Oh, yeah, going up the riverbed is no fun. Here’s were studying the map before starting really paid off. The old road is a way better way to get back in there.
You can tell that some people are using the old road as a trail; there’s a discernible foot path. It’s generally followable although when you reach the saddle at the head of Catclaw Flat, where the road divides, the branch to the right is barely followable. The branch to the right is the one to take to get up river.
If you look at my “Notes for Potential Searchers” section, you’ll see that I don’t recommend my route up Stairmaster Ridge to get back into the Hell For Sure drainage. It was a reasonable first scouting route, but, based on that scouting, there’s a better route up the ridge immediately west of the falls. The west ridge route is shorter and has less gain.