Did this as an overnight Backpack trip with my father. Was a perfectly gorgeous scenic hike with wide variations in terrain. Open meadow fields to deeply forested paths to scrambling over ridiculous amounts of downed dead trees. We took the East Baldy trail first up to the connection and set up camp near there in a small meadow. Spotted a brown bear while topping off at the spring but he was quick to mosey in the other direction from where we wanted to go.
Made the connection to the west trail early next morning and headed back down ( didn't have permission so didn't attempt peak). This section was probably the most difficult because it switch backed through the dead cauldron of trees for a few hours. We must have climbed over a few hundred and some were more than 5' in diameter. Like a giant box of pick up sticks dumped on the mountain. We hit the first water crossing from the junction shortly after the dead forest section, saw a gorgeous fat wild turkey taking a sip and topped off our own water.
Took the crossover trail that connects right before you get to the west trail head at Sheppard's crossing and this leg was probably the most difficult. You wander up and down some small hills cutting south east and you're already terribly tired and ready for a nap. This segment felt forever long. I was practically skipping once i made the connection back to east because of how close we were to the truck. Gorgeous hike, green and flowers and sweeping views.
Small but strongly flowing spring found just a little before the west and east trail junction. Not easy to fill packs with due to small shallow pool but with a cup to dish it in its great. Freezing cold artesian spring water.