Wonderful hike. First mile is exposed, hot and thick with poison oak but then you get into the timber and it is shady and gorgeous for most of the way. Lots of wild flowers blooming today, nice fragrance in the air. Well worth the long rough drive in. Regarding the river crossing, there is a shallow crossing if you come in from Upper Lake. No crossing if you come from Stonyford. Neither route is suitable for my civic. Subaru, probably. Small SUV or truck is the best way to go.