Tried this hike on my own the day before Thanksgiving this year (2016). I started very late (1:00PM). I made it past the mini saddle and up two switchbacks before the sun set and I realized I was ill prepared for the weather. I was only wearing a pair of joggers, a breathable exercise shirt and a very thin running sweater plus I was wearing running shoes. Not only was I freezing by this point my footwear wasn't adequate enough to continue up the icy switchbacks leading up to the peak. I remember sitting down and taking my camera out to take a picture and my camera wouldn't turn on...that was the last straw and what finally caused me to turn around and head back. There was no one else on the trail and I hiked down using only the flashlight from my iPhone (which I think was more than enough light to safely make it down). It wasn't until I was nearly a mile away from the parking lot that I ran into a group of 4 that was heading up to the saddle. Keep in mind it was about 8:30/9:00PM by this point. I finally reached my vehicle a little after 9 this time. When I got home I traced my hike and realized I was only about a mile from the peak and was frustrated at my decision to turn back. 12/17/16 I decided to try again. This time with my brother and in better gear. Temperatures were reported to be around 41 but I'd imagine that was at Mt Baldy Village because it def felt a lot colder than that. We started the hike around 11AM this time. It was cold enough that the hoses to our hydration packs froze solid just past Icehouse Saddle. We finally reached the peak at about 4:30PM just in time to view the sunset. The weather at the top was extreme. I pulled out a sandwich I had taken to eat and it was nearly frozen as well. The wind made things a million times worse but we enjoyed the views nonetheless . We were up there about an hour before heading back down the mountain. The hike down was even more treacherous because by this time the snow that had been covering the path had melted enough to refreeze and become ice making the trial that much harder to hike down. This time I was prepared with a better flashlight although I felt my iPhone did great the first time. We finally reached the parking lot around 9:30PM and man were we glad it was over. I don't know why it's reported here that it's a 10.5 mile hike...from the parking lot to icehouse saddle is 3.6 miles...and from icehouse saddle to the peak is another 2.4 miles for a total of 6 miles one way and 12 miles there and back. It's def a more difficult hike than I was used to but one worth the reward. Going to go again but I'll wait until the weather warms up.
Nice incline, went around 2 in the afternoon and it was shaded and cool for the majority of the hike and you can hear the stream below which was nice. Great views of the valley from the top. I'm an avid hiker and I took my husband who isn't and he really enjoyed it. It took us about 2 hours to complete. It's a popular trail so parking gets full pretty quick. All in all, nice short hike. I'll be doing it again for sure.