Went up the east side. Got caught in a nasty, nasty hail/lightning/pouring rain storm. There was hail left for hours.
Hiked with a friend volunteering for the park out of Tower. Lots of wolf tracks!
Great views from the top; Mount Washburn, Lamar Valley, Slough Creek were all impressive from this vantage point. Especially impressed by the massive petrified stumps found along the trail.
Cedar, I believe I recall the switchback you are referring to. Follow the trail through the trees, upon where you'll find some spectacular stuff!
Winds were gusting to around 40 mph which was OK considering I had just been on Avalanche Peak with possible 100 mph gusts 2 days before. Found a few gigantic logs (almost the size of small sequoias) along with some smaller but standing trunks but missed the "big" petrified forest seen in photos. I assume they were on the other end of that switchback that went flatly through the grove of trees. Ooops. I'll probably try again in another 5-10 years next time I visit the area.
Made it up to Point 7961 with the elk antler as planned.