I backpacked from the Hilltop down to the campground 10.4 miles on Friday with about 50 lbs on my back. That wasn't too hard because I was going downhill. Coming back on Sunday morning was hard. I woke up at 3:45, packed up and hit the trail at 5am. I walked up to my car at 9:30am after 10.4 miles and 2,400 ft elevation gain with a very heavy backpack! Anyway, if you haven't been there you should go. Its one of the most beautiful places on earth.
P.S. You don't have to backpack to the campground. You can have your luggage taken down by mule and you can hike or take a helicopter ride down.
Nice photos, Jerry! Thanks. I know you were worried about the heat but getting up at 4am probably helped. I can see why you skipped Griffith Peak yesterday!