We got to this trail at about Noon on a Sunday, walked most of it at a leisurely pace, and finished around 3:30. We had no problem finding the entrance-- the directions given are simple and accurate. If at any time we became unsure of the path (more towards the end as we climbed the big mountain), the rock cairns were always there to guide the way. It was a great hike for us, just difficult enough and it offers so much!
On the way up, we hit a patch of the trail that had crystals everywhere; there were so many, we stopped for a long time just to check them all out. On the way down, we didn't see any; we realized that before, the sun was in the perfect spot, making all of them sparkle and catch our attention. So you have to hit the right spot at just the right time of day.
Both of us had our first jumping cholla experience; one got stuck to my finger as we were looking at crystals, his attached to his leg after it stuck to his pants. He didn't notice it there as he took a step, his legs brushed each other and pushed the needles into his calf. I freaked out when it happened to me, demanding it, "Out, get it out right now!" at the cost of no picture, but have no marks from it. He was more patient, okay-ing the photo op. He had to pull much harder to get the needles out and has bruised and swollen skin. We learned A LOT about jumping cholla and we each only had to experience it once for us to be more careful around them.
All in all, it was a fun, quiet, exciting trail... There was so much wildlife and many awesome things to look at, I just could not get enough. There's always something to "wow" and grab your attention and the lake was viewable most of the hike, as well. It feels "untouched"-- there was no trash you find on more populated trails, we never saw another person the entire hike, and my granola trail mix was safe from hungry squirrels because the animals weren't used to people & our food. My heart got a good cardio work-out (especially) on the final climb and the view from the top allowed us to enjoy all of the wonderful things about this trail... while sitting down. It was a great hike and we plan to do this one again!
Thank you, 2HIKERZ, for blazing the trail!!!http://youtu.be/m5X2mJTLZM0