We went weekend of 10/23 and the weather was brisk at the top--bring your jacket! The reviews below are accurate and I agree with most of them. This is NOT a 'super duper difficult, need to win "Naked and Afraid" to survive' hike. It's moderate. There are some inclines that get your heart pumping, and on the way back, they turn into declines to be navigated thoughtfully (I slipped on some loose rubble and got some scrapes). But the trail is easily identifiable. Pros are how accessible and well-defined the trail is, the chance to see some deer and cool birds, and the breathtaking views at the top. Cons are highway noise, bland scenery for most of the hike, and a gross amount of dog doo-doo on the trail (c'mon peeps, clean up after your pup). Distance stated is accurate.
this trail is perfect. it is steep but the trail is so well done. i love all the forests and open lava meadows. the view and bench at the top makes the whole thing worth while. its the perfect work out all summer and the best way to see all the gorgeous fall colors and clouds! i recommend a sunset trip if you bring a head lamp. also my dogs love it!
Melodie E. on Viewpoint Mike
Best to do this trail in the early morning in the summer. The incline is very doable.
I get frustrated when people minimize hikes like this one. With an almost 1000 ft elevation gain in 2.5 miles is not a Sunday walk in the park. I live nearby and do this hike often, but it is far from "easy". I am an avid hiker, often hiking up to 10 miles or more in a day, but still find this hike challenging & tiring. This is a great hike with an incredible view, but know what you're getting in to. It is not easy.
Nice morning for a hike on 2-24-2014. As Marissa Mecca mentioned, this is NOT a double black diamond hike. I would say it is on the easy side of moderate. The trail has some muddy spots and the blown down trees are small enough to step over. Very nice views at the viewpoint. We decided to walk up above the bench and found an old road and did some exploring making the total hike just over 7 miles.
Took advantage of the unseasonable January warmth and decided to go on a hike that had a bit more of a challenge to it. Let me clarify right off that this is not a double black-diamond/expert level hike, this is an intermediate level hike at most. The trail is a bit muddy in areas with a couple of blown down trees and has some steep switchbacks in a few places, but overall is pretty easy and is 5 miles in length (round-trip)
-Trail is easy to find from off of the highway
-View was beautiful at the top
-Benches are scattered throughout the trail in case you need to rest
-Fairly easy hike for all ages
-Noise! You are hiking very close to Highway 62 for a large portion of the trail. Even at the top, you can hear motorists below quite loudly. While the view is nice, it kind of ruined the experience for me when I could hear traffic below.