Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Galehead Hut, NH
Trails: Twin Brook Trail, Frost Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Gale River Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, June 9, 2024
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Maybe a dozen vehicles at the Gale River trailhead when I got back there. Only four vehicles at Garfield trailhead in the afternoon. 
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: Only crossings of consequence were the two on Gale River Trail, Garfield Stream and then the one 0.2 from the trailhead. Both were pretty easy to rock hop (only needing to use one or two slightly submerged rocks) despite the rainy weather. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Some blowdowns, but none that required bushwhacking around. Signs are there, but the continuation of Frost Trail past Galehead Hut toward Twinway and Garfield Ridge Trail isn't obvious for someone who hasn't been there before (which I have). I once had a southbound thru-hiker tell me that after reaching the hut, they accidentally descended Twin Brook Trail and then had to re-ascend on Franconia Brook Trail rather than follow the AT because of the lack of clear signage. Thanks to the rain, drainage was the big issue today - the mud and standing water was present everywhere but worst on Gale River Trail. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Not really an issue on the trails today thanks to the cooler temperatures and rainy weather. Plenty at the trailhead though. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: This was day 2 of a two-day backpacking trip, staying at 13 Falls overnight (day 1 is here: Weather in the morning was iffy, with light rain falling, but there was no indication that it would get any better so I headed up Twin Brook Trail. I didn't find Twin Brook Trail difficult to follow at all - it's unblazed since it is in a Wilderness area, but the footway is almost always pretty clear ahead of you. Much of the trail has relatively good footing, but there are still some washed-out sections and the final climb at the top is steep and rough with one scramble that was difficult because of the wet rock. Except for that final climb, the trail's grades are easy to moderate, and there are a few minor descents but they don't go on for very long. I saw just one pair of hikers on Twin Brook Trail before I reached the hut. The section of Frost Trail leading to the hut is short but annoying today because it has a lot of boulders that were very wet and slippery. The croo at Galehead Hut were very friendly and I was able to buy a rain poncho there since by that point my raincoat was completely soaked through to the point of uselessness.

Garfield Ridge Trail, and the upper portion of Gale River Trail, were mostly steep, rocky, and wet, and therefore slow going. There were some rock steps, but those are not so useful when the rocks are all very wet and slippery, as they were today. Gale River Trail ultimately got a lot more gradual, and stayed that way until the end. Plenty of mud on some parts of the trail. The lower section has some nice smooth footing but a few rockier areas as well. Saw plenty of people on Gale River Trail going up toward the hut. When I finally reached the trailhead, a very nice couple agreed to drive me back to the Garfield trailhead.

This trip went about as well as could be expected considering the rainy weather. Although several parts definitely felt like a slog, I'm glad I came out here. 13 Falls is a beautiful place and I'm looking forward to returning there in nicer weather.  
Name: GN 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2024-06-09 
Link: https:// 
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