Since neither one of us wanted to hike the Lost Goldmine Trail, we did this as an out and back from Hiero to the peak.
The section right after the pools was a serious bushwhack. The trail would often seem to abruptly dead end in a wall of dense brush, but if you pushed through it, you'd see the continuance on the other side. There are a lot of use trails in that area which can take you all over the place and that's a little confusing at times. Because of the vegetation, you can't see any of the cairns ahead of you and the main trail doesn't really stand out much from the various offshoots. However, on the return trip, the trail here is very obvious and easy to follow, as you are looking downhill.
The exit from this bushwhack festival is to push your way through a nearly solid wall of shrub about 20' deep and well over your head. If you couldn't see the skinny dirt trail at your feet, you'd be wondering where you went so wrong. You emerge from this green maze to leave all bushwhacking behind you and continue on much more barren terrain. This section is over mostly rock and the trail itself isn't highly visible, but the cairns are easily followed.
Arriving at the scree slope, the cairns blend in with the landscape and route finding gets a little tricky. It's quite steep, but if you take your time choosing your steps, you can find solid footing all the way up. Same goes for the trip back down and it really wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated. Here again, it's easier to see the route going down.
By the time we hit the ridgeline, what started out to be a mostly sunny, pleasantly warm day was turning into mostly cloudy and rather cool. It was looking like rain was possible, even though it wasn't in the forecast. I didn't take many photos because nothing was terribly inspiring. Moving on, this part of the ridgeline trail to the peak was quite rugged. There was a 20' chute to climb straight up and over. The peak was much further than I thought it would be and getting to the top involved some clever climbing, as well.
At the top, there was a new register in the red can with only a few names going back to April of this year, but no sign of the old one. We added ours and took a short break. Short, because it was starting to rain... no thunder, lightning or wind, just cold, light but steady rain. The rocks got very slick in a big hurry and that slowed us down some. But fortunately, the rain ended before we started the climb back down from the ridge and that went much quicker than I expected.
For all that is said and speculated about this route to or down from the ridgeline, I really didn't think it was as hard as I imagined it might be. Not to say this is an easy hike, but I'd rather go down this way than Siphon Draw... although, without trekking poles, it would have been brutal in some spots. Those things are worth their weight in gold, sometimes.