There aren't many places around with views like you get on the Mt. Ashland Road. Once you clear the initial mile you are thousands of feet above the landscape below and the horizon opens up. Mt Shasta dominates the view to the south with Mt Eddy, the nearby Siskiyous and the Marble Mountains filling the horizon. Once you reach the ski area summit at 6,600 feet, the view to the north becomes clear with the Rogue Valley a vertical mile below you and the whole cascade range south of Mt Thielsen in view. The only ride in the region with vistas that compare is the Crater Lake Loop. Similar to that loop, you'll find you have to do some work to get your reward - for me it makes the views extra special. Also of note is that this is one of the 5 highest paved roads in Oregon. (Cloudcrest in Crater Lake NP being the highest topping out over 8,000 feet) I also have been told that if combined with the Callahan's climb, it's is the biggest climb in terms of elevation gain in the state.
By itself, the climb is similar to Green Springs or Dead Indian in terms of average grade at 6% - this is a bit deceptive as there is a descent and a false flat to bring the average down. If you are starting from the valley floor it becomes a very long climb and the steepest gradients are near the top. If you wish to ride to Mt Ashland from Ashland, realize you will climb nearly 5,000 cumulative feet nearly all of which is in the 16 miles from the base of the Old 99 (Callahan's) to the ski area.
If you are starting in the valley, find your way to the base of Old Hwy 99 for the Callahan's Ride. Climb to Callahan's and continue, following signs to the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Turn right when marked and continue climbing. If you want the views but half the climb, you can park at Callahan's or at the PCT parking lot nearby.
Traffic depends largely on the season - if you wish to brave the climb in winter or early spring, anticipate a fair amount of trafic heading for the ski area. When the ski area is closed, you'll have the road almost to yourself. Pavement is excellent - the only condition to worry about is loose gravel or sand on the road in winter. I have ridden the climb in March and there was still some packed snow on the road near the summit.