Mt. Garfield (July 19, 2012)
I’m not an official peakbagger, rather a seeker of views. It can be a full 360 views, a glimpse of vistas, windows of trees that frame a view or a straight on one way view at the end of the trail, it doesn’t matter, just give me a view. Mt. Garfield provided all of that, but really wowed with a full 360 view at the summit.
We started around 7:45 a.m. on the Garfield Trail.
It was a woodsy walk with three stream crossings. The crossings were low running and very easily rock hoppable.
The trail grade was moderate all the way on the Garfield Trail. At times on the ascent it was rocky, but for my short legs it was not strenuous.
We received our first tree window to a view a little ways before we joined The Garfield Ridge Trail.
Well that was until my husband reminded me the last .2 miles would be steep and good ole fashioned White Mountain hiking. After a quick break, we started up the last .2 miles. This was a fun little scramble up to the summit, which took us about 20 minutes.
When we reached the open summit, we saw our final destination, the summit of the rock that held the remains of the fire tower.
Once up there our views were stunning, we could see for miles in all directions.
After oohing and aahhing, it was time for a snack break and well, ok, a little nap.
After the rest, it was time to head down. This is one trail where the down wasn’t brutal on the knees.
On the way down, the refrain of “are we there yet?” kept replaying in my head. Along the way we found some interesting nature items to make the time go quickly.
It was a beautiful day to be out on the trail. I kept thinking if I were peakbagging or doing the 48 list, Garfield might just be my end hike, so I could reflect on the mountains I conquered.
The Details: 10 miles, 6 hours total time, 30 minutes of stop time, elevation gain of 3000 feet. Overall in terms of hiking the White Mountains this was an easy trail, the difficulty comes in the length and the last.2 miles to the summit.