Note: For complete trail descriptions, times, elevation, trailhead directions, and major features, see the AMC White Mountain Guide or try our new White Mountain Guide Online.
South Twin Mountain (4,902 feet) offers sweeping views to the south of the Franconia Ridge and Franconia Brook valleys.
Strenuous: South Twin’s summit is reached by way of the Twinway, a trail extending from Galehead Hut and connecting with the Bondcliff Trail beyond South Twin’s summit, eventually ending at the Zealand Falls Hut. Another popular route is via the North Twin Trail to North Twin’s summit, then taking the North Twin Spur to the South Twin summit.
The AMC’s Galehead Hut is located at 3800 ft. on the Garfield Ridge, near the Twinway, Garfield Ridge, Frost, and Twin Brook Trails. The hut is open from mid-May to mid-October (caretaker basis in May), offering meals and overnight accommodations.
The AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut is located at 2630 ft. on the north end of Zealand Notch, near the Twinway, Zealand and Ethan Pond Trails. The hut is open for full-service from early June to mid-October, offering meals and overnight accommodations, and is open for self-service during the rest of the year.
The AMC’s Hiker Shuttle stops at the Zealand and Gale River Trailheads, connecting hikers with Lafayette Place Campground and the Highland Center.
Safety in Summer and early Fall
The AMC recommends all hikers check weather conditions in advance, carry a current map and guidebook, along with a compass and knowledge of how to use it. For recommendations on how to plan a safe hike in the White Mountains, see: The 10 essentials for a safe and pleasant hike.
Winter Hiking on South Twin Mountain
Winter hiking anywhere in the White Mountains requires specialized equipment and skills, and experience in coping with weather, navigation, and winter gear. Extremely severe storms can develop suddenly and unexpectedly, especially above treeline. The combination of high wind and low temperatures has such a cooling effect that the worst conditions on South Twin Mountain are approximately equal to the worst reported from Antarctica, despite the much greater cold in the latter region. Hikers interested in extending their activities into winter are strongly advised to seek out organized trips with leaders who have extensive winter experience. Several AMC chapters offer winter hiking and backpacking instruction, and AMC offers several guided winter mountaineering trips; search for "Instruction" in AMC's activity listings. Helpful information can also be found in the AMC Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping.
Offering spectacular views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, the AMC’s Galehead Hut was completely rebuilt in 2000.