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Thread: Tenting near Galehead Hut

  1. #1
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    Tenting near Galehead Hut

    Anybody know anything about tenting near Galehead? I know you can't camp within the 1/4mile forest protection zone. But outside that, I'm wondering if I might find a site somewhere along the Frost Trail. Feel free to private message me; I can understand not wanting to post anything in a public forum. I know it'd be a dry campsite, but if it's somewhere near Galehead, we can carry water from there. Thanks for any wisdom you can provide.
    --junebug

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    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Just be aware if you're not already, the Frost Trail is entirely within the Pemi Wilderness, so you need to be 200 feet off trail. The 4000 foot contour is 0.25 from the hut as the crow flies, so the only possible place would be outside of 200 feet from the trail on the northwest to south side of the cone. Anywhere else and the contours do not look great for camping.

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Yeah, the slopes are pretty bad in the area. I drew circles on the map and it is legal to camp 200 ft due north of the galehead summit, where the slopes are as good as you'll get (but not exactly good for tents). There's also a lot dense evergreens in that area. You might be better off with a hammock, but on the other hand the summit gets enough wind that the trees might not support one.

    For a good night's sleep, I think I'd rather drop down to 13 Falls. (You could stop partway, say on the shoulder at 2962', but at that point you're only one mile and {500' of elevation} from water and tent platforms.) Click image for larger version. 

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    When I hiked the Twin Brook Trail a few years ago I saw many potential campsites just off the ridge. It is in the wilderness area and the RUA for the hut must be respected but my guess is ther are legal sites but odd are you need to fill up with water at the hut.

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    It would be helpful to explain why you don't want to stay at Thirteen Falls or Garfield tentsites.

    If you've never been, that neck of the woods makes it mighty hard to hike two hundred feet off trail, and a LOT of people hike through there. If people are not using the hardened sites provided for us, that area has the potential to degrade very quickly.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty View Post
    Just be aware if you're not already, the Frost Trail is entirely within the Pemi Wilderness, so you need to be 200 feet off trail. The 4000 foot contour is 0.25 from the hut as the crow flies, so the only possible place would be outside of 200 feet from the trail on the northwest to south side of the cone. Anywhere else and the contours do not look great for camping.
    Not according to AMC maps. Galehead and the Frost Trail appear to be completely out of the Pemi. Wilderness. Which I think by design, you'll find anywhere along the AT, wilderness boundary's are at least 200' from most trails. I believe I've seen herd paths to sights on the .6 mile section of the GRT between the junction of the Gale River Trail and the hut. There're literally everywhere along the AT.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Joe

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    Just a quick followup. Here's our revised plan...
    Hike in to 13 Falls and talk to the caretaker there. If they recommend not trying for a place just outside the 1/4 mile around Galehead, we'll instead hike up the Franconia Brook Trail. When we get to the ridgeline, we'll head toward Garfield. There's supposed to be a water source a short way down that trail. If we find it and there's water, we'll fill up and reverse course, hiking toward Galehead. FarOut thinks there are several places to tent along the ridgeline within the first mile or so of that stream. The topo map certainly looks promising in that stretch, so we'll probably find something. The next day we'll continue over to Guyot. If the water source turns out to be dry, we'll keep going south to the Garfield Ridge shelter and tent there. This seems like a fairly robust plan, so we'll likely stick with it unless somebody either on this forum or at 13 Falls gives us more hope of finding a place closer to Galehead. FYI, the Wilderness officially starts 66 feet south of the ridgeline trail per the last post in the thread "official boundary description of Pemigewasset Wilderness", so the 200foot requirement doesn't apply here. Tenting is legal within the first 66 feet of the trail on the south side and whatever you want on the north side. That said, we'll likely try for 200 feet if we can and if not, then at least not visible from the trail.
    --junebug

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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegprimak View Post
    The next day we'll continue over to Guyot. If the water source turns out to be dry, we'll keep going south to the Garfield Ridge shelter and tent there. if
    --junebug
    I do not understand how you can head south from Guyot and arrive at the Garfield Ridge shelter

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegprimak View Post
    Just a quick followup. Here's our revised plan...
    Hike in to 13 Falls and talk to the caretaker there. If they recommend not trying for a place just outside the 1/4 mile around Galehead, we'll instead hike up the Franconia Brook Trail. When we get to the ridgeline, we'll head toward Garfield. There's supposed to be a water source a short way down that trail. If we find it and there's water, we'll fill up and reverse course, hiking toward Galehead. FarOut thinks there are several places to tent along the ridgeline within the first mile or so of that stream. The topo map certainly looks promising in that stretch, so we'll probably find something. The next day we'll continue over to Guyot. If the water source turns out to be dry, we'll keep going south to the Garfield Ridge shelter and tent there. This seems like a fairly robust plan, so we'll likely stick with it unless somebody either on this forum or at 13 Falls gives us more hope of finding a place closer to Galehead. FYI, the Wilderness officially starts 66 feet south of the ridgeline trail per the last post in the thread "official boundary description of Pemigewasset Wilderness", so the 200foot requirement doesn't apply here. Tenting is legal within the first 66 feet of the trail on the south side and whatever you want on the north side. That said, we'll likely try for 200 feet if we can and if not, then at least not visible from the trail.
    --junebug
    I'm getting the impression you're new. Let me give you some advice.
    Stay at hardened sites. Those are sites are there for reasons.
    a. They have water sources;
    b. They have bear boxes;
    c. You have the safety of sleeping around other human beings, and the pleasure of meeting other folks;
    d. There are caretakers to look after the locations;
    e. You have an outhouse;
    f. You have a wash station;
    g. It minimizes environmental degradation;
    h. You have perfect spots to set up a tent.

