The first 3.5 miles of the trail climbs up a dirt trail at a relatively easy grade. When I say easy, I should clarify that the climb is relentless. The total elevation gained is around 4500-ft over nearly 8 miles. This is not easy; it’s the type of hike that just completely wears you down. But worth it.
For more details, check out the Norcalhiker blog post on this trip.