Tried again, this time going up the “loop” clockwise as Alltrails suggested. I turned this into an out-and-back hike, avoiding entirely the portion that gave me so much trouble before.
The first mile or so was reasonably well marked at the beginning, with the trail gradually becoming less visible. You follow a dry creek most of this portion, crossing the bed back and forth.
Near the end of the creek, the trail vanishes and you are pushing through scrub oak. I followed Alltrails as best I could, detouring for obvious obstacles.
Eventually, you will find yourself on a hillside, heading up a peak proceeding the actual summit. This area is clear of brush and is easier to navigate. About the time you get to the first peak, you will see the trail resume. Actually, there are several trails, however since the view is clear, it should not be hard to find the route to the peak.
I made the required number of contacts on 2 meters: