Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Garfield, Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lincoln, NH
Trails: Skookumchuck Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I parked at Skookumchuck. There was one other car there when we arrived, and one when we left. What a contrast with the Lafayette Place parking zoo. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Rock steps on the one crossing of any size. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Skookumchuck had 3 soft maple blowdowns in the lower section roughly paralleling Rt. 3; the first easily avoidable, the second multi branched which is pushing people off the trail and the third is a full tree with many branches across the trail that has a new trail forming around it. There is a 6-8" Diameter fir across the trail up in the section running along Skookumchuck Brook but it is being stepped over. I took out a new spruce across the trail up from that. Up high in an area of dead fir and blowdown, most of which did not affect the trail, there is a multi branched leaner that is pushing people just a bit off the trail. The majority of the waterbars were still functioning but some were plugged, and my pole scratchings could move the loose debris but they didn't do much with compacted soils. There were a few minor muddy spots. Garfield Ridge was in very good condition with one new blocking blowdown on a small bump, but the TMs did a Pemi Loop today so they discovered it and will get it in the future. Franconia Ridge was fine although the trail scree walls that are up seem as likely to cause hikers to get off the trail as they are keeping them on it. All signs were up. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Pepper had fun. There is water on the lower Skookumchuck sufficient for sipping n dipping. But once the trail pulls away from the brook, there are no sip n dips on any of the other trail sections we were on today excepting Garfield Pond. There are a few minor seeps and drainages for drinking, but not enough. There were plenty of dogs on Franconia Ridge; all well behaved and appearing to enjoy themselves, including one much smaller than Pepper. We would not have done Lafayette & Lincoln if the forecast for clear skies had been accurate; a small black dog in full "summer" sun gets hot from above and below when above treeline. But it was way more cloudy than sun, and the breeze on the ridge helped to keep things comfortable, so we added that section. 
Bugs: Most of the day there were no bug issues, but when I stopped to take out a blowdown the black flies found me. A quick descent from there finally succeeded in leaving them behind. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: We ran into Becca and she had lost her dark purple metal AMC water bottle either on Lincoln or between it and Lafayette. We went to the area but it was gone. If found one can contact me and I contact her. 
Comments: Skookumchuck was the way to go to avoid the crowds today. It is a really nice trail; my favorite way to get up to Lafayette. I also like the Garfield Ridge trail between Lafayette & Garfield. We met no one on Skookumchuck today, but a fair number doing Pemi Loops (multi and single day)on Garfield Ridge. Franconia Ridge had lots of people and dogs of course.

This was a "solo" unassisted redlining hike of the Lafayette to Garfield ridge. Yep, pretty esoteric. But we have only one more of these to do so of course we'll finish it sometime. We wouldn't have done Lafayette & Lincoln if it was sunny and warm, but there were plenty of clouds and a nice breeze, so it was comfortable enough to take Pepper up on it. We ran into so many people and dogs on Lafayette I began to question my decision, but it was really nice on the ridge, and we ran into Becca and then Jeff and Karine, so it ended up being a great addition. Becca had bushwhacked her way up to Franconia Ridge, and Jeff and Karine were doing a Pemi Loop. Pepper and I had the easy hike today. But it was a great one. Thanks Pepper.  
Name: Pepper and Me 
E-Mail: windriversjohn at gmail dot com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-06-04 
Link: https:// 
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