I have done the eastern route, Condor Peak Trail, twice in the last two weeks. It's really good this spring. I live 15 minutes away and have neglected this trail for years thinking it was just hot steep boring chapparal. Boy was I wrong. This trail is incredible! Mile 5 is exceptional. As nice as any high mountain trail anywhere. I plan to repeat it many times.
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."