I did this popular hike with Sandy and Chris on July 18, 2015. Since it is such a popular hike, I wanted to get an early start so we were on the trail by 7:15. When we got to the parking lot, we were the second vehicle there.
The first part of the hike had steep sections through the forest. There was a lot of mud because of the rain the day before. It made things a bit interesting going up.
We did the trail in an East to West then back to the car (it’s a loop hike). Once out of the trees, you are confronted with the chimney. It’s a narrow trail through crevice; lots of easy scrambling at this point.
From there, you traverse the backside. From the road, the mountain looks like a sliver, but that’s not the case; it’s more like a molar. There were opportunities to see the climbing section (up the front face) from the top down. It was neat to see the sheer drop and in some cases, overhang.
A bit further on, and on to the second small peak, we had to scrabble through another crevice, although this one wasn’t like the first, it was more of a groove in the mountain.
We stopped for a food break and found a friendly chipmunk. He was interested in us to the point of coming within an arms length. Must of been related to the earlier one which sat on my boot.
Then we pushed up to the third peak and found the chains. Since you have to travers a vertical rock face, the parks people installed chains so you can hold on and walk across basically a ledge no bigger than your toes.
From there it was a lot of up and down and up and down and back up again. We made it to the summit; the wind had picked up so it wasn’t as pleasant as we hoped.
We could ski from the top down about ¼ of the way then followed a nice trail around to the front face. As we walked across the cliff bottom, we could see some climbers half way up and in random locations. We got to the middle of the giant scree run and took a fun, but short trip down.
After all three of us made it down, we had a nice walk through the forest. When we arrived back to the car, the parking lot was full. There were cars parked along the road.
An easy scramble but difficult hike. We did this hike in 5.5 hours. It was nice but busy; if you don’t want a packed hike, go early or go to a different mountain.