This was part of a month long mostly solo peakbagging trip in which I hiked every day and got 70 peaks in 30 days. Hiked this one with Craig, Sean, and Asaka and there was snow up top. We went over to Parkinson before descending.
For numerous photos and brief route descriptions see the trip report.
Dennis Poulin and I did this climb as an overnight backpack.
There were NO signs nor fences to inhibit driving a 4WD all the way to the end of the jeep road, just shy of the dry waterfall. We drove nearly that far (6.4 miles up Bendire Canyon Rd from its start on Nadeau Rd). Note that currently Nadeau Rd is legally accessible only from the south (i.e. Trona) as Panamint Valley Rd farther north remains closed and unrepaired following last July's flash flood rains.
Nor were there any signs or fences on the ascent itself.
At the end of the road is the "structure", probably a flat base built up by a miner for a tent, as there was no evidence of walls around. Here one can see the trail zigzaging upslope, well described by Bob Burd. This trail up over the ridge becomes at places quite built up. The miner spent a lot of time on it. Then up Bendire canyon, occasionally going up the many burro trails to avoid the intermittent dense brush and/or pines clogging the canyon at spots. At 7200' we left the canyon which was described by others as easier to avoid more brush. We went directly west up a ridge line, just south of a small knoll 8328T, and then NW up to the summit. There is a register.
We did it as an overnight backpack. I'm glad we did, because the snow was surprisingly abundant at places. Much more than I saw a few days earlier on a peak at same altitude in Sequoia Natl Park (This is a drought year so far). I post holed in snow up to high shin/knee a dozen times, and twice up to my groin. I.e. we did a slower pace than what we could have done without snow. In better weather one could day climb this if one drove up the road all the way. The road and climb has nothing to indicate either a wilderness area or military boundary.
I had a lot of road walking to do on the Bendire Canyon route because I drove in with a Toyota Corolla and parked far from the end of the road. However, I would say that the road really isn't as bad as the DPS "poor dirt" rating would suggest. It appeared that a 2wd high clearance vehicle would be able to get almost all the way to the road end. Also note that highway 178 is currently closed north of the junction with Nadeau Road due to flood damage although I would hope they will be fixing it soon. However you can still get to the trailhead by coming via Trona.
Snow all about the summit area. Trip Report
Enjoyable, scenic, and long hike. Started an hour before sunrise, good temps on the way up... though 5 quarts of water later it was 99 degrees at the truck.
A large and impressive Mojave Desert peak.