I drove as far up the road my pickup could make it. Turned out, there was another person in a Jeep parked even further up, at the true end of the road.
The trip is basically straight up the whole way, so there isn't much time to catch your breath until the top. The only consistent running happens on the lower half of the trail on the way back down. Poles definitely help on the way down because there is a very steep section that is easy to slip on in the way down.