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This trail can be described in one word: STAIRS! I hiked this trail after a morning on the Welch/Dickey loop. This was my first of the NH48 so it was tough on me especially after a full morning of hiking, but the accomplishment that I felt upon reaching the summit was unparalleled! Views are obscured by trees but beautiful nonetheless. I had beautiful summer weather on my side, too. Highly recommended for hikers beginning their exploration of the 4000-footers, but may be underwhelming for more experienced hikers. This took me 3.75 hours total on tired legs, including about 30 minutes at the summit.

12/8/18 Trail journal with conditions, photos, and gear list up at packandpeak.com now.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked from 8:30am - 1pm. Well packed for almost the whole trail, a few areas of dry, unpacked powder. Microspikes were the perfect traction. Small side trails not packed, would need snow shoes for those. Not too difficult of hike, though there are some steep sections.

I went 2 weeks ago and the road was blocked.

Great Beginners hike! Was pretty packed when we went up.

Did this during the winter storm on Nov 27th. The snow got deeper as we kept getting higher in elevation. You definitely need to make sure you have the proper gear if snow is on the ground. 2nd time I've done this trail and always amazing!

hiking
11 days ago

The trail is so well packed that one could do it without any traction at all, but I brought crampons and found them helpful, especially on the steeper sections. I felt like I got a great workout out of it, but it did not feel quite like an inspiring wilderness experience - you skirt a developed ski area, and are also in the trees for most of the hike. There are not many views except from the summit.

Super snowy and beautiful. Lesson learned: if you are debating about wether or not to carry snowshoes the answer is probably carry them. Left mine in the car, and my legs are feeling all step kicking and postholing through 3-4 foot+ drifts. Well worth it for the views at the top.

loved the winter hike 2 years ago

hiking
19 days ago

It's hard to judge these trails this year. The amount of snowfall affects all aspects of the hike. For me the trail was mostly packed. Its a gradual ascent from the base to the last half mile. The last mile to the summit hadn't been attempted since the last snowfall. So it began with 4 inches of loose snow on packed base. Then became deep snow (couldn't tell trail from not)... Snowshoes went on about point 7 miles from the summit. The summit was very cold with temps in the negative double digits. The view of the Franconia ridge was epic. I really enjoyed my hike up Garfield. I would definitely recommend it any time of year.

Trail was packed well from recent trampers. Snowshoes and spikes never came out. 3.5 hours out and back. Not much on views but still a fun little hike. The resident red squirrel at the summit is quite the friendly fella.

I did this hike back on 10-05-2018 as my first real hike. I made the first peak with out too much trouble. After that I knew I was over my head. Be that as it may it is an excellent experience and awesome hike. The views at each of the 3 peaks and even in-between were great. I went up the waterfall side and down the hut side. Highly recommend this hike. Look forward to doing it again in the winter

This is a very unique hike which is totally different from any conventional hiking trails you’ll find in the sierras. Definitely worth doing at least once. Be careful; it’s very easy to slip and fall. Views are OK, not much to look at honestly.

Absolutely breathtaking! One of the prettiest hikes I’ve taken on a cold, but sunny, clear day, completed November 12th 2018. Definitely go up the falling waters trail in winter and come down the old bridle path. It’s incredibly icy and much safer to climb up than go down the falling waters path, and still the several river crossings are a bit of a challenge. Microspikes are a must! But so worth the views! It was pretty cold up on the ridge, and quite windy, so be sure to dress correctly.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice winter hike with some sneak peaks of the rock pile.
There was about 6 inches of snow on the peak and a little ice on the upper 500 feet of the trail.

Climbed for first time. Not a traditional walking trail. Trail begins at white dot trail over rocks and tree roots and ascends quickly. Lots of granite on trail. In fact the “trail” turns to all grainte rock scrambling most of the way, sometimes crab walking on all fours becomes necessary. The summit is beautiful. Getting down equally rocky. Follow the trail markings, take your time, enjoy to views.

Hiked November 11, 2018. Good amount of snow on the trail but trail was well maintained. Took us 5 hrs 15 min (took 3 hrs to summit). Parking lot was full and saw about 10-12 people on the trail (some with dogs). Moderate incline throughout with some plateaus (never very steep and no steep boulders to climb as some of the other 4000s). First mile is mix of mud, water, ice and snow and then the trail becomes more a more packed/firm ice/snow. There was probably about 6 inches of snow throughout the second half of the hike. I used my micro spikes and hiking poles majority of the time. Was thankful for my hat and gloves. If you walk about 2 minutes past the Waumbeck summit sign there is a nice lookout (I think of a Washington). Was cold but manageable with a layers. Almost all of the trail is under tree line but it was beautiful under the snow covered trees and the mounds of snow. Agree with others that this was a good winter hike - if you have micro spikes.

Really great hike!! First mile is relatively simple, second mile is more climbing than hiking. We underestimated how cold/windy/icy the hike would be towards the summit. Wear good hiking shoes and many layers!

Great hike with a good mix of wooded hiking and rock scrambling above the tree line. Includes a false peak. Be prepared, it’s 10-15 degrees colder at the peak vs the base. It’s also very windy at the peak. The payoff is worth it at the peak as the views are stunning. So many great photo ops during the climb. I took the White Dot trail up and the White Cross trail down. The White Cross trail is supposedly less steep, but it still is a steep rocky decent that can take its toll on the knees and ankles. These two trails are heavily trafficked so be prepared to make the hike with 1,000 of your closest new friends. All-in-all, a solid day hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Took us about five hours up and back down with several breaks. A little steep in parts but overall not bad. A little icey towards the top but didn’t even break out our spikes. Good hike for a dog. Our 50 pound hound was able to jump up over every rock on his own and didn’t tire out. There were several other dogs on the trail as well. The only disappointment of the day was the very unfriendly dog at the summit which the owner had off leash and who confronted our dog. The viewpoint halfway up was nice as were the views at the top. The summit is small so probably better on a weekday when it’s less crowded.

Always a great hike! I enjoy the challenge of the Rock scrambles and the sense of accomplishment and freedom when I reach the top. Amazing views well worth the hike. Bring more water & energy boosting snacks than thank you think you need as this hike will have your legs working extremely hard most of the time. Can’t wait to climb this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful hike. a little snow towards the top, but a great hike for the family.

Not a terribly hard 4000ftr. Good for winter hiking. Did it in 3.5 hours with a 10 minute break at the top.

What a fantastic day of hiking! I've done this hike 20+ times in my life and it's easily my favorite hike in NH. It's is a long loop, and it hard on the body if you're not ready for it and even if you are.

A bit of advice, if you're planning on doing the loop in winter months, I would suggest you start up falling waters and go down Old Bridal path. Sometimes dry creek is impassible and you have to cross it multiple times on falling waters trail. If you hiked up Old Bridal Path and down Falling waters there's the potential that you would need to turn around and go all the way back over the ridge, or bushwack to the highway and follow it back to the parking lot.

The parking lot was about 30 degrees, summits in the clouds. We knew there was snow and ice so came prepared with microspikes, poles, goggles and many layers. The clouds cleared mid-day and the views to Mt. Washington were beautiful.

There were FAR too many people on this hike that really should not have been there. Many people in sneakers, no gloves, and cotton sweatshirts.

Please don't be one of those people. This is a serious hike, particularly in the winter months from October to Feb/March. With the windchill on the ridge, the temp was about 7 degrees F. People die on this hike when they underestimate the weather.

Here is an example :
http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13200507400/Failure-to-Turn-Back-Failure-to-Follow-Route-Inadequate-Clothing-and-Equipment-Weather-New-Hampshire-Mount-Lafayette

Stay safe, go prepared or don't go. Hope everyone made it down safely yesterday. There were still a lot of cars in the parking lot when we left after hiking out with headlamps for the last mile or so.

this place offers a difficult hike. the hardest part of the hike is the whooping 8.5 miles. it just takes all day. if you plan on hiking this loop, be sure to come prepared. bring lunch and something to nibble on and water is essential. Need the waterproof hiking boots. be sure to dress breathably warm. a hiking stick will be very useful. bring gloves. and last but not least, a portable charger! start hiking as early as possible because by the time you finish the loop, the sun sets and darkness invades. oh yes, darkness, bring a flashlight just to be on the safe side. you may or may not need it but you'll be grateful to have it in case you need it.

my friends and I started to hike pretty 130pm late. we ended up descending in the dark with flashlights from our phones. got lost a few times. slip and slide more often in the dark. our feet were all soaked from descending the falling water trail. altogether, a great hike. would absolutely do it again. early and more prepared next time!

please wear all wheel drives shoe haha.

Good hike - pretty easy - at least as far as the 4,000 footers go. Snow and ice at the top. Wish I’d warn waterproof shoes/boots but at least I had wool socks. The trail was a brook in spots from recent rain. Also there were a couple of difficult brook crossings as the water was high and fast. I assume those crossings aren’t usually as difficult as they were this day.

I went on November 3rd after it had been raining for a few weeks, so no surprise there is a lot of mud and water, and ice and snow towards the top. Definitely steeper on the first half, but then becomes more moderate. I went on a grey day because I saw that it was recommended for a rainy day hike, and as summits are below tree line, it’s not like you’re missing out on amazing views and can instead appreciate the trees in the mist. My Garmin said I had done 8 miles in the end, but I’m not sure where it got that from.

on Mount Garfield Trail

1 month ago

Started in the parking lot with beautiful fall foliage and peaked at the top in 6 inches of snow! Gorgeous but I recommend bringing spikes and poles. Round trip in 5 1/2 hours. Gate still open.

Great hike, we completed this hike on October 26th, clear sky’s and no wind at the summit. There was about three inches of snow and very little ice.

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