Galehead and the Twins Traverse (Advanced)

Organizer: Heather Hesse


Read the entire description before you RSVP and answer all questions that are part of the RSVP. Failure to answer them will result in your removal from this event.

If you RSVP from a mobile device the questions may not show up - be sure to use a computer to update your RSVP so you can answer them (go back to the event page, click change "RSVP", click "YES", then answer them.

RSVPs for this event will close two days before it is scheduled to occur.

Your safety, and the safety of the group, is the most important thing. If you underestimate the demands of this event; overestimate your experience, knowledge, skills or abilities; or come unprepared you put yourself or others at risk – consider this before you decide to participate.


What we're doing

The plan is to climb three of the 4,000 foot summits in NH - Galehead (#44 @ 4,024'), South Twin (#8 4902') and North Twin (#12 4761'). We will meet at the North Twin Trail Head at the end of Haystack Road to spot cars and then head to the Gale River Trail Head to start the hike. We will use the Gale River Trail, Garfield, Ridge Trail and Frost Trail to reach the summit of Galehead Mountain and then reverse diection back down Frost Trail, to the Twin Way to start the very hard climb up South Twin. In .8 miles this trail climbs 1150'. We will then head to North Twin from South Twin using the North Twin Spur trail and descend North Twin via the North Twin Trail to our waiting spotted cars.

We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you.

Guests are not permitted - all participants must be members of the Random Group of Hikers.

Dogs are permitted on this hike provided they are experienced "hikers", well-behaved, you bring a leash in case you need to use it, and you have a copy of their most recent rabies vaccination. Be sure to indicate in your RSVP if you will be bringing a dog. I hike with my very experienced trail dog Kali. She will be in attendance on this day. If you are afraid or adverse to dogs,this is not a hike for you.


Trip Summary

On this fast pace (~2.5 MPH) out and back trip we will hike about 12.20 miles and climb about 4,175 feet. It should take an average hiker about 8 hours 13 minutes to complete this trip (this doesn't include time for rest/food breaks). The pace will be fast for this hike. We will keep moving and not take many breaks as this is a long hike and we will have a large water crossing to contend with before dark.

This event is considered to be ADVANCED because of the pace, distance, and elevation gain. As the organizer I will screen and chose participants based on recent hikes and ability level. Please answer all the meetup questions you will receive with detailed answers if we have never met and hiked together. This can be a demanding hike and we will be hiking in Winter weather conditions. A choice will be made closer to Saturday's date for appropriate traction to bring.

We could alter our plans because of fatigue, weather, and/or other conditions and there is no guarantee that we will complete the entire event as described here (i.e. we might not reach the summit).

I did my research using the Appalachian Mountain Club's "White Mountain Guide", a trail map, and the Internet. You need to become self-reliant by becoming familiar with the route, terrain, and potential hazards since you are ultimately responsible for your own safety.



Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions. Dangerous weather conditions will cancel - I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants a day or two ahead of time. We will assess travel and weather conditions during the hike and make changes to our planned trip as necessary.


Clothing, Gear, Equipment, and Supplies

Hiking safely is about being prepared so that you can respond to an emergency situation or spend a night in the woods if you have to. Failure to bring the basics puts you and the rest of the group at risk. If you don't know what to wear and/or bring with you or have any questions either refer to the list below or contact me.

Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.

If you don't have what you need you will not be allowed to participate - even if you carpooled with someone!



  • We will be spotting cars at the North Twin Trail Head at the end of Haystack Road for our exit from the Twins and starting at the Gale River Trail Head. We will meet at 7:00am at the end of Haystack Road and carpool over to the start of our hike.
  • Directions to carspot: This trail ascends to the summit of North Twin from Haystack Rd. (FR 304), which begins on US 3 about 2.3 mi. west of Twin Mountain village, just west of a large WMNF boundary sign, and runs south 2.5 mi. to a parking area just past its crossing of the Little River.
  • Click for customized driving directions (

While carpooling is encouraged you are responsible for coordinating your own rides. Use the comments section below to communicate with others who may also be looking to share a ride. If you do share a ride be sure to share the expenses - suggested donations per person are $20 from Boston MA, $15 from Salem/Nashua NH, and $10 from Concord NH.


Random Group of Hikers Disclaimer

As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code; the organizer(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you release, hold harmless, and indemnify the organizer(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death - including those caused by negligence and/or other reasons.

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  • dan

    Great time today with nice weather. Easy car spotting with 2 well-behaved pups, too! Old faces and new friends. Thanks!

    December 3, 2012

  • Garrett

    Great trip with a great group of people.

    December 2, 2012

  • John

    Great hike and great group! The climb to South Twin was a killer.......and the summit cookies on North Twin were awesome! Fun day!

    1 · December 1, 2012

  • Heather

    Great group! I had a lot of fun. The summit cookies rocked. We were all able to keep a good pace and made light work of it. The South Twin wasn't that bad after all!

    December 1, 2012

  • Heather

    Hello Group! I had encountered some ice on last week's hike so I wanted to take a minute to remind everyone to have microspikes or something similar with them at the trail head. This will increase confidence and therefore pace. Dress for cold weather, meaning layers, hand warmers, face masks, whatever makes you comfortable. Here is the forecast:
    (usually that weather site is the glass half empty)

    November 30, 2012

  • Garrett

    I'm driving up from south of Boston and can carpool.

    November 28, 2012

  • Lei

    Anyone driving from Boston direction? I'm in Medford, no car, happy to share cost of the ride.

    November 26, 2012

    • Ivan

      Hi Lei, I'm driving from Belmont so Medford is on my way. Let me know where and time to pick you up.

      November 26, 2012

  • dan

    Sounds like a great hike - I'm in!

    November 26, 2012

6 went

  • Heather
    Assistant Organizer
    Event Host
  • dan
    Assistant Organizer
  • Garrett
    Assistant Organizer
  • John
    Assistant Organizer
  • Ted Bolton
    Assistant Organizer
  • A former member

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