I was a bit nervous about doing this hike after reading lots of reviews online but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Took us 5.5 hours in total and we summited El Cajon Mountain ...other option is to follow the trail at the top to the right which takes you to El Cap instead. We wouldn't have made this without trekking poles, the steep hills were really muddy and slippery. My friend who wore sneakers suffered more than I did as I was wearing hiking boots. If you pace yourself and take it easy I'm sure most fitness levels can do this, just be prepared that it will take 5-6 hours...I did see a few families with little kids...not sure how far they made it. Oh and bring LOTS of water!! We finished our camel paks and wished we had brought more!! I think the return journey was faster than getting there which is different to the reviews I had read online... I guess the excitement of getting back to the parking lot pushed us more and we did jog back on the downhill steeps.