“Easy at first followed by a wet spaniel scramble to the NW plateau.”
— Bryan Gagner
The first few miles of this trail are a gradual climb that is very doable. As you get to the ponds, it gets a bit more tricky but the views open up of the most remote basin in Baxter. The boulders get bigger as do the holes between them. Part of the trail follows a steep stream on bedrock for a bit. A quick side trip to Davis pond is worth it.
Up from Davis pond, it is very wet, steep and mossy. Turn off the Russell Pond Trail
at 6.4 miles (10.3k) and take it until you get to the Saddle Trail
at about 13.3 miles (21.4k) above treeline. Once up on the ridge, the views are great.