Hiked this trail in late July 2010 on a weekend with a group of Boy Scouts and Scout leaders. Younger boys just went in and out from Big Meadow trailhead to Round Lake. That was an easy hike, good fishing and swimming, not too crowded at the lake. Rest of group hiked from Echo Summit to Round Lake on Saturday and then out to Big Meadow trailhead on Sunday. This was a great hike, and I think it is easier the direction we hiked; there is a hard uphill section at the beginning, but then it is almost all level or downhill. The area from Echo Summit trailhead to Showers Lake was absolutely beautiful. We had a heavy snowpack this year, so there are still patches of snow, and the area is lush and green, not the dusty dry trail you expect in the Sierras in July. The wildflowers in the meadows, and especially in the huge bowl, were AMAZING. Because of ongoing snowmelt, water was frequently available. Of course mosquitoes were also plentiful, so bring and use bug juice. The trail is well laid out and well maintained. Recommend you get an updated trail map from the trailhead kiosk because the trail map in the guide is not accurate around Showers Lake. The main trail goes north of Showers Lake, right along the shore. Showers Lake was nice, but crowded, as was the trail into Showers Lake from Highway 88. Overall, a challenging hike, but definitely worth the effort if you time it when there is still a bit of snow at the upper elevations and wildflowers blooming.