Weather: 80°, sunny, lower humidity
Time: 30 minutes
About this hike: I don't know if it was an even 30 minutes. I always round down a bit as a handicap to make up for bottlenecks along the trail, which there were plenty of this morning. Surprisingly the worst hold ups were near the summit and then on the descent near the trailhead past the railroad ties. The usual trouble areas such as the railings weren't bad. At one point on the descent there was no one else around me and I just enjoyed the serenity and spirtuality of the red rock cliffs surrounding me.
Parking wasn't too bad this morning, despite over-eager park rangers having the "Lot Full" sign on display. I had no problem scoring a spot (last Saturday there was no sign and it took me ~3 laps to get spot). By the time I left (~10:40) the main lot had plenty of open spaces. Must enjoy it...winter's coming with all it's tourists (and Superbowl...ugh).
On the ascent I discovered a side trail to the left of the main trail that is actually easier for getting to the summit. Found this by accident trying to get around a bottleneck of slow hikers.
The ocotillos are blooming and look absolutely beautiful, testament to all the rain we've had as recent as one week ago. Today was honestly everything I could hope for in a Saturday morning hike.