Started from the Sandy Seep TH which was a first. Ran into Joe @joebartels and Bruce @The_Eagle on the Heart Trail and chatted for a few minutes, nice to meet both of you
Sandy Seep Trail Nice trail from the trail head. Nice warm up.
Christmas Tree Trail I enjoy this trail. As we typically do when hiking this trail in the early morning, we saw a small herd of about 6 deer. Crossed paths with a few hikers that started from the Elden TH and a few dog walkers but not to crowded.
Elden Lookout Trail Always enjoy this climb. It starts off gradually which lulls you into a nice stride then kicks it into high gear when the switchbacks get shorter and the climbs get longer. I actually beat Ryan to the top which is rare so I was all smiles when he arrived.
Sunset Trail Great trail. You do run into the edge of the burn area near the Heart Trail junction which was tough to see. Followed a couple mountain bikers who were walking and carrying the bikes more than they were riding but with the steep drop off that was the smart thing to do.
Heart Trail We followed the new trial tread that @Jim_H reported on a couple weeks back. Definitely designed for mountain bikes and trail runners. It was like a slow burn down with long switchbacks. About two thirds of the way down, the new trail tread and the original trail cross/join, this is where we should have jumped on the original trail for the remaining way down. Since we stayed on the new trail we met the Little Elden Trail further north. Combined with the longer Heart Trail, we tacked on an additional 2.75 miles to the hike.