bit high, but nonetheless doable. Above there, we donned snowshoes for the balance of the spring-snow-covered trail to Mt. Garfield, where we had good, though hazy, views.

The Garfield Ridge Trail was in better shape than we had hoped - the steeps below the campsite were fortunately mostly snowcovered, though the ice bulges were lurking underneath. From there, we had to go over the many ups and downs on the way to the Galehead Hut.

After lunch, we headed up to Galehead, where we had strong views from the normally wooded summit. Back at the hut, we fueled up for the climb to South Twin. By this point in the day, the skies had clouded over and the winds had picked up a little bit.

The trek from South Twin to North Twin was tricky - the previous tracks meandered off the trail in many places, some for good reason due to blowdowns. Nearing North Twin, the trees were just barely sticking out of the snow, resulting in views in all directions.

After descending to the north viewpoint, the packed route bushwhacked in a direct route, eventually rejoining the trail proper on a switchback. Now down in the lower elevations, many of the water crossings were snowbridged with the type of bridges that collapse as you cross. Finally down below the final crossing, the North Twin had some extended sections of flowing water. Despite these conditions, we were able to still make it to the road by sunset.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Difficult
Destination: Mt. Garfield
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Galehead Mountain
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: South Twin Mountain
Length: Very Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: North Twin Mountain
Length: Very Difficult
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Hike Commenced: 7:39 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,320'
Destination: Mt. Garfield
Ascent Commenced: 8:07 AM
Summit Reached: 11:13 AM
Time Elapsed: 03:06
Trailhead Elevation: 1,535'
Summit Elevation: 4,500'
Distance: 5 miles
Vertical Gain: 3,055'
Destination: Galehead Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 11:17 AM
Summit Reached: 1:58 PM
Time Elapsed: 02:41
Trailhead Elevation: 4,500'
Summit Elevation: 4,024'
Vertical Gain: 769'
Destination: South Twin Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 2:00 PM
Summit Reached: 3:07 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:07
Trailhead Elevation: 4,024'
Summit Elevation: 4,902'
Vertical Gain: 1,187'
Destination: North Twin Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 3:14 PM
Summit Reached: 4:04 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:50
Trailhead Elevation: 4,902'
Summit Elevation: 4,761'
Vertical Gain: 321'
Hike Ended: 6:46 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 11:07
Hike Vertical Gain: 5,727'


The Garfield Trail trailhead
The Garfield Trail trailhead

Looking at South Twin, Guyot, and the Bonds from Mt. Garfield - Click to enlarge
Looking at South Twin, Guyot, and the Bonds from Mt. Garfield

Looking up the Garfield Ridge Trail on the way to Galehead Mountain
Looking up the Garfield Ridge Trail on the way to Galehead Mountain

Looking at the Osceolas, Scar Ridge, Owl's Head, and Southern Franconias from Galehead - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Osceolas, Scar Ridge, Owl's Head, and Southern Franconias from Galehead

Looking down the Twinway on the way to South Twin
Looking down the Twinway on the way to South Twin

Looking at Carrigain, Guyot, and the Bonds from South Twin - Click to enlarge
Looking at Carrigain, Guyot, and the Bonds from South Twin

Looking down the North Twin Spur on the way to North Twin
Looking down the North Twin Spur on the way to North Twin

Looking at South Twin from near the summit of North Twin - Click to enlarge
Looking at South Twin from near the summit of North Twin

Topographic map of Mt. Garfield, Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: From Route 302, take Route 3 South. In late winter 2010, one could park at the end of Little River Road, as well as at the end of the west end of Gale River Road. The Garfield Trail trailhead is a bit over a mile beyond the gated west end of the Gale River Road.

Back to Mt. Garfield Profile
Back to Galehead Mountain Profile
Back to North Twin Mountain Profile
Back to South Twin Mountain Profile




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