It looks as though the signature image of this page was deleted. My guess is that it was one of Aaron Johnson's.
N.B.: when driving up to Barcroft gate, do NOT follow Google Maps' advice and take a "shortcut" via Silver Canyon Road. It is *extremely* rough with creek crossings and hairpin turns on loose gravel. We barely managed to go up this road in a 4x4.
White Mountain Road is much, much nicer.
Your are definitely right. Nobody should take this road. I took this road going down from White Mountain. It was an absolute pain. I have no idea as how would someone drive up this road. You must be a very good driver. Going down, the first 5-6 miles are absolutely horrendous. At one point, in a hairpin left turn driving down, the car slid to the right although I was barely moving. I thought I was a gonner. From mile 6 to 10 the road is so-so. After that, to the main street, it is in good condition. I see how someone would get tricked into driving up this road believing it is a good option. That until reaching a point where is probably impossible to turn around. Time-wise it took me to drive down as much as it took me to drive up on the main access road by Ancient Bristlecone Forest. The Silver Canyon road is only 15 miles, but there is no time savings. It would also be very dangerous if not impossible to drive, either up or down, on a sedan. You mention the water crossings but to me they were the least of the worries.
OK, when you read the note that White Mountain Road is much better than the alternative, just realize that White Mountain Road is still pretty bad. This "gravel" road is really just a rocky, dirt road. Take a truck or SUV with a tall profile to traverse this road. While we saw people going really fast on this road, we also saw the same people destroy their tire and get a flat. We took it at 10 miles an hour, and it took 1.5 hours each way to traverse the dirt section alone. If you plan to take this road easy for your car's sake, add 2 to 2.5 hours time to get to the trailhead from civilization.
We agree this is an "easy 14er" but that does not mean it was easy. We are seasoned hikers with a lot of high altitude experience and were plenty tired by the end of the day. This may be due in part to the quick elevation gain you get from driving up. Acclimating would have helped.
Drove the road yesterday in a high clearance Ford Escape, averaged 15 mph and took about an hour each way. I think that was prudent: any faster and we'd have risked a flat tire, as we had regular & not off-road tires with some mileage. Lots of sharp rocks. 4wd totally unnecessary. Did see some brave souls in a minivan!
Congrats! Modified page wording slightly. Better safe than sorry. Glad you made it up there (beautiful area)!