This was sent to me by Murphy Mack via email. Apparently the approach via Billy Wright Rd is a public easement. I doubt the peak itself is part of the easement, however.
I have spoken with Merced County public works (roads) and they have told me that Billy Wright Rd. in Merced County, control of this was ceded from the county to the ranch owners there. However, part of the agreement was that a public easement be maintained. I went to their office and got to check out a key to the gate. When I arrived, it turns out the gate is just dummy locked anyway. Two other people in cars there both smiled and waved at me as they passed going the other way.