Because much of the hike is pretty high elevation you have to wait until the summer to allow the snow to melt.
There are a few sidetracks along the way if, such as Anderson Peak, and Ticker's Knob. There is no real trail to the peak or Anderson Peak, just some rock scrambling. The same with Ticker's Knob.
After leaving Ticker's Knob you drop down to the westside of the crest to the headwaters of the American River. Then back up to the crest and down the Granite Chief Trail to Squaw Valley.
This is a pretty big hike. Bring lots of food and water. I brought a full 100 oz Camelbak plus a 32 oz Platypus bladder that I had frozen. Because you are hiking the Sierra Crest, which is quite exposed don't try this if there is any threat of thunderstorms.There is no water on the trail until you are 2/3's of the way done. So if you bring your dog plan to carry water for them too .The parking is located near the Alpine Skills Internation facility.