My girlfriend and I did this hike on a beautiful late summer day. We are in our late-forties and consider ourselves to be in above-average condition. We hike about once a month, and had just returned from a 2 week hiking vacation in Alaska, so we figured we were ready for a strenuous day hike in the Whites. But man oh, man was this this loop strenuous! We left at 10:15AM and did not reach the summit until 2:30PM. Why so slow? I blame it on the "howkers." The trail description shows this to be a 4,300 ft elev gain, but my GPS put said we did more like 5,100 feet...I'm guessing this is becuz of the up-down nature of the ridge and a bit of error on the GPS, but that's a lot of elevation gain either way! The views of the mountains to the west and into the Great Gulf are impressive...not to mention the imposing peaks of Adams and Washington (unfortunately, these big guys block the view of the western and southern peaks). By the time we ate and took photos, it was almost 4:00. With 5 miles of trail ahead of us, we knew we had to hustle if we didn't want to get out the headlamps. As it was, the last 30 minutes was in the dark as we trudged back to our vehicle at 7PM. We took Valley Way all the way to Randolph Path...not a very interesting trail. We probably should have tried Lower Bruin, but didn't think it was a good idea given the late hour. Would we recommend this loop? Only if you're ready for a FULL day of hiking like the up-down of the "howker" ridges.