The Tobacco Flat Road will get you to around 8,450' and save you 2 to 3 miles of hiking and 900' gain up that hill from Convict Lake. The road was in good condition and easy to drive with a Toyota Tacoma with 4WD on 10/6/12. There are a lot of dirt roads in that area; so mapping out the road and uploading some waypoints to a GPS are a good idea if you don't know that area well.
"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano. The woodworms are so bad and eat hell out of all furniture that you can always claim the woodworms did it."