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The entire trail is a loop about 16 miles long. But it can be done in segments. From the west trailhead, I have walked along the north leg and also along the east leg.
The trail is generally along tall Ponderosa pine trees. In some areas fire has eliminated the trees and their shade. On the north leg, I recommend parking a vehicle at the east trailhead and starting the hike where the trail crosses Joe Tank gravel road.
Walking along Joe Tank road is okay, very little traffic; but often not much shade.
This trail may not be comfortable walking in the heat of July. During the early fall months it may rain daily especially in the late afternoon; the rain can be accompanied by thunder and lightening.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.