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!