Well since I am typing this, I made it back alive. I have never reviewed a trail before, so here goes. I give this trail a 4 out of 5 heart attacks on the fat man with a WAY to heavy pack scale Seriously after making this hike, I really need to cut my pack weight down. The trail starts off fairly easy for the first 1/2 mile or so, warm up period for your legs, and then goes UPHILL for approx 3 1/2 to 4 miles. The last 3/4 to 1 mile is also fairly flat, something that by this time I was REALLY happy to see. If you approach this trail form the stand point of a sightseeing trip, it is very doable even for someone as out of shape as I am. The trailhead is located inside the park, at around 5900 ft elevation, and ends at burnside lake @ 5 1/2 miles later at about 8200 ft elevation. For the less adventurous people, the lake can be accessed by a graded dirt road, but where is the fun in that This trail takes you through some very senic country, and rewards you with a beautiful lake at the end. I would definatley do this trip again, once I cut my pack weight down A LOT Someone who is in good shape, can do this trip without too much trouble. As a matter of fact, most people do this as a day trip, either out and back, or one way like I did. Bring plenty of water, I had a 70 oz water bladder, because there are few sources on this trail. The trail is almost entirely in Toiyabe National Forest, and according to the ranger I spoke with, the only permit you need is for a fire. Actually I asked if I needed a bear cannister, and was told if I had one use it otherwise just hang my food in a tree. As far as hanging at the lake is concerned, there are plenty of locations to choose from. As you will see in my pictures, I found a great spot right on the lake.
Things I learned on this hike, gear designed for car camping works for backpacking, but only if you want to carry to much weight. A quilt instead of my sleeping bag would have easily shaved 7-8 lbs off my pack weight. The temp was forcast to be around 40 degrees at night
Even a trail with this much elevation gain is doable for people who aren't in great shape, providing that they are patient and determend(insane).
And most imortantly, NEVER LAY DOWN IN YOUR HAMMOCK IMMEDIATLY AFTER MAKING THIS HIKE. My legs have never hurt as bad as they did when I got up to finish setting up camp.