The total elevation difference for this hiking trail is 1,535 feet which is about average. Of course, this is an overnight trek, 1.5 days normally, so it's a great thing if your backpack is big enough to do the job. With its 11 miles of walking distance; it's longer than many backpacking and hiking trails. This is a long trail, so do pack enough food to last the whole trip. Sometimes this trail gets really dry, so make sure you check current conditions and fire restrictions with local forest authorities before you head out. Some parts of Pettijohn Trail are much higher up than other parts of the backpacking and hiking trail which of course means you need to be prepared for different conditions on different parts of the backpacking and hiking trail. This is a one trailhead hiking trail, so you're looking at an in and out backcountry hike.