We got up at about 2am to prepare for our drive up the mountain. We were told it would take longer than it did, but to be there by 5am.
The drive was very dark, and it rained at times as we passed though the rain forest belt. It was a bit scary at times, as you could not see where the drop off was, but you knew it was there. We had no problems, though, and just drove slowly. We arrived around 4am.
Take a blanket from your hotel and wear your warmest clothes. At an elevation of 10,023 feet, it is very, very cold. If you want to take pictures, you need to get your spot early, as it gets very crowded. There is a room you can go inside in order to view the scenery protected from the wind. However, I felt the picture would be better from outside.
After a very long wait, the sun finally started to peek over the horizon. It was beautiful and indescribable.
If you have a National Parks Pass, it applies to this park; otherwise, there is an entry fee. The gates are open but unattended in the early hours, and you pay in a box to the side. The gates are attended as you leave, so you could also pay then.
The drive down is slow due to all the bikers. Biking down the mountain is a popular sport. I would recommend someone do this once, because I would probably not do this a second time.