moderate to hard hike..harder on descent then cardio on way up as a lot of shale on trail..where as elevation gain is gradual..thighs will feel it on way down..trekking poles not my thing at this stage..but be sure of footing due to rocks..couple spots trail does somewhat disappear..but not hard to rediscover..fantastic weather for mid November and great views..at summit as well as ridgeline at start along fallen leaf lake..couple smaller lakes along way up for h20..but overall I would rate it moderate..and Jessie hope u were ok on descent..