The Twins/Galehead Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 07/16/2011 - 07/16/2011
Trip/Event Location: Twin Mountain, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
The twins are two lofty peaks that rise above the Pemigewasset Wilderness, offering spectacular views.
If you like a good challenge and beautiful views, then this hike is for you. The Twin Peaks are...
Plug this into your GPS system 44.232719,-71.610426 [Gale River Trailhead]
Or...for the technologically disadvantaged:
Take I-93 North
Take Exit 35 to merge with US-3 North/Daniel Webster Highway, toward Twin Mountain/Lancaster.
At the intersection with Trudeau Rd. [intersection also called Five Corners] bear right onto a dirt, logging road. You should see signs for Trudeau Rd. and for the Ammonoosuc District Ranger Station at this intersection. This is also shortly after the Mt. Cleveland Picnic Area [for a reference/landmark].
Follow the Gale River Road [FR25; this may be North Gale River Road] southeast, bearing left at 0.6 miles, then turn sharp right at 1.3 mi. on the Gale River Loop Rd. and continue to the parking area on the left at 1.6 mi. We'll be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
[Straight ahead on the road is the Garfield Trail Parking Lot which we do not want for this excursion.]
The plan is to park here then take as few cars as possible and drive to the North Twin trailhead a couple of miles up the road to begin our hike.
This hike was one of those peakbagger's delight hikes in which we bagged three 4,000 summits in one long day.
The plan for the day was to make a loop going over North and South Twin Mountain and then Galehead Mountain by starting out at the North Twin trailhead and spotting a car at the Gale River trailhead.
To get to the North Twin trailhead you have to take Haystack Rd. As we started out on the North Twin Trail we were along side of the Little River. We bypassed most of the crossings by staying to the left using a herd path. At the end of the herd path we crossed over it, it wasn't too tricky, because the water was low today.
The last mile of the approach to North Twin was fairly steep climb, but pretty standard for the White Mountains. Before we reached the summit of North Twin we reached the spectucular outcrop where we could see Mt. Hale, South Twin, Sugarloafs, the Presidentials and more. Near North Twin we took the side path to reach the summit and the excellent western ledge. We could see Mt. Garfield, Galehead [including the hut], and the Franconia Notch peaks.
From North Twin it was a little over a mile to the South Twin summit. South Twin was the real star of this hike. To say which peaks you can view from the summit, well...I would just say everyone of them! At least it seemed like you could see every peak in the White Mountains from there. For the most part we could see the Bonds, Franconias, Presidentials, and so many more that it was hard to identify them all. We timed our hike perfectly to get there for lunch at 1pm.
After an extended stay savoring the South Twin summit, we headed on the Twinway down towards our next destination, Galehead Mountain. This part of the Twinway is nice and steep.
At the bottom of the Twinway we came to the Galehead Hut where we took a break. The Galehead Hut is the most remote hut of all the White Mountain huts. You can stay here in relative luxury for being in the wilderness. For almost $100 a night you'll get a couple of hot meals and a spot in one of their bunkrooms. For us it was just a good place to relax. From the Hut we could look back at North and South Twin. North Twin had the appearance of a gray-haired mountain because it has an abundance of dead, gray trees scattered around it.
After the Galehead Hut we jumped on to the Frost Trail to head up to Galehead Mountain. The Galehead Hut is at an elevation of 3780' so it is a very short climb to the Galehead summit. The summit is wooded with no views but right before it there is an outlook that gives you a great view of the Twin Brook valley. We were back at the Galehead Hut in about 30 minutes and quickly began the 4.6 mile trek on the Gale River Trail back to the car.
The total mileage of the entire loop we did today was 12 miles. It was quite a long day but enjoyable thanks to nearly perfect hiking weather!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Among the best views in the mountains! Thanks Mike! Amazing what you miss on foggy days. - WalkaboutBrian