A lovely mid-week excursion on a fine trail. This hike was nicer than I remembered, maybe because I knew what to expect and I wasn't anticipating the winter-time views. Three of us meandered our way up to the summit at a leisurely pace, still making it up there in only 1h 40m. As we got back to the car we decided to head in to Falls Lake to check it out - pleasant enough though very windy, it added less than half an hour to our trip. We were finished within 5 hours.
The trail was in good condition, though a little wet at higher elevations where the snow is still melting. In places the trail is a small creek, but perfectly manageable with hiking boots. There are some snow patches left, but the trail is still obvious. There are a couple of excellent rocks for lunch spots with a great view of Alpaca, Vicuna and Guanaco.
Far fewer bugs than on my last visit in 2013 - I got only 3 bites today - but it was quite breezy, which seemed to keep them at bay.
Plenty of flowers out, but the best is yet to come. Glacier lilies are probably at peak bloom right now, at least near the summit - they're well past it on the open southerly slopes. I'll clearly have to come back here in May to catch them! Other flowers include paintbrush, lupine, orange agoseris, valerian, arnica (at least 2 species), columbine, wild strawberry, buttercups, cinqufoil, thistle, marsh marigolds, globeflower, western anemone, rosy twistedstalk, queen's cup, green bog orchid, phlox, spring beauty, meadowrue, larkspur and a columbia lily or two.
No animal sightings but we did find what we thought was mountain goat wool snagged on the heather, and saw a foot hoof-prints in the mud. The wool was incredibly soft and fine.