4000 Footer Club

Galehead Mtn
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Elevation:    4,024 Feet
Summited:  July 16, 2010
Distance:     13.5 Miles   
Difficulty:     Moderate
Views:         Excellent (Summit Only)
Route:         Gale River Trail → Garfield Ridge Trail(AT) → Frost Trail → Galehead Hut → Galehead Summit → Frost Trail → Galehead Hut →
                    Frost Trail → Garfield Ridge Trail(AT) → Garfield Summit → Garfield Ridge Trail(AT) → Garfield Trail

  The morning started off early. I woke up in North Conway after a quick visit to my relatives. Out the door a few minutes early but quickly realized I was running late. My GPS displayed getting to Five Corners at 7:04am and I havenít even eaten breakfast. I called Wil who is already in route from a family gathering. He is 5-10 minutes ahead of me. We planned on meeting after a stop at a local Irving station on Rte 302. I drove right by it and reached the Rte 3 intersection. I said, "Screw it!" and continued to Five Corners, as I was late as is. Went to call Wil back and realized I was out of range. Got to Five Corners and started to prep my pack. A few minutes before I was done, Wil showed up and we headed for the Garfield Trail trailhead to drop off my truck. We decided to park our two vehicles at two different trailheads; it saved us 1.6 miles of dirt road. That is a godsend after a 13.5 mile hike.

  We started from the Gale River Trail parking lot. It starts off with a quick river crossing. Then quickly turns to the right, away from the river. It is a constant climb at a reasonable grade for a mile and a half or so. Then you hike along a river where multiple tributaries join the Gale River. At 2.5 miles, after the second or third crossing you come to a section of stepping stones. From here, the trail gets steeper. At 3.1 miles, the first decent view comes. Itís an open view to the east of what I could only assume was North Twin. I could be wrong. From here, the grade picks up and the last half mile is rather steep with muddy sections and wet, exposed rocks. We finally reach the AT after 4.0 miles. We took a break and I decide to get a dry shirt on. It was very humid out and I had already soaked through one of my towels. After a quick bite to eat we strapped up and headed east towards Galehead Hut. The grade is somewhat the same but seemed to go quicker since we knew how far the hut was.

  We reached the Frost Trail just before the clearing for the hut. Reaching the hut gave you great views of the Twin Range and Galehead. It has a great porch in front for resting just before or after going to the summit. We choose to keep on going and headed for the summit. The Frost trail took a slight decent before hitting the final ascent to Galehead Mountain. About two thirds the way up a great outlook appears on the left, with great view of the Bonds and the Twins. The summit is a dead end in the trail marked by a cairn and a makeshift camp site. After a quick bite to eat and a drink we headed back down the summit to the hut. We were able to fill up our bottles from a faucet inside the hut. There were restrooms available, food, and an indoor seating area. It was very clean and peaceful. See Mt Garfield Trip Report for the rest of the story.