Overall a great ride - one that comes with a sense of accomplishment for both the uphill endurancefest and technical challenges going down the trail.
It's well covered in the description, but I'll second that the climb up is no joke. I wish I had brought headphones to help take my focus to music or a podcast, and not the seemingly never ending uphill cranking. I was worried about knowing which turns to take on the forest road on the way up, but in most cases just following the more developed fireroad works well. A presaved & offline Google maps route allowed me to confirm I was on the right path, which avoided any secondguessing.
There is still a serious snowfield as you approach the saddle from the north. The first portion is high stakes, only 50 feet wide but very steep and the trail crosses it at a point that should you slip, you'll be sliding for 30-40 feet down and dumped into trees. Right after this is a longer, 150-200 foot section of a snowy climb, but not as steep or trecherous. There were no fresh boottracks or tire tracks, so I'm guessing most people had better wits about doing this. I was surprised by the amount of snow this late in the season (July 3) given that there seems to be plenty that have ridden it earlier in the season in other years.
Wonderfully fun singletrack on the way down. Yes, there are lots of roots, rocks and drops, but really fun place to work on your technical skills. More stream crossings than I expected (6-8 I'd guess), but added more fun. All were safe and easy to navigate at the current level.
Last third of the downhill had a lot of hiker traffic, especially given the holiday weekend. By the time I got to the parking lot, it was completely full as were all the pullouts on the last half mile.
Stats per Apple Watch:
3284 ft elevation gain
3:54 total time
4.3 mph avg