Our 3rd drive up P2k of the day, gate was open so drove the forester all the way to the top, where tons of equipment marred the area.
The gate was open and my wife and I drove up to the towers. It was 93 degrees on top so I'm happy I didn't have to hike in that kind of heat. Lots of ladybugs and nice views. Very arid area and quite a contrast from Dixie Lookout that we visited earlier in the day.
I drove my wife's Mercury Marauder to the gate near the end of the road and hiked to the high point in a steady rain. Later the same day I hiked Mount Lassen with my wife.
Drove up within a ten minute walk of the summit, where a gate blocked further driving. You can probably drive up in a standard car, but I was in 4WD in my Jeep and happy at that, as the road although well graded is rocky and the side slope is very steep. The road is well maintained for the many summit towers, which are aesthetically unappealing but you will get great cell phone coverage!
Eastward views were terrible because of the huge Rush Fire enveloping Observation Peak and Hot Springs Peak, two other Calif P2K's that I wanted on this trip but alas must wait for another day. The fire was 42 x 16 miles in size, over 320,000 acres (almost half the size of Yosemite) and burning in two states.
did the 16-mile round trip ride from US-395 to the summit and back. The 2200' climb took 2 hours going up; the descent took about 15 minutes.