Amazing hike! Like the others - it was definitely tough (made harder by hauling up a pack) and totally worth it. You really get the bang for your buck on this hike - every part is beautiful. We started later than we had initially wanted (4pm) and got to the summit in 3.5 hours. Since we came that late in the day there was plenty of parking in the lot.

There is a stream a couple miles in that comes right out of the side of the mountain that many folks filled their water at - had I known I would have carried less water the first couple miles and filled up there to make better time (I think it's about 2 miles in?). When we got to the summit there were about 10 other tents scattered around. We were still able to get a spectacular spot overlooking the valley and although we were camped among a bunch of other folks, it still felt pretty remote. I would definitely do this hike again. I don't normally hike with trekking poles (I wear patellar supports), but am considering purchasing some as the downhill was a bit intense with a pack.