Bandit would've loved this one (except maybe the last 300 feet) but the dog is getting old. Too bad I didn't know about this hike when he was younger.
Reiterations of past reports
1. Last 2-3 miles of road is rough.
2. Sections of the trail (in 1st few miles) are sluffing off.
3. A few easy blowdowns. (Sorry I left my saw at home)
4. Springs are still flowing but just a trickle.
5. Cool in the AM. ~40F at 9am. I put my fleece jacket on but took it off pretty early (and carried it in my pack along with my full water bladder).
6. Lots of bugs buzzing the summit but they left me alone.
I earned the ridge/summit views after putting in a couple hours in the shady AM hiking up the switchbacks (tempting to cut in a couple places - don't do it :). I took the short route to the summit using my single pole technique that leaves a hand free for holds. Close to the summit, I made it harder than it is by missing the last turn (to the north) and climbing straight over a boulder to the summit. TIP: If you're thinking of grabbing any wire cable, then you're off track. I came back down the longer way which starts out with some nice rock steps and some impressive rock work that expanded/leveled the summit. On the way back, I walked up point 7408 which was a nice little detour. I saw 6 others coming up the trail on this weekday on my way down. I got back to the car at 5pm. Long day with the driving but glad to have done it.