Here's a helpful link from climber.org with a great map and waypoints for getting to Mineral King.
There is about 1/2 a mile of sand to climb below the pass. There is something like a trail meandering up the slope. If I were to do it again I would stay to the right side of the "gully" and try to climb on the easy class 2-3 rock to the pass. Or climb the south face from Monarch Lake, which I hear has less sand.
Don't know if this is still occuring, but in the 80's, marmots were eating fan belts and radiator hoses in cars parked at the trailheads in the MK valley. The Silver City store even sold emergency fan belts. A trick I was told about was to put mothballs under the car, and this would keep the marmots away. Might check with the rangers if this is still going on.
In places where marmots chew car hoses and belts I use coyote urine. One can buy a bottle at Amazon.com, Home Depot, etc. Cheapest I've found is at Walmart.com
I just pour it into a spray bottle and spray it around the base of the car and in the engine compartment. Easier and less scratch provoking than chicken wire. taking up to White Mtn TH next month.
No longer exists. The NPS finally hassled them so much they left.
A different approach to the peak, and much better than approaching from Sawtooth Pass (to avoid the scree), approach via upper Monarch Lake and from the south side. Not any more technical but more scrambling. Went down the steep SW side (no trail and class 3/4) of the peak between the Monarch Lakes and would not recommend this due to scree on top of granite making it very treacherous. Did get down this but not without battle wounds.