Forgot to turn on Bluetooth for the first 1/2 mi of the hike, so total length was about 14.25mi. The hike from Saratoga Gap to the camp site was pleasant and not too strenuous. Almost the entire trail along this section had tree cover and kept the sun off our faces. The add on loop along Saratoga Gap Trail towards the parking lot was a lot more rocky/sun and was more effort. There was lots of poison oak along the trail edge of the Ridge Trail on the way back. The loop did provide some beautiful vistas of the SC mountains.
The return route wasn't as shady as the way in, but was mostly (90%?) covered. Still there were times you could feel the heat radiating off the rock at your feet. There were some really beautiful areas (especially some new growth bamboo) to be seen along the trail, but there was a section of fire road which really didn't fit the ethos of the hike. More poison oak, but not as bad as the Ridge Trail. Overall, this was the most strenuous portion of the hike.
Overall, hike took 6 hours and both of us were wiped out and I'm still hurting the next day. This is definitely an upper moderate hike and requires you to be in good cardio shape. There is fresh water at the camp site, so you don't need to bring all your water, but you should be carrying at least 2 liters on a warm day.