Not too many people on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We went up the stairs, left, at the start for a challenging beginning. That way the second half of the trail is an easy descent. Going counter clockwise would've been hard on my knees descending. Much of the trail is shaded but still put on sunscreen to be safe. Easy enough hike once you get past the initial ascent. We parked on sunset and walked up to avoid the $10 parking fee. It wasn't far at all. From the car and back, about an hour and a half.
This is an amazing loop trail but be warned, this is really more like 16 miles than 13.5. Took this from the base of Temescal, connected through a "closed" trail over the Rodger's Road Trail and finally across Rivas Canyon Trail. It's about14 miles to the base of Will Rodgers then 2.1 left on Rivas which is very narrow but steep and fun. While it was a crowded holiday Sunday, it was the nicest group of fellow hikers I've experienced in 15 years.