It's not a stupid question...but there are variables that make it hard to nail down an answer. Most folks coming to the event are coming in from the south...Reno, etc. There's only one two-lane road. Normally the driving time from Reno would be about 2-3 hours, but with all the traffic and the bottlenecks, and, God forbid, an accident, that could be 3-4 hours or more....just to get to Gerlach.
OK...so if you time your arrival to be at the Gate at 6 PM, you're going to be jammed in with several thousand others that have the same idea. Last year we got to Gate a little after 6 and it took us about 5-6 hours to finally get inside.
But, look at it as value added...it's part of the process. You'll get to slow down, get out and stretch, mingle, meets others...enjoy the freak show. Monday's not going to be any better altho there may be a bit of a slow down around sunrise...but not much. There's no way to crack this code unless you're willing to wait until Tuesday or later...but who wants to do that? Just go for it!
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.