This trail is a little more challenging than moderate for the first half mile, and it's more so just getting your legs going. The trail crosses the face of timber gap ridge/empire mountain with awesome views of the Mineral King Valley as you cross vast mountain side meadows. At the top of timber gap, the area offers views to the north toward redwood meadows. This high point is also a great spot to take a break or grab lunch. I have come across quite a few bears just over the ridge.
If you're going on to Cliff Creek there is a bear box and ample room for a night's rest. The journey down from the ridge is gradual and long - and I mean long. Cliff Creek is a great place to a stay or you also have the option to continue on to Pinto Lake or Redwood Meadow/Bearpaw (South Spur)