The hike was definitely a good hike. Good exercise! But if your goal is to see the lake at the end, DON'T GO. There is NO lake! I don't know why other reviewers haven't commented on this, but the lake at the top as of the end of February is dried up. You can tell where the lake was, but it's not there - perhaps it will fill up again in the summer? There was also a controlled burn in the area a year or two ago, so there are almost no trees left in the area. If you're looking for shade, it will be difficult to find!
Also, once you get to the top, it is extremely difficult to figure out where the actual trail is - there are very few trail markers.
We took the summit trail going up, then the meadows trail coming down. Meadows trail was pretty easy, but it is almost twice as long as the summit trail, so just be aware that it will take longer. Round trip this took us about 6 hours to complete.
Besides being Disappointed in all of the dog poop along the trail- the trail was a great and there were not many people along the trail- I started up and noon, and was back at my car by 3:30- took a few scenic and drink stops with my dog. I'd definitely do this again!
Great moderately hard hike! Did this a couple days ago(December 26th) so it was a little icy up the rock closer to the summit. If you're good on your feet you shouldn't need yak tracks or anything though. Just a good pair of hiking shoes. Only saw 3 other people on the trail the whole time...benefits of winter hiking. Fantastic views of the foothills and Rocky peaks at the summit!
We went the steeper shorter way up and the meadows way down. I recommend this way if you want the best workout. If you want an easier hike, do the meadows way up and the shorter/steeper trail for the way down. The meadows path also has better views... less tree coverage.