Twins and Galehead (July 13, 2019) - 9 hours

Click on pictures to enlarge.

North Twin.    Galehead hut as the white dot and Galehead Mountain behind it to the right).

Peter Wyatt and I did a loop over the Twins, going up North Twin Trail and down Gale River Trail. This was the reverse direction of a Twins Loop I had previously done in 2012, and this time we threw in Galehead Mountain for good measure. We dropped Peter's car at the Gale River trailhead and my wife Janice then dropped us off at the North Twin trailhead. The climb up North Twin is not particularly interesting except for a river crossing that requires boots-off. The upper part is fairly muddy and rough but as we got close to the top the trail leveled into a beautiful boulevard with soft footing and flowers carpeting the sides (left), very unusual for that altitude. We got to a first ridge with nice views to the east, and from the viewless top of North Twin we did the short side trail with great views to the south (right, with Galehead hut as the white dot and Galehead Mountain behind it to the right).

South Twin.    South Twin.    South Twin.    South Twin.

We then proceeded to South Twin, where large rocky outcrops provide 360 degrees views. This is a magnificent spot for viewing the Pemigewasset Wilderness and more generally the mass of mountains south of the Presidentials Range. At left is the view looking back to North Twin.

Franconia Ridge.    Galehead Mountain.

From there we took the Twinway down to Galehead Hut, dropping 1,000 feet in just 0.8 miles. The top part still offered great views toward the Franconia Ridge (left). After that the trail was rough and steep but not particularly difficult. Galehead Hut was bustling on this Saturday afternoon. In front of the hut was a view down the Franconia Brook valley (right, with Galehead Mountain to the right).

Galehead Hut.    Galehead Hut.

I was pretty sure that I had been to Galehead Mountain before but not 100% sure because I had no specific recollection. It is one of the most boring of the 4,000 footers, barely making the grade and with no view. But it is just 0.5 miles and a 300 feet climb from Galehead Hut. On the way up there is an outlook back to Galehead Hut (left), that's it in terms of interest. The top has a cairn and nothing else to report (right). From there we went back to the hut, and on to the Garfield Range Trail connecting to the Gale River Trail to go down.

See also: 2019 Hikes