This without a doubt the most enjoyable hike I've done up to now. Involved a bit of geocaching in trying to find the site with the GPS, beauty through the forest on the Summit trail and from the nice western views at the site, a holy moment in getting there and just letting the gravity of the crash hit you as it's strewn all over a large swath of the mountain, and of course some exercise.
Actually made a loop out of this hike because I took the wrong route going up, which worked out fine! Once we passed the memorial sign to the fallen men of the B-24, rather than going straight and making it to the sign-in box, we made an immediate right up the meadow (a ski slope) across several swichbacks to a spot that was maybe 0.6 mi from the crash site. We went off trail where there was a much smaller rock wall (actually just a big pile of rocks), but if you continue this trail beyond that point, it actually then takes you back under the Agassiz skilift, and who knows where after that! Because I hadn't realized up until hitting the skilift that I started approaching the skilift that I was off trail, I called wallyfarak, who had just arrived home the night before from our hike up to the summit via Inner Basin, who suggested I go back to my rock wall (or rock pile!), which ended up being the jumpstart I needed to start off-trail. The GPS I borrowed showed when arriving to the crash site that we had gone 3.05 mi, so it really didn't add much in distance to the hike, although it did call for more off-the-path scrambling to the site. We then picked up the trail described in this post to head back down.
I spent over an hour up there, looking at different pieces. One of the things which intrigued me the most were some little yellow flags I found on the ground at the site. If you are at the bottom of the crash site and imagine a clock over the whole crash area, these flags were found in the 1:00-2:00 position. There are some pictures of them in my photos post. Anyone know what they might have been for? Possibly locations of remains when the recovery was done??
Went with a couple of friends who admitted they weren't quite as in shape, and one of them had a hard time with the elevation, and was having difficulty with nausea on the descent actually (not the ascent). So we took several breaks. He also had a little volcano butt going, which led for a long stop.
Difficulty for me:
1/2 (of 5 ... because of route-finding off trail)