|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Garfield, Garfield Ridge - East Peak, Galehead Mountain, NH|
||Gale River Road, Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Frost Trail, Gale River Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, January 10, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked in the winter lot for Garfield Trail trailhead off US3 (signed). This small lot is well plowed after storms and would be fine for any New England vehicle. Of note to the truck that parked in front of me (but did NOT block me): great job not blocking the gate! We are permitted to park side by side in the lot. That old logging road is not presently in use. |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Water crossings are either bridged or have stable ice bridges. Finally. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||The snowshoe gods have been appeased. If you're looking for good snow (ahem, Teal Goat), several fresh powder fluffy inches deposited on the upper portions of Garfield and all over Garfield Ridge to Galehead.|
Roadwalk on South Gale Rd (FR 92) > Garfield Trail > Garfield Ridge Trail out and back to Garfield summit > Garfield Ridge Trail > Frost Trail out and back to Galehead summit > Garfield Ridge Trail > Gale River Trail > road walk on Gale River North Rd (FR 25) > road walk on US 3 to end.
Garfield Trail: lovely, well graded assent to the junction with Garfield Ridge. Nicely blazed in blue. All signs up, legible (blown snow removed). Recent fantastic trench started though I was breaking trail in fresh snow measuring 0.5 to 2 inches throughout the trail. Drifts in upper elevations. Spikes used until the halfway point when snow levels supported snowshoes. Then I flewâ€¦
Garfield Ridge Trail: this is the AT and is blazed in standard white blazes. 4 inches of fresh, unbroken, soft, powder snow. I was in heaven. Very faint trench at times. I snowshoe skied, glided, and stamped my way happily over to the Frost Trail in snowshoes. Dare I say it? I dare. For the first time, I had fun on this trail. Gasp! The water point just before Garfield campsite still had running water. The â€œwaterfallâ€ after the campsite was covered in snow and ice. I elected to use my snowshoes and bypass the steepest section of this stupidly steep area. Of note, this was the fastest time I have ever clocked over these 3 miles. Just goes to show how snow can help mitigate knee pounding rocksâ€¦
Frost Trail: not blazed, simple to follow. Sign up, legible. I followed it without my glasses as they kept fogging up. Also covered in several inches of new, unbroken, powdery snow. Oh it just gets better and better! Some ice on that small rock ledge but my snowshoes talons held fine. No need to change footwear.
Gale River Trail: not blazed, save for the nicely blue blazed reroute. This trail was not broken out. Simple to follow trail (again, I could follow it without my glasses). Once down lower, a blown in trench did emerge. This was a super nice footbed that I clamored down in my snowshoes. You could switch to spikes about halfway down, but why? Snowshoes rock! :)
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.