I hiked up Mount Democrat in August 2016. (Wanted to do the Decalibron, but I got a late start.) The road is open all the way to the trail head and the Kite Lake campground. You'll need a vehicle with high clearance (not necessarily 4WD) to get all the way to the trail head. Sedans and other low clearance vehicles were parking about two miles down below a deteriorated section of road. There's a self-pay box at the trail head. $3 for day use; $12 for overnight camping. Trail to Democrat was well-marked and in good shape. Trail to Lincoln appeared to be in similar condition. Next time!
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe