Mt. Garfield (July 19, 2012)

And we are off

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.

start of trail

It was a woodsy walk with three stream crossings. The crossings were low running and very easily rock hoppable.

Low water = easy crossing

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.

an easy rock trail

We received our first tree window to a view a little ways before we joined The Garfield Ridge Trail.

First glimpse out

Even though the grade was fairly easy, in terms of White Mountains hiking, I was a sweaty mess and was ready to see the trail junction sign.

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.

some of the .2 miles up

When we reached the open summit, we saw our final destination, the summit of the rock that held the remains of the fire tower.

base of former 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.

nap with a view

After the rest, it was time to head down.  This is one trail where the down wasn’t brutal on the knees.

down with a view

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.

Parasitic Wasp

beautiful yellow fungus

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.

checking out the views

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.

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