Mount Garfield is a 4,500 foot mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire. It connects the mountains of the Franconia Ridge to the Twin Mountain range. From the summit you will find terrific views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness with one of the best views of Owl’s Head, and Franconia Ridge. There are three routes described below to hike Mt Garfield which have different levels of difficulty.
Option 1: Mt Garfield Trail (10.0 miles, 3,155 feet, 6:37)
The Mt. Garfield Trail is the easiest option for summiting Mt Garfield. It is straightforward and has easy grades for most of the hike. The trail is relatively easy has good footing until the final ascent as there is a short, but steep climb on the Garfield Ridge Trail. Via this route you are in a green tunnel until you summit and are rewarded with beautiful views!
Option 2: Skookumchuck and Garfield Ridge (12.0 miles, 4,250 feet, 8:10)
If you are looking for a challenge and have two cars, a fun route is up the Skookumchuck and Garfield Ridge trails to the summit and descend by the Mt. Garfield Trail. You can also choose to climb Mount Lafayette from the Skookumchuck junction. This adds an additional 1.6 miles and 600 feet. The Garfield Ridge Trail is challenging as it is steep, but the upper portion has wonderful views.
Option 3: Galehead and Garfield (13.7 miles, 3,950 feet, 8:50)
If you want to bag two peaks, you could combine Galehead and Garfield. I recommend doing Galehead with the Twins, however. This is a strenuous trip as you will climb the Garfield Ridge trail which is steep and has difficult footing. A loop where you climb Galehead first is preferred by most. If you don’t have two cars you will need to add an additional 1.6 miles of road walking.
The AMC’s Garfield Ridge Campsite is located on the Garfield Ridge Trail, just northeast of Garfield’s summit.
The AMC’s Galehead Hut is located at 3800 ft. on the Garfield Ridge, near the Twinway, Garfield Ridge, Frost, and Twin Brook Trails. The hut is open from mid-May to mid-October (caretaker basis in May), offering meals and overnight accommodations.
The AMC’s Greenleaf Hut is located at the junction of the Old Bridle Path and Greenleaf Trail, 4.6 miles from Garfield’s summit. The hut is open from mid-May to mid-October (caretaker basis in May), offering meals and overnight accommodations.
Quick Facts (via option 1):
Starting from: Mount Garfield Trailhead
Elevation Gain: 3,155
Mileage: 10.0 RT via Mt Garfield Trail
Book Time: 6:37
Last modified: September 25, 2017