This great outdoors trail sometimes gets very dry, so make sure you check current conditions and fire restrictions with local forest authorities before you head out. This hiking and backpacking trail has a total elevation difference of 671 feet, and that is lower than average. Howard Cutoff Trail stays roughly within the same elevation zone the whole time, so you won’t have to worry about different climate zones along your backcountry walk. Being 3.6 miles long it's shorter than many hiking trails. Even though this is not a very long great outdoors trail you should still bring some emergency supplies just in case something happens. This trek shouldn't take more than 3 hours, but you never know stuff could go wrong and you could get stuck so be prepared for that. Howard Cutoff Trail is a one trailhead hiking and backpacking trail, so in and out is the way to backcountry hike it normally.