Sunday, June 28, 2015

Galehead Mountain (4,024') via Gale River, Garfield Ridge and Frost trails 6/27/15

Mileage: 9.9 (RT)

Elevation gain: 2,617'

Trailhead: I-93 north to Route 3 (Twin Mountain exit  - north of Franconia Notch). The Gale River trailhead is located on Gale River Loop Road off Route 3. The turn is directly across from Trudeau Road. Follow the Gale River Loop Road for about 1.6 miles to the trailhead (bearing right at the fork). Road is closed in the winter.

Hiked with Rich.  We chose Galehead for no other reason than it's been while since we'd done it and we needed to get out and up.

We hiked Galehead as part of our NH 48 four thousand footers back in 2009 (see previous report). Things had changed a bit since that report. Specifically, water crossings.

Two significant water crossings have been eliminated.  The trip up to Galehead hut now involves several small crossings and a few bridges.  Since 2011 one mile of the trail has been rerouted away from the river.

Trail's pretty flat in the beginning.

Windy stairs mark the start of the reroute.

The reroute's not pretty: overturned trees, blowdowns and a muddy path await you, but the change is better for hikers and for the river.

Water crossing. No biggie.

The trail is mellow at first and as we chatted, our elevation increased (subtly).  

As we knew would happen, things steepen considerably about 2+ miles in, until just below the Garfield Ridge trail junction.

Trail does steepen.
From here it's less steep to the hut, but rocky.

View from the hut - breathtaking!

After lunch we tagged the summit of Galehead, much as we remembered.

Frost trail leads you to the summit

View from the overlook -  just below the summit (that's the hut down there).