One word for this hike: pedometer! The path leading to the lookout,which turned off the main trail at 2 3/4 miles, was not clear, which meant that instead of this being a nice 5.5 mile hike for my 11-yr old daughter and I, it ended up being closer to 9 miles by the time we reached the car again. (We stopped somewhere short of the summit). The first few miles are hiked up increasingly steep switchbacks in dry, dark, brown forest where little of interest distracted from the sweat going into the climb. When it began to open up, green cropped up more often, and the diversity in plants and colors exploded almost around a bend. The view at the top? Yes, without a doubt one of the greatest we've ever seen, but the sad fact is at some point, the discomfort and fatigue overshadows the view and makes it seem quite small. Next time (if I can ever convince her to try this hike with me again) my daugher and I will come prepared and do this hike at the end of the season when we're toughened up a bit.