We really wanted to do the stairs up then go to the right around the crater rim and back up the west side of the rim. Once we got to the end of the right rim, the trail just kind of ends and you gotta kinda bushwack and slide yourself down to the botanical gardens. We looked everywhere for an access point up into the west rim and couldn't find it. We even tried to walk out of the garden to the beginning of the rim but it was all overgrown with no trails. If anyone knows how to get up west rim let us know! Next time we're just going to stage a car at the botanical gardens, go up stairs and go left to figure out the west rim. Such beautiful views. Some bouldering of course, but you can manage to go around the sketchy parts if needed. Windy and hot. Don't bring a dog it gets super tight up there on the rim so watch your step and avoid any rain. Between us two, three liters of water almost didn't cut it.
One of my favorite hikes in Oahu. If you have time hike to the top of the crater. It is a nice technical scramble up. Also take the time to walk under the arch too. I recommend taking to the right of the arch. It is pretty cool climbing up the old lava tube to get under the arch!