This hike is a great workout and beautiful. I saw mountain goats both times I hiked it. It is definitely worth a side trip to climb Mount Baird as described in the trail guide. I backpacked the loop that continues with Waterfall Canyon, Upper and Lower Palisades Lakes, and Palisades Creek. It was a killer four miles to get to the top of Little Elk Creek Pass with a backpack, but then I had 16 miles of downhill.