We attempted to backpack the section of the trail from Two Harbors to Parson's Landing. So we were doing this with 35-40 lb backpacks--I'm sure it's easier with day packs, but even without this trail is STEEP.
This section of the trail was marked as "moderately strenuous", but it was extremely difficult and mislabeled. We are from Denver, hike a lot, and backpack quite a bit at much higher elevations and this was too much. The trail is difficult because it goes straight up inclines for multiple miles: no switchbacks or flat sections to recover. The view is nice, but there is also very little shade and since the elevation gain is so steep, you quickly lose those cooling ocean breezes.
After about two miles, we called it quits and got to Parson's Landing via the West-End Highway: much easier, beautiful views, and flat all the way.
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