NOTE: users have reported that the parking area is closed during the winter.
Even though this is a strenuous hike due to the steep switchbacks and elevation gain, it is a beautiful trail from the very beginning. The fall colors are magnificent, but this is a great way to escape the summer heat because you are under trees the entire time. Aspens, cottonwoods and pines fill the avalanche chute at eye level, while brilliantly colored wildflowers and lush green grasses cover the soil.
Look for the large cave in the cliffs on your L as you cross back and forth across the side canyon, up the steep stone steps (do NOT take the gravel road to the L), and up the east side of the avalanche chute, climbing rapidly towards Echo Cliffs. The slopes are generously covered with more flowers (lots of dark purples & brilliant red paintbrush), and you’ll soon hear/see the water flowing down the falls/ledges back in the canyon toward the knob below Griffith Peak. The overlook is a great place to stop, relax, lunch, etc. but be very careful near the edge.