The 7 mile dirt road to the trail head is rough, but I did it in my subaru WRX. Takes patience and I hit a couple rocks but didn't damage my car. I would say if you have a longer sedan this is a huge no go, you'll get caught on large humps. If you have a shorter 2wd car that has OK clearance it's doable, but you will hit one or two rocks.
That 7 miles took me 45 minutes each way. Will probably take a truck 25 min.
My GPS said 10.12 miles one way to the top from the trail head. We were on the trail for 10 hours including stops. It was a long day but a beautiful trail. Elevation gain is relatively gradual, I never felt like I was climbing stairs.
Small creeks at the bottom, but I don't think any of the halfway water points had water. We brought 4 liters each and had water to spare.
The trail was really well marked. Never got lost or thought we were lost.
So high clearance is recommended but not a necessity. I drove my 2013 Yaris with no bumps on the way up, and one knock coming down.(driver error) the trail is about 18 miles not 8 or so like the page says. It is a very constant slope. I'm a newer hiker and I only stopped on the way up for some water and to have a lunch break at 10,500ft. Very do able if you're ok with 10 hours of hiking. I brought 100oz of water with me and had some to spare on the way home. All together the best hike south of the Sierras. :)
Started at Aspen Glen on account of the road being a bit too much for my tiny car. Hiked up to the summit and back. The view and the mountain itself are just breathtaking.I would suggest camping and doing it in 2 days or start hiking very early as we had to practically run down the mountain before dark.
Had a wonderful trail run in end of May. Drove up the Fire Road and that was a bit annoying. 4-wheel drive not necessary, but some ground clearance will definitely help with a few sections. Started off a bit late (around 9 in the morning). Chilly in the low 30's, but was warming up steadily. Trailhead starts off at around 8k ft or so, and took me just about 2 hours to run/jog up to 11.5k ft Gorgonio Peak (which was cold, windy). My first real trail run, so time is a bit slow and I stopped for lots of photos. Gorgeous views all the way! Talk about clean air, solitude, that outdoors smell.. Passing through the campgrounds was great, lots of friendly hikers. Total run time was around 4.5 hours, and just at about 20 miles. Altitude makes it oh so difficult if you're not used to it.
Trail starts out near a creek with beautiful meadows. Very rocky trail. Tail near the top is mostly shale. Very slippery and hard on the knees. Bring your trekking poles. Sugarloaf peak offers beautiful views of the San Gabriel Mountains and Big Bear. Look for the white can at the top so you can add your name to the book.