it's like a 2600ft. elevation gain it's up hill for the first 18 miles or so until the summit then from there it was alot of down hill. be careful in the woods at one turn down one of the big hills is a 85 degree turn and if you don't make it don't worry a tree will stop you 20 feet from the trail. O the first 18 miles there are alot of switchbacks that get really annoying expecally after the swann lake cabin. when you get to the sign that says swan lake cabin to the left and devils pass to the right take the swan lake cabin trail cause the devils pass is at a 75 degree incline it's the most difficult part of the trail and there are some huge rocks FYI if you do plan on taking it. If you get your water from a fast flowing creek you don't really need a filter unless your afraid of giardia.