At 0.3 miles is the Shoshone National Forest boundary. Continue hiking west onto National Forest land and quickly come to a trail junction at 0.5 miles. Stay right at the junction to continue on the Houlihan Trail, which heads toward Houlihan Creek. Left will lead to the Bobcat Trail along Bobcat Creek. Reach the mouth of Houlihan Creek at 1.0 mile and continue on
The trail becomes a bit steeper as you hike up through the gorge and then less steep as you enter an open forested area, but expect a fairly steady incline from the creek to the ridge.
At 3.0 miles you come to a ridgetop. Follow the Ridgetop trail to the right towards Citadel Mountain. Watch for rock cairns that help mark the trail. The trail gradually becomes steeper as it follows the ridge. At the 4.5 mile mark at the base of Citadel Mountain, turn around and return to the trailhead via the same route at 9.0 miles.