Photos below: The Highline Trail gets off to an exciting start. About one quarter mile from the trailhead, you must walk across a ledge on a short segment (0.3 mile) of rock wall. It looks more scary than it is.
The Garden Wall generally consists of a series of razor-like vertical slabs of rock perhaps a thousand feet high. Below them steep earthen slopes extend thousands of feet below to the valley bottom. Beyond to the west, another huge mountain range rises nearly vertically for thousands of feet. After crossing a short but exciting (or scary, depending on your point of view) section of rock wall on a narrow ledge (hold onto the guide cable if you want to look out at the view), the trail itself remains high on the slopes of the Garden Wall. As you proceed north the perspective of the mountain ranges change, or different mountains come into view. At mile 3.6 you reach Haystack Pass after climbing a couple of big switchbacks (ascending about 275 feet). This is a popular resting spot after the trail’s only uphill climb, and the view on the far side of the pass is now more to the north with a different spectacular mountain range. Below, some terrific vistas along the way.