There are definite advantages to having a house up in the Whites. We easily got to the trailhead by 7:30AM. I picked Mt Garfield purely because it was the closest significant mountain. The other family we hiked with was a bit more sensible and vetted the trail to make sure it was kid appropriate. That 7:30AM start time was early enough to get the 10th parking spot on the side of the road after the parking lot filled up.
The hike up is quite gradual. It’s the easiest of the four thousand footers that I have done. We had thought we could cross country ski up it last year. It gets too steep for cross country skis about 2 miles in, and too steep for fun telemark about 4 miles in. There are no views until the very top. The views at the summit, however, are worth the climb — a full 360° view of the northern Pemigewasset Wilderness, the rugged back side of Lafayette and Lincoln, and all the way south across the Kancamagus.
I wished we could extend the hike to loop over to Galehead Mountain, but the younger of the other two kids was getting tired. Isaac and the older kid charged down the mountain. They stopped occasionally to wait for us. The two of them seemed immune to the 10 miles and 3,000′ of elevation. At the bottom, Isaac grumbled about me choosing a hike that was so boring and short.
Thanks to Adrian for a couple of the photos. I was busy talking, so my photo quality isn’t as good as some times.