Lots of up and down on this trail, most of which I somehow forgot about on the return trip.
Joe, Tim, Dave and I decided on taking the canyon route up. Very much worth it! Had fun finding the route, traversing fallen trees with 20ft exposure over the dry creek, and climbing canyon walls and trickling waterfalls. Headed back down as soon as we found the road (thanks for finding us, Jim), forgetting to stop for a lunch break.. oops. The switchbacks on the way down don't look nearly as fun as the canyon. Had a good amount of tree cover for the first portion back, but the second portion seemed like it was in perpetual sun. Better to get this one done before the temps rise too high!
Joe's suggestion for this hike as a loop from the top seems like a much more worthwhile option if you're planning on bushwhacking the canyon. I'd suggest also to bring shoes with good grippy tread on them. Really comes in handy.
Great hiking with Joe, Jim, Tim, and Wally again. Good to meet you Ron, Dave, Chris, Rachel, and Kyle. Looking forward to future hikes!