We used this road to get to Laurel lakes for a mountaineering trip on Bloody mountain. It's a serious road and IS as rough as people say. If you go make sure you have a reliable high clearance 4WD vehicle with good tires. The overall climb is steep and puts a good load on the engine. Belts and hoses need to be in good shape for this one. We used a 2001 Durango and a later model Ford F350 super duty to get in and out.
Hiked from the Sherwin Creek Road to almost the saddle between Laurel and Bloody Mountain. I was pleasantly surprised by the great fall colors in Laurel Canyon. I was hoping for some fall aspens but did definitely not expect that. Beautiful area. DId not see one soul along the way.