I've done this hike many times, most recently last week. It's a good day hike, from Lake George, with a steep uphill section. You feel it, but it's really a moderate hike. If you go past the fork for Crystal Lake, to the Crest, the number of people drops off a lot. You keep ascending and get into the John Muir Wilderness at an area full of iron-rich reddish cinders / pumice, from an old volcanic eruption. If you follow that path to the top and stay to the right, you easily cross over to the plateau right above Horseshoe Lake. It's extremely beautiful, with 360 degree views - and you get cell phone service since you can see Mammoth Lakes and are right across from Mammoth Mountain.
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