Galehead Mountain, Mt Garfield loop

Hikes, NH48, TripReport , , ,

Early morning start for a long trip. The temps were just above 20F but the winds were very light all day. The winter road closures result in a bit more than a mile on each end, before and after the trail head. Started up Gale River Loop Road to the Galehead River Trail, about 1.2 mi. The lower elevations had light snow cover and made the hike relatively quick. This trail is long, but a decent grade. The exception is the last .7 mi. which steepens and had some icy patches. At the hut the views of the Twins and into the Pemigewasset were muted by the low cloud ceiling and frequent flurries. The Frost Trail spur is a mild walk to the deadend at the lonely summit cairn on Galehead Mountain. The outlook just below the summit, I suspect, would have amazing views into the wilderness on a clear day. Back to the hut for usual hiking grub and a rest on the porch bench.
Back on trail to descend to the Garfield Ridge Trail to take me a couple miles through, what seems like some isolated wilderness. There are a few ups and downs along this ridge which make it seem longer. They are tolerable until the steep climb from Franconia Brook Trail junction through to the summit of Mt Garfield. One particular spot was steep ledge with ice flows causing me to crawl around it through the tight pines. After making the summit, the views were still amazing even with the low clouds and flurries.
A little sliding down the .2 mi. on my butt from the summit to the junction of Garfield Trail. Then the eternal hike out Garfield Trail back to the trail head. The clouds pushed away about 30-45 minutes into my descent and the sun poked through the trees. A brief road walk back to Route 3 and short walk to parking at Trudeau Road. I estimate the total distance just shy of 17 miles.

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