While the narrow ridge traverse is the ultimate goal, if you consider the hike in its entirety, it is a much more varied experience. “The whole package includes old-growth forest, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from both sides of the pass below Kendall Peak, where the Katwalk begins,” writes Ken Giesbers on WTA.org.
The hike begins by winding slowly through old-growth forest. Then, as you approach the 2-mile mark, “the trail breaks out into open talus and enters the Alpine Lakes Wilderness,” according to Giesbers. Here, the views start ramping up in earnest! The climb gets steeper, with some sections traversing a steep hillside and others passing through exposed talus fields. If you’re hiking at the right time of year, you’ll enjoy "a dazzling array of wildflowers, including lupine, paintbrush, phlox, penstemon, and columbine,” according to Giesbers.
About 5.5 miles in, you’ll reach the famed Katwalk. Walk the narrow 150 yards of Katwalk, shoot a few photos, and enjoy a lunch break on this scenic ridge.
If you haven’t had enough just yet, you "can continue on to hike along a series of beautiful alpine lakes,” according to SwitchbackTravel.com. “This area also makes for a great overnight backpacking trip,” they conclude.