Mt. Garfield

DATE: Nov 17, 2018 Saturday
END DATE: Nov 17, 2018 Saturday

Trip/Event Location: Franconcia NH

Trip Leader(s)

Spencer, MA United States

Meeting Time: 8:00 AM

Max # People: 8

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level:


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Region: New England

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Be Prepared: Please be prepared to be self-sufficient. Have your own provisions such as first aid kit, food, water, extra clothing for unplanned weather, etc. Have your EMERGENCY CONTACT SHEET completed and in your backpack; it may save your life, and help reach someone who greatly cares!
Pace: There may be activities when the group is either slower or faster than your current ability. Please know that because this is a group activity, it's hard to accommodate everyone's pace perfectly. Our desire is not to leave anyone, however there have been times when it is in the best interest of all to split up. Please do your part by knowing your own abilities, communicating with the organizer head of time if you would like to start early and have us catch up or fine with finishing on your own.

After needing to cancel this trip due to the October Nor’easter… we are now firmly rooted in November – the heart of autumn at its purest - a landscape of fading colors, the delight of early snow capped peaks, temps in the 20’s to 40’s, the variety awaits us as we begin the slide to my favorite season of WINTER – one sunrise, one sunset, and one hike at a time.  Yeah – I didn’t rewrite the whole trip notice, lol.  The winter Nor’easter lashed out coating the area with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain – it was a wicked storm.

Will it be snow capped?  Let’s climb and find out!  Join me for a hike up to Mt. Garfield to capture the fleeting and splendid sights, sounds and scents of autumn in the mountains or maybe the early temps of cool weather and critter tracks in the snow!

You know I love loop hikes and Mt. Garfield offers this opportunity.   Providing the gates are open –– we will meet at the trail head for the Garfield Trail which is approximately 1 mile up the Gale River Loop Road off of route 3 at Five Corners.  The trail mostly follows an old road used for access to a former fire lookout tower that once was at the summit of Garfield.  The grades are mostly moderate all the way up except for a steep pitch just below the summit.  It also is a brilliant hike as where it gets to be more of an upward pitch – switchbacks prevail – unusual for the White Mountains.  On a clear day Mt. Garfield offers views of North & South Twin, the Franconia Ridge among other summits in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.  We’ll carry on from the summit along the Garfield Ridge Trail to connect with the Gale River Trail and make our way back down to the trail head where we will have spotted a car or plan to just walk the short mile back to the Garfield Trail head.  

Round trip is 12.3 miles though a solid 3.5 to 4 is mostly to near flat.  This is a fun filled full day of hiking at a healthy pace with time for water breaks, snacks and lunch.  Total elevation gain is  about 3,300’ as the trail undulates between Garfield and the Gale River trail junction which sits at 3,590’ down from the peak of the day of 4,500’. 

TRIP NOTE:  Plan to loop hike.  This changes if the gates are closed at the parking by the highway.  I will monitor and update accordingly.  Normally gates close on the 15th of November – and if they are – we will hike in/out the same way from the highway parking along route 3.  This shortens the hike by about one mile and increases the amount of flat terrain.  Weather changes often at this time of the year and I will let folks know if we need microspikes/snowshoes closer to the trip date.  

What to bring: 

Food:  Bring snacks and a lunch for the hike.  A little extra is always good.

Water:  Bring two or three liters (depending on how much you drink).  Insulated bottles not required but you should be aware of weather conditions prior to the trip.

Clothing:  No Cotton!  Temps will vary from start to summit and summits are often windy.  Bring layers, gloves, hat, face mask, hand warmers, and other gear you may want for the hike.  Your pack should be big enough to carry excess gear as you warm up.  There will be water crossings – poles are always a steady compliment in those moments if you like or need them.   Inclement weather will cancel the trip but we do need to be prepared for unexpected changes in weather conditions. 

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

From Route 93 North or South take exit 35 towards Twin Mountain.  Gale River Loop Road is .3 miles west of Trudeau Road (Five Corners) and 4.1 miles east of its junction with 141.  We’ll be parking at the trail head, NOT along route 3.  I’ll be driving a gray Honda CRV with Massachusetts license plates.

Trip Leader


Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Spencer, MA

United States

members signed up for this event


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Ipswich, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Raynham, MA

United States
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