The lower part of the trail (up to Forest Road 1040) is generally open all year. The upper part (past Forest Road 1040) may be closed by snow between November and May. This upper section also intrudes on the Red Buttes Wilderness, so the usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics, camp 100 feet from fragile areas, bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites.
From the parking area off Road 1035, the first 1.2 miles of this trail offers numerous very popular summer picnicking and swimming spots (including the "Green Pool") right on the river under a shady, cool forest canopy. This is a very nice place to visit during the hot summer months!
Beyond the 1.2 mile point, the Middle Fork National Recreation Trail #950 trail crosses the river (which may not be safe to cross during spring high water) and then climbs away from the river for 2.2 miles to a junction with Forest Road 1040 and the Frog Pond/Cameron Meadows Trail #953. This section that climbs away from the river is much less used than the first 1.2 miles.
From Forest Road 1040, the trail continues northwest through mixed stands of old-growth Douglas-fir, white fir, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine to its end at the Bean Gulch Trailhead at the end of Forest Road 1040-600. This section is also much less used than the section along the river but some maintenance work was done here in 2016 so its a rather pleasant trail.