There is a road called 'Skline Drive' that goes 6 miles E to W right to the base of Warner Peak, thus eliminating the 3.5 mile dirt road on foot slog from the campground. It is a high clearance vehicle road and is open Aug 1 - Dec 1. It took me 45 minutes to drive the 6 miles in a Toyota Land Cruiser.
I remember the road but it was gated when I was there. I saw the sign 'aug 1 - dec 1' and even took a picture of it. Congrat's on doing this with your kids. Thanks for the input, I will transfer your info to the front page.