1. strenuous trail but the slopes are not very steep., so only the distance will be killing.
2. pl note there is not much shade and so you would get a lot of afternoon sun if you are day hiking;
3. water is available at the visitor center; there is a tap with untreated water but its untreated, so you need to be preapared for that; Other detours to go for potable water may add to the already long distance, so we didn't try that.
Definitely bring lots of water as it's mostly uncovered. The hike is gorgeous with its sweeping hillside. Speaking of which there's a quarry close enough to see and hear that's taken down a hill face. Unfortunate it's right on the border of the national park. The creek/falls itself are accessible by car and that means visitors that aren't accustomed to leave-no-trace ethics. I brought a garbage bag and carried out about 15 water bottles, trash, 6 pieces of clothing, a baby towel and a soccer ball out of the creek only within a hundred foot span. This is devastating to the environment. Other than that, this trail is lovely and may need to be closed to give it some time to recover human interference.
Katrina A. on Indian Joe Creek Trail
if you are fairly new to hiking it cam be tough but it is worth the hike. also the scenery is beautiful.