This was another substitute trail over the weekend. This trail was still pretty good, but not quite as much oomph as what we had planned to do: San Jacinto Peak via Palm Springs Tram. Did not do my due dillegence on this front: called up the night before to find out that from Long Valley it would be hardpack on trail and post-holing off trail.
In any case, we encountered some drifts at the Saddle Junction (with the Pacific Crest Trail) and above, but still very passable with hiking boots.
1700ft of the 2500ft elevation change is done in the 2.5 miles heading from the trailhead to the Saddle Junction.