Hike to the Wave Cave

Gold Canyon, Arizona

4.6/5
based on 5 reviews

Details

Distance

3.5 miles

Elevation Gain

990 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Sri Gangam

The Wave Cave offers the best scenery the Superstition Mountains have to offer. Make sure to take a picture. 

From the trail-head you will follow the old and wide dirt road for a while until you reach the wilderness fence line. It's easy to get lost. When you reach the fence there's an area to go through. It's difficult to see. Make sure you look closely. DO NOT follow the signs that say "trail". Once you get through the fence, just pay close attention to the cairns. Once you get past all that, the end is an awesome view from a larger than expected cave. The ascent basically gets steeper the closer you get. It's a great adventure!

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Features

Hiking
Scenic

Reviews

I have been doing this hike for years. I remember the first time I went, there wasn't a trail. Just a few cairns here and there as you made your way through the wash and canyon. It has since become a very popular hike close to the valley. The trail is easy to follow. It gets steep towards the end heading up to the cave. Be sure to bring plenty of water and enjoy!

This hike was so much fun! Short, with pretty decent incline (your knees may hate you on the way down, lol). Great views and the cave portion is super unique. Note that this is a really popular trail, so I recommend going early so you have a better chance at finding trailhead parking. Bring more water than you think you need, snacks and make sure to leave no trace! Note that there are no restrooms at the trailhead.

After walking a ways from the trailhead, you will see a Wave Cave sign, enter through the orange zig zag gate in the fence. It is a fairly easy hike but the last 1/4 mile gets your heart pumping a bit. Definitely ok for kids (10 and over). The trail isn't marked well but fairly easy to follow. I got off it for about 30 seconds and then realized it and hooked back up with the trail. Very scenic hike and the cave was bigger than I thought it would be. I'm in pretty good shape and it took me less than an hour up and about 40 minutes down (stopping to take pictures each way). Wear hiking boots if possible, there is some slippery gravel up top and gets a bit steep. Enjoy!

This is NOT for beginners and will be difficult for some intermediate hikers as well if you plan to make it all the way to the cave. There is not a restroom or water at the entrance of this trail. Closest restroom is at Peralta trail. Must make sure you have plenty of water and dress in layers as you will get hot even in the winter. There are portions of this trail that will require slow pace and use of hands and feet to move up and forward. Additional advice-look at a map to understand the topography before you go since this trail is not well marked.

The trail was well pretty well worn in. As of yesterday I only saw one cairn and it was before the fence. The parking lot was full when we got there but we had the cave to ourselves. I bet it gets pretty busy on weekdays though.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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