Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Garfield, NH
Trails: Gale River Road, Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, February 7, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at Garfield Trail lot at Rte 3 at Gale River Loop Road (FR 92), free spaces in lot. Parking lot is well-plowed. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings are open water or snow/ice bridged or man-made bridges. All can be hopped over, walked through, or walked on without getting wet with normal winter boots. Had no difficulty any with ice/snow bridges collapsing. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A few duck unders, step overs, or walk arounds. The multiple river bridges on FR92 have been treated with a wood preservative which can be smelled even from a distance before each bridge. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dogs should be able to handle it. Didn't see any. A couple icy sections near the beginning of Garfield Trail. 
Bugs: Tons of snow fleas, especially in postholes. One spider on snow on trail 1/2" foot to foot 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: One dark colored glove is on shelf of Garfield Trail kiosk at summer trailhead. 
Comments: Cloudy all day, no sun, almost no wind except some on summit. From the summit of Garfield, visible mountains were in and out of the clouds. Mt. Lafayette was mostly visible. The Garfield summit was above the undercast which covered the Pemi and elsewhere. Temps between 29F and upper 30s. Drove through rain/freezing rain to get to the parking lot, but it stopped during the ascent/descent. Rain forecast for late Thursday night. There was snowfall or sleet on I-93 in Franconia Notch. Trees on trail all had a buildup of ice on them that melted on me during the ascent (tree rain). On the decent nearly all the ice had already melted off. Entire route was snow covered, except for a few icy sections not far from the Garfield Trail trail head. Started off with Kahtoola Microspikes and switched to MSR Ascent snowshoes about halfway on the ascent and kept them on back to the car to avoid postholing, for safety, and to deal with the steeps of Garfield Ridge Trail. Carried full crampons but didn't need them. Left the ice axe in the car (good decision). The short section on Garfield Ridge Trail might be better with full crampons or ascent snowshoes than Microspikes. If I didn't stay right in the center of the mostly narrow monorail, I would posthole, sometimes a foot or more- got tired of that and switched to MSRs. Even postponed some with the snowshoes. Trail already had some postholes, but nearly all to the sides of the monorail. Some of the snow was slippery in places. Finished by headlamp. On descent, made a right turn at the sign by looking at the trail and headed down toward the Garfield Ridge tent site- 14 miles car to car.  
Name: SOTA 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-02-08 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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