I started with a group of 4 at 7am. We hiked clockwise , through the Short cut, then along Blue Ridge (where the Mt Sizer is) down to poverty flat campground. The short cut is really steep, but I prefer going up that grade than having to go down. Also, you hit the short cut after 4 miles in, so you’re still fresh, warmed up, and the temperature was perfect. We did a 10 min break at the top of the short cut, to stretch and have a light snack. Second break of 20 min at poverty flat campground. The creek was running nicely and other people enjoyed the water . We hiked up back to HQ, and this was for sure the most strenuous part. You are 6 hours into the hike, it starts to get warm, and then the long way up back to the HQ for the last 3 miles can begin:)
The views are spectacular, especially in close proximity, but we could not see far to the Sierra or the ocean, as it was a bit overcast in the distance.
The grass was still tall, and starting to turn brown, so we stayed on the main fire roads and avoided narrow trails, in order to avoid ticks.
Overall it was a great hike, and we had a good time within our group. I recommend to do this loop (15.6 miles) no later than end of May, as it would get too warm (I think that March/April, or October is great there)