We started the hike at high noon on a nice day. Some clouds in the sky and perfectly moderate temps.
Overall, the hike took us a total of 7.5 hrs including photo ops stops. I'd recommend NOT starting as late as we did because we ended in the darkness using our cellphones as flashlights – but it was the earliest we could get up (#graveyard shift problems)
The views were gorgeous and I loved the way the trails changed scenery. It'd go from a wide dirt path, to the side of a mountain with open grassy views of the valley, to a covered path reminiscent of a vineyard, to a “forest” of moss-covered trees and rocks. Most of the climb up is single file. Some of the steep sections are rocky but still felt sturdy – I didn't slip much or lose my footing.
Parked at the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center
Cut Left starting on the Eagle Peak Trail (undulates between steep rocky climbs and dips that make you sigh at the heavens and yell “but the peak is that way!”)
Connecting to the Bald Ridge Trail (we came across 3 trees down across the path. I crawled underneath 2 and climbed over 1. They were large enough that going around wasn't really an option… plus the ground was still a little muddy at the time)
Right and Right to N Peak Trail
to Summit Trail (last push!)
TO THE PEAK! (and bathrooms!)
From here we looped our route back choosing the fire route for an easier return. I was utterly exhausted!
Summit Trail down to the Juniper Trail going through the Juniper Campground (yay more bathrooms)
to Deer Flat Rd
to Mitchell Canyon Fire Rd
That completes our 12 (and change) mile hike!