We arrived at the parking lot at 6:15 am on a saturday. Surprised to see it completely full and nabbed the very last spot. All other cars had to start parking on the road leading up to the trail head, some as much as 1 mile away.
Started hiking on the lower trail that runs along the creek. about a mile in a group of hikers distributed a wasp nest and they all received some nasty stings and my wife was stung twice!
The trail along the trick has a few tricky spots with not much walking room, but navigable. The switchback section once you start the last 1.5 has a few steep sections. the trail on the way up is about 95 shaded, which made it nice.
On the way up there were swarms of gnats. Several of them did a kamikaze dive into my wife’s eyes. we saw several hikers that had bug nets on their hats, which we thought was a good idea.
at the top, there is the cafe for food, snacks and drinks. Headed back down via the loop trail and it’s all downhill. At the junction at Hogees camp, we opted for the upper trail, which is 99% downhill, (except for the first 100 yards), but a mile longer. We were glad we took this route.
at about the end of the trail, we encountered a rattlesnake on the path. no harm as we waited for it to move along.
the hike down is about 60% shaded, but the other 40% got pretty warm.
at the bottom there is a working “pack Camp” that you can get some cold drinks and a burger. Had the AJ burger and it was pretty tasty.
Got back to the car at about 3:00 pm