Adventurer | 442 pts
This is a beautiful hike and well worth the 2.5 hour drive (from S Phx). I used the book "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles" to navigate my way there and with regard to the driving directions for passenger vehicles, although my Civic made it to the trailhead with only a couples scrapes, I strongly urge a higher clearance vehicle. I agree with the author that this is a moderate hike. No matter how conditioned or in shape you are, the elevation changes gets your heart pumping. But don't worry, there are plenty of gorgeous places to stop and catch your breath. This May hike was my sixth trip to the trail and although I didn't make it to the top of the peak this time either, I have made it farther with each visit. The climb after the saddle is definitely not for the faint of heart. Although there were hand- and footholds aplenty (at least as far as I got), remembering you have to come down the same way can be a bit unnerving. The "down" is always the most difficult, and therefore dangerous part, in my opinion. All in all, a most enjoyable hike no matter what season you choose to hike in.