    The Whites are not simply not capable of having people make their own campsites. Yes, you went onto an app and found others who did--almost all of which are illegal because they are mere feet off the trail, but that doesn't mean you should.

    In any event, I get the impression you haven't been up there before. Finding a spot to set up a tent is going to be quite a challenge. Walking 200 feet off trail is hard enough, let alone with a full backpack. You'll see it when you get there, but you will be challenged to find one square yard of forest floor without a plant or a rock (neither of which will you be able to displace), let alone enough to set up a tent.

    Please take my advice, stay at the tentsites up there. At least for your first trip. They are there for a reason.

    Brian

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    There is no shortage of dispersed sites along the AT. It's usually a safe bet that there will be one at or near most FPA boundaries along the trail. Check the comments on Guthook for the hut. There is no 200' rule along the GRT or Twinway so the thrubie "stealth" sites outside the hut and campsite FPA's are entirely legal unless they're signed otherwise.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegprimak View Post
    FYI, the Wilderness officially starts 66 feet south of the ridgeline trail per the last post in the thread "official boundary description of Pemigewasset Wilderness", so the 200foot requirement doesn't apply here. Tenting is legal within the first 66 feet of the trail on the south side and whatever you want on the north side. That said, we'll likely try for 200 feet if we can and if not, then at least not visible from the trail.
    --junebug

    IMPORTANT: Camping is PROHIBITED within 200 feet of a trail or water source in the White Mountain National Forest REGARDLESS of whether or not you are in a Wilderness. https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/whi...camping-cabins

    Please heed Brian's sage advice. Each of our actions impact the future condition of the WMNF. With the high use that the WMNF sees, it is all the more important that we minimize our impact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I do not understand how you can head south from Guyot and arrive at the Garfield Ridge shelter
    South on the AT isn't always south on the map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    IMPORTANT: Camping is PROHIBITED within 200 feet of a trail or water source in the White Mountain National Forest REGARDLESS of whether or not you are in a Wilderness. https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/whi...camping-cabins

    Please heed Brian's sage advice. Each of our actions impact the future condition of the WMNF. With the high use that the WMNF sees, it is all the more important that we minimize our impact.
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf This seems like a useless document for them to refer us to if there is a blanket rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    IMPORTANT: Camping is PROHIBITED within 200 feet of a trail or water source in the White Mountain National Forest REGARDLESS of whether or not you are in a Wilderness. https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/whi...camping-cabins

    Please heed Brian's sage advice. Each of our actions impact the future condition of the WMNF. With the high use that the WMNF sees, it is all the more important that we minimize our impact.
    Sorry to bring up a repeated subject but the WMNF published regulations do not agree with your statement. The website states a blanket 200 foot rule but the referenced Backcountry Document https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf does not. As I have stated before the backcountry document is an exercise in obfuscation either intentionally or unintentionally. Page 2 of the document is Leave no Trace "guidelines" that have no legal standing currently in the WMNF, yes Kharma and good practice calls for maintaining a minimum 200 foot, but as you will see on Page 3 the 200 foot regulation is only to called out in specific areas (copied below from the FS backcountry document).

    o Camping, Wood or Charcoal
    Fires within 200 feet of:
    The following bodies of water:
    • Black Pond
    • Black Mountain Pond
    • East Branch of the Pemigewasset River from
    the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with
    Thoreau Falls Trail, including islands
    • The stream along the Smart’s Brook Trail
    from Rte. 49, 1.5 miles to the log landing
    The following trails:
    • Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
    • Appalachian Trail corridor from the summit
    of Mt. Moosilauke to the Connecticut River
    (except at shelters)
    • Intersection of Cedar Brook and Hancock
    Notch Trails to the junction with Hancock
    Loop Trail
    • Champney Falls Trail from the trailhead to
    Champney Falls
    • Falling Waters Trail
    • Franconia Falls Trail
    • Liberty Springs Trail
    • Lower Falls Trail
    • Old Bridle Path
    • Valley Way from its intersection with the
    Scar Trail to Madison Hut
    • Wild River Trail from Wild River
    Campground to 1 mile south


    Note the AT is specifically referenced south of Mt Moosilaukee but not north. and the OPs intended route is not in any of the listed areas.

    Feel free to start another thread on if the WMNF backcountry regulations need to be changed and I will gladly participate in it but realize at this point in time the 200 foot rule is the exception on most non wilderness trails in the whites.

  15. #15
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I'm less concerned with a tent-site 200 feet off the trail which will never be seen or used again than 1000 people on a summit on any given day.

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