Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Magnificent Day for a Leisurely Hike to Garfield

Spectacular weather was in the forecast for this weekend. High clouds, warm temps and low humidity for Saturday with warmer temps and clearer skies for Sunday. Both days were a winner. I had some work to do around the house on Sunday so I would be joining Brian and Jill for a hike to Mount Garfield (4,500') today. This is one of my favorite hikes. It's a gradual 4.8 climb to the Garfield Ridge Trail then a short steep climb to the summit for a 10 mile round trip hike.

Our meetup time was 8:00 AM and I got to the Garfield trailhead a little early. There was a steady stream of hikers arriving. The parking area was already full and hikers were parking along the dirt road. I got a parking spot on the road. Jill and Brian were carpooling and arrived shortly after I got there. We got on the trail just after 8:00.

It was a cool, dry morning and it felt great after the past couple of weekends that were warm and steamy. The trail was dry and the water crossings were low. There were hikers passing us in both directions. There were also a lot of dogs with their hikers and everyone was enjoying the hiking conditions today. We reached the Garfield Ridge trail junction and took a short break.

The final 0.2 mile is a steep climb to the summit ledges. I was actually surprised that there were so few hikers when we arrived. I knew that wouldn't last and I got my panoramic video and summit photos before there was a crowd. We then went down to a lower ledge that looked out over the Pemigewasset Wilderness and ate lunch while enjoying the views.

It was a great day for basking on the summit. There was a high thin cloud cover and a ring around the sun. A cool breeze had me putting on a long sleeve shirt. Another bonus was the lack of biting bugs, they were nowhere to be found. When we stood up and turned around the summit was covered with hikers. They were sitting everywhere and we wound our way up and around and through the crowd. A few more photos and we started our descent.

It was a quick trip down and we passed many hikers that were coming up. Back at the parking area there were many more vehicles parked up and down the road on both sides. I was expecting a lot of people to be hiking to the top of this popular summit. It's an easy hike and it was a beautiful summer day for the end of July. I'm sure all the popular trails were experiencing the same large crowds. It was fantastic weather, great trail conditions, spectacular views and fun hiking companions. We all agreed that this was a perfect day of hiking!

Enjoy the photos!

The hike starts here

Easy water crossing

Mushrooms were out

Another easy water crossing

My favorite mushrooms of the day

The final 0.2 mile to the summit

Brian and Jill peeking

Franconia Ridge behind me

Galehead and the Twins behind me

Brian enjoying the views and the cool breeze

Summit wildflowers

Lunch with views into the Pemigewasset Wilderness

Galehead, Galehead Hut and South Twin

Zooming in on Galehead Hut

Ring around the sun

Zooming in on the summit of Galehead Mountain

Hikers on South Twin

Looking over North Twin to the summit of Mount Washington

Hikers on Bondcliff

Mount Guyot

Owl's Head

Mountain cranberry

Mount Lafayette from Mount Garfield

Franconia ridge

Starting our descent


Water levels are very low

This mushroom looked like black velvet

Last easy water crossing for this hike

Back at the trailhead after 10 miles

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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