Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks 13 Falls Campsite, NH
Trails: Garfield Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Garfield Ridge Campsite Spur, Franconia Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 8, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Garfield Trail had cars parked along the road when I arrived. The dirt road that leads to Garfield Trail is in good condition, just take the bridges slowly since it's quite a sharp bump to get on and off each one. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The crossings on the lower Garfield Trail were easy, but I crossed those before the rain began. The crossing of the branch of Franconia Brook a mile from 13 Falls was also pretty straightforward. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Some blowdowns on Franconia Brook Trail, but nothing unusual for a trail in the Wilderness. Signs are all in place, though some of them are old and nearing their replacement date. Obviously drainage was the big issue since it was a rainy day. Lots of standing and running water everywhere, but that was to be expected. Your boots will get wet. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Due to the cool, rainy weather, bugs were not an issue until I reached 13 Falls, where they were more annoying. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: This was Day 1 of a two-day backpacking trip, spending the night at 13 Falls. I knew there was a significant chance of rain, but since my planned route was entirely below treeline and had no major river crossings, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Garfield Trail is still relatively quick despite the trail having experienced significant erosion since I last hiked it in 2018. I met a trail maintainer who was clearing out waterbars on the lower part of the trail - this is very much appreciated. The rain began during the section with the long switchbacks and stopped (temporarily, as it happened) around when I reached the junction with Garfield Ridge Trail. Most people I encountered on the trail were doing out-and-backs to Garfield. The steep descent down Garfield Ridge Trail had to be taken very carefully since the rocks were all very wet and slippery. I met the first northbound AT thru-hiker I'd seen so far this season, "Hobbles" - he took the rain in stride and was hoping to make it at least to Guyot that day. The sign at the junction with Franconia Brook Trail still says that Franconia Brook Trail intersects Wilderness Trail, which hasn't been the case for a while now - perhaps they could put up a new sign that points to Franconia Brook Trail's intersection with Lincoln Woods Trail instead. The upper portion of Franconia Brook Trail is very rough, with several sections of rock-hopping on wet, slippery rocks over deep puddles. Other, similar sections lower down had beaten paths around the worst areas. There were two more distinct rainstorms during my descent of Franconia Brook Trail, so everything continued to be very wet. There were a few areas of deep mud, but several areas of nicer footing as well on the lower part. I was the first overnighter to arrive at 13 Falls in the afternoon, and the caretaker, Brian, was friendly. 13 Falls has new bear boxes and a new privy (still bring your own TP), and also has a designated cooking area that had a tarp over it to keep the rain out. The tent pads there are fairly small but nicely flat (especially in comparison with those at Slide Mountain Tentsite on Grafton Loop Trail, where I camped two weekends ago). There is absolutely no cell service at 13 Falls, so don't expect to have any contact with the outside world there. It was a cool night with a bit of a breeze.  
Name: GN 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-06-09 
Link: https:// 
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