I got to the trailhead early on 29 February 2004. I had my doubts about the access road because it was a little muddy, but I made it in my 2WD. It was cool when I started the hike and the water was frozen on the puddles on the road. Good hiking weather. You can see a communication tower on the ridge in the distance when you start. Don't get excited about this being the summit. The tower is only 2 miles from the TH and it is about 8 miles to the summit. Take your time and enjoy the hike. The route is easy to follow, just stay on the road until it ends.
At the end of the road a good trail continues down the ridge line and when you can finally see the summit hut, you know you are close. Sign the register in the hut, eat your lunch, and take your pictures. Enjoy the break because it is a long walk back to the car.
Total time was 6.25 hours for about 16 miles and 2,700 ft of gain. I never saw another person all day on this hike. What are all you Californian's doing in the middle of winter?