As people have reported, the road is awful getting to the trail. There were challenges to today's hike aside from the long road in and that was the weather. It rained on the drive in to the trailhead. Heavy fog obscured any views on the way up to the ridge. We got a minor respite at the basin and on the ridge as the sun slowly broke through the fog for a few minutes. At the top of the ridge while eating lunch, snow started to fall lightly. Having been here before, it was disappointing to not see the awesome views of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys. But despite this many beautiful sights were seen. The larch trees in this area are beautiful. Some of the trees are old, their trunks are larger than most seen on other trails. And the concentration of larch trees is huge. You see a mixture of old and young trees. So many to enjoy! Walking through a "forest" of larch trees is special. And there are lots of colorful plants, i.e. anemones, gentians, berry bushes and others growing low to the ground adding a lot of pizzazz to the scenery.
While the weather is suppose to be great for the next few days, always be prepared for adverse conditions in the mountains. As for the road going into the hike, expect time and patience to complete the journey. A high clearance vehicle is desirable to make the trip less stressful.
This is a great hike this time of year. Despite the undesirable weather today, it was still a great hike. The trail conditions are in good shape. While it is steep, it is not difficult and easy to follow.