***DON'T CLIMB UP IF YOU CAN'T CLIMB DOWN***
Start: Vista Ridge Trailhead.
Parking: Lots of gravel road, but not too bumpy (except for two washout parts), gravel parking. No passes (that I was aware of).
Distance: 15.5 miles
Summits: 7,800', 7,100', 6,100'
Directions: We went up the Vista Ridge trail for 1/3 mile to the first junction and went right, past the sign in station. Followed the trail up Vista Ridge for 1 and 3/4 miles to the junction with Eden Park Trail. Continued straight up Vista Ridge until the junction with Timberline Trail, where we went left (East). Wy'East Basin appeared shortly after. At the unmarked junction on the West side, we went right (uphill) on an unmarked but clear trail. This trail led up above Wy'East basin 1/4 of a mile before intersecting another user maintained trail. Going right (downhill) led to a dead end shortly after. Going left continued up the ridge. After 1/4 mile the trail cut to the left above a small snow field and intersected with another user maintained trail (to Dollar Lake). Going right continued uphill. The trail reached a rockier saddle, then mostly disappeared in the even rockier slopes of Barrett Spur. We scrambled up the rest of the way, following faint paths and being careful as always. When we got to the top of the false summit we dipped back down along a spine, then up the final scramble to Barrett Spur. Backtracked to Wy'East Basin, then followed the Timberline Trail left (West) through Cairn Basin to the junction just past the shelter. Went left (uphill) on the Timberline Trail for 1/4 mile to the next junction with the "McNeil Point" sign. Followed this trail to McNeil Point. Then we turned left (uphill) and followed the user maintained path up to Ho Rock. Climbed Ho Rock from the backside. Backtracked to Cairn Basin, then took the Eden Park Trail through Eden Park back to the Vista Ridge Trail.
Conditions: Vista Ridge to Wy'East Basin was easy steepness, lots of huckleberries, and somewhat rooty/rocky trail. From Wy'East Basin to Barrett Spur the trail was followable but steep and sandy. Snowfields around trail, but no snow on the trail. It was FULL of wildflowers. The final scramble was non-technical but a bit loose and exposed on the final spine. From Wy'East Basin to McNeil Point the trail was good; involved one creek crossing, but wasn't too bad. Steep at times, but mostly level. There was one rocky scree crossing. Also full of flowers. From McNeil Point to Ho Rock the trail is very clear but also very steep. Climbing Ho Rock is easiest from the backside but still exposed. If you're comfortable with exposure you could easily climb the frontside too. Eden Park Trail was followable and full of flowers, but also full of mosquitoes. Another creek crossing, also not too bad.
Worth It?: 100%, minus Eden Park. The best wildflowers were on the way to Barrett Spur.
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