I did this hike with the Mat-Su Meetup group on a Thursday evening in July 2009 so we were pretty much alone at the top. The trail is easy to follow and in wonderful condition. Even the boulder field now has easy to follow steps to manage the 500 foot elevation gain. There is an old sod cabin along the trail and of course, a pristine lake at the top. Marmots chirping will drive the dogs nuts.
Bring water for drinking or a picnic to enjoy by the lake.
Bring Bug dope for the flies/mosquitoes.
Park in the Independence Mine visitors parking area uphill past the fee gate in summer months. In winter months the Independence Mine gate will be closed and the road groomed for skiing so you would have to walk to the trailhead from the fee gate parking. The trailhead is clearly marked on the opposite side of the parking from the mine area.
Please respect private property signs in the area.
Bring money for parking fee or use your State Parks pass.
Visit the Alaska State run Independence Mine and museum which is open in summer months.