Wave Cave Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Canyon, AZ that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Interstate 15: Take the American Fork exit and follow signs toward the Alpine Loop Scenic Drive, which is State Road 92. The National Monument lies along this scenic byway within the Uinta National Forest east of American Fork.
Went mid October and still hot... definitely no shade until the top. As others have said, not well marked at all... got off the trail once and had to backtrack. There are several rock hoodoos that people have left that actually really help if you pay attention. It's very remote and very beautiful. I do not recommend doing this hike alone. Bees at the cave scared me down quickly after a few pictures.
Definitely not for beginners, but a great hike with an amazing destination. Got off trail on the way up, had to backtrack. Got off the trail on the way down, had to blue line for a while to get back down. Had so much fun that none of the bush whacking seemed tedious or frustrating. GREAT hike.
This trail need to be marked better, saw lots of people hiking off course and had make their way back to the trail. The brush on about the last mile is really dense and a bit difficult of a climb if you are not prepared. The end sight is well worth it, the cave is awesome. Lots of traffic.
This hike needs to be rated difficult. It is very poorly marked and the only way we made it to the top was following footprints and cairns. It was worth the hard hike and it was beautiful, definitely visiting again
Took my 12 year old and 3 month old and this hike is no joke! Trail is difficult to find at times but like others have mentioned, you should be able to see the cave at all times. Went off path one time but thanks to some hikers on their way down we were able to see where we had gotten mixed up. It's a good climb towards the top, but we saw smaller kids making it up there too. Beautiful views and worth it when you make it to the cave. I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet it was in terms of seeing others on the trail, expected it to be much busier with the cooler weather. Great trail!
My friend and I did accidentally miss the left turn onto the correct trail, but I'm not going to rate a trail poorly because of my own mistake. Having gone off trail, it was definitely a more difficult hike. The correct trail wasn't so bad, and we were able to see where we went wrong coming back down. You should be able to see the cave at all times from the trail, and if you can't, you're most likely off trail. The trail is mostly loose rock/gravel so wear appropriate shoes. The last half mile is more steep and does require some climbing, but not impossible. I saw a couple bees/wasps flying around on trail and in the cave, but no infestation and they didn't seem to bother us. Overall, this was a beautiful yet moderately challenging hike but the views from the top are well worth it.
Asked two different groups in the parking lot to be sure we were in the right place. The first group said they never found the cave. The second group pointed us in the right direction. Somewhere along the way, we lost the trail markers, got lost and never found the cave. It was a steep hike and would have been worth the view, if we could have found it. Overall, disappointing.
I just did this hike with my older brother this morning. We planned on going around 6 am but had a late start and began hiking around 8 am. This hike taught me a lesson. The trail is not paved too well and it is very east to get lost. If you decide to hike this, be aware of your surroundings (I cannot stress this enough) and look for the stacked rocks, which mark the correct way for the trail. As we got closer to the end, the heat started to take a toll and we sat down to talk about our game plan. After a short 2 minute break, we rehydrated and geared up to finish what seemed like the last 0.5-1.0 mile left. However, on our way up, a bee started buzzing around my brothers head and eventually landed in his head. We quickly tried to shoo the bee away but before either of us knew it, we were being attacked by at least 25 bees. They were all over - clinging to our clothes, hiding in our hair, and buzzing around our faces. Immediately, our sympathetic nervous systems kicked in (fight or flight response) and we started booking it down the mountain. I am not even sure how we were able to make it away from the bees because I was so freaked out and I'm pretty sure I was running with my eyes closed. We got away from the bees, both of us getting stung multiple times on our backs and necks. Unfortunaty, during our sprint down, we lost the trail. After aimless wandering for around 45 minutes, we considered calling for help but decided we would keep searching. After a quick prayer, we found the trail! (funny how that works, huh?) I was so relieved that we started crying. I honestly never thought I was going to make it down the mountain & that we would be featured on the 5 o'clock news after the crazy events we faced.
Like I mentioned before, always be aware of your surroundings. We are both very lucky neither of us are allergic to bees and that we were paying attention to major landmarks along the way. With that being said, we never made it to the top unfortunately.
ALSO, in all of the commotion with the bees, I was finding everything off of me, including my Sperry sunglasses and NAU hat. If you hike this and happen to stumble along these items, I would love it if you would kindly contact me to return them! :)
Awesome hike, my husband and I completed it in 2.5 hours. Mind you we hung out for a little while inside the cave. Came across a tortoise, which was a surprise. Will highly recommend this trail. We decided to hike just before sunset, weather was perfect.
Great hike. A Lil harder than anticipated towards the end. Had no issues following the trail. Very worth it
Great hike. Wud recommend paying close attention to the trail or u will get lost. Simple as that but cool view wud go back.
Horribly marked for Wave Cave so we took the well marked path for a mile before figuring there was no way we were heading the right direction. Back tracked and went the opposite way for awhile and then finally headed the correct way. VALUABLE TIP...hike 1/2 mile from trailhead and when you get to what looks like a dead end.....look closer because it's NOT. Go straight through path by weird fence and you'll start seeing the several cairns. Do NOT go left or right on the trail with marked posts! Once through dead end "looking" fence, it's a mile to the cave and a VERY steep last 1/2 mile. I'll try to upload 2 pics...1 showing fence/correct path and another pointing out cave in the side of the Mtn. This should lead to successful hike to wave cave!!!
This was such a let down. We went out for a great hike on Mother's day and were unable to find our way. Very difficult to find the trail and stay on it. In reviews I had read from other sites I expected to see a lot of carins but they must have been knocked down over the years and none built in their place. It was quite a beautiful day and there were a ton of blooms on the cacti.
Will have to attempt another time.
First, let me say that the parking is very small area and it will take you 6 mile of dirt road to get there. 1st part will be a dodge of cow patties mine field. I was fortunate to see some cow out in the open.
The trail is not clearly marked. I put up a arrow marker to guide the way. Went out of the way about a mile to the west and 1/8 mile to the north as the trail will show. In the pictures you will see the trail markers. Also once you get through the fence you will walk around 50 to 100 yards to the next fork in the road, One will take you north to the ridge line and the other will take you to the wave cave.
The last 1/2 mile is uphill and a little bit steep and narrow. Because it is so narrow you have to wait when other people are going the other direction. Careful coming down not to twist your ankle going from rock to rock.
Once you get to the wave cave, it was amazing how big this cave is. Bring a nice bright light to take a good picture from the inside to the outside of the cave.
The big negative side is mostly people with their pets. They either leave their dog bags all over this trail or don't pick it up or pick up after their dogs. Isn't it bad enough dodging the cow patties and you have to dodge dog piles.
Definitely not for little kids. We found it confusing where to go. We thought we were lost temperarilly. Lots of loose rocks and cacti right up against the trail. Our group of Littles didn't make it to see the cave. Looks like it would be cool with experienced hikers. I'd like to go back without my kids and see the cave.
Not very well marked, but a nice hike. Awesome cave with an amazing view.
The trail head isn't clearly signed, but if you walk straight from the parking lot to the wire fence you'll notice the opening when you get right up to the fence.
The trail is very narrow and rocky but not very busy in the early morning hours. I liked that there was some shade along the trail and a nice breeze. The cave itself was super cool for photos! Enjoy!