In the photo to the right you see backpackers loaded up and heading into the John Muir wilderness. The trail marker indicates that you are entering the John Muir Wilderness. This trail marker is not far from the trailhead.
The trail starts off fairly level and you should make good progress at this stage of the adventure. Lots of little streams and log crossings early on, and the gentle start is great for getting warmed up. You will have plenty of elevation to gain later on.
Due to the fact that the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead gives you such a high start along with other factors such as a great trail and many sources of water along the way, I would consider Mt Langley to be the second easiest 14er in California, just after White Mountain
But another reason why I think hiking the Cottonwood lakes trail is so worthwhile, is because of the beauty along the way. With it's many lakes, meadows, and beautiful little tarns, it is hard to beat when it comes to the pure enjoyment of experiencing God's great outdoors.