Now THIS is a walkable trail! Last time I did this was Jan '08 and I scrambled awkwardly up rocks to the saddle. (Which is fine if that's your thing - but I like a basic, solid path.) I really like the new trail although the part from the saddle to the Thumb is a little weird compared to the old way.
Just me and husband today on stay-cation. We parked at the new north parking area (much better than old place near the one house) and saw a dozen or so people during the day. Went to the Lookout and then backtracked up to the Thumb for lunch. Views are great
from the Lookout.
I can't wait to do this from Bell/104th lot or from Gateway/Desert Park. Those are on my list for when I'm not tethered to my pump.
If I had friends from out of town who wanted a good city hike - this is what I would suggest. Feels more remote on the north side and views are tremendous - great workout and short if you don't dawdle for pics and lunch.