Hard Hike... but worth it. First the negatives: Trails is steep at times and not well maintained, so in areas of washout there is a lot of loose rock. There were many areas near the top with a 25% grade, and a few short scrambling areas with 40% grade. It is overall harder and longer than it would appear due to loose rock, especially on the West portion (Big Springs). Most people turn around at 4 miles, and this is where it gets hard. We thought it would take 7-8 hours, and it took us 9.5 hours. It is listed as 17+ miles, but I think it was only
13 miles with my malfunctioning GPS. Positives: Scenery is beautiful, easily the best I have seen this year, as you can see from the pictures. From the pass at the top you can see Squaw Peak, Y-Mountain, Provo Peak, Freedom Peak and Lightning Peak all at the same time. Spectacular. In addition, this hike is nearly entirely in dense trees (both fir/spruce and aspen) or open meadows with beautiful wildflowers. the Eastern trail (Shingle Mill Canyon) was a little more scenic. The only area with scrub trees is on the front (North) portion. For nearly the entire trail, the beauty of this hike substantially above average, even for the spectacular views in the surrounding areas. Overall, this hike was both significantly more difficult and significantly more spectacular than we anticipated.