I had to get up very early to make this drive to get to the sunrise spot but, once there, only had to walk a few yards from where I parked my car to the railing. The drive is said to be the highest elevation gain in the shortest distance anywhere in the world—from sea level to the +10,000′ summit in 37 miles. Whew, what a drive in the dark! Coming down can be fun (or not) as it lets you see the hairpin curves you drove up earlier.
Tip: check the park’s weather conditions the night before you go and wear a winter coat—even in Hawaii! Although I was there in August, the winds were blowing and the temperature was in the low 30’s at the top of this 10,000′ high volcano.