Wave Cave Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews
#3 of 12 trails in

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.

3.0 miles 991 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

views

wild flowers

rocky

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.

Great once you get to the cave! Got a little lost in the beginning with where the trail was but found our way back. A little tricky to follow trail unless you see other people.

2 days ago

Good hike. More difficult than others make it seem. Hike up was constant elevation gain. Hard climbing during the last leg. Went with a dog and she helped lead the way as far as the path up. There seem to be other paths in the area that cross cross this one. As others have said make sure to go through the fence and keep the cave in sight to maintain correct direction. If you go with a dog it would be difficult and dangerous to hold a leash on this path.

8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

It's fairly treacherous but hiking above the cave offers some impressive views.

hiking
10 days ago

Could not find the trail. Went through the fence and followed advice from other reviews on here but still could not find it. Saw a couple carins but not enough to be able to follow the trail. Very annoyed!

hiking
18 days ago

first of all the trails were not marked, so we got lost twice before we found the actual trail. we brought our dog and she had a really hard time on the hike, it was very rocky and got a little steep closer to the cave. we didn't make it to the cave because we felt our dog would not make it without injury. it was very pretty and if we didn't have our pup with us we would have made it. if you try this trail I don't recommend bringing dogs and make sure you follow the stacked rocks, those are the only real trail markers.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike! Not the best for dogs or small children.

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike. I would say it's between easy and moderate depending on how often you hike. Well worth the drive.

I'm not sure why, but once you get to the fence it says the trail goes left...DO NOT FOLLOW THE FENCE. Luckily I knew this ahead of time, but many people got lost for a few.

26 days ago

Loved this hike! Be sure to do your research before so that you don't get lost!

hiking
29 days ago

Great trail, if you can stay on the trail that is. When we began the hike, we ran into a couple who has failed to make it to the cave after two attempts!
Here are a few tips to make sure you don't get off track:
1) When you come to the fence, don't walk along the fence, go through the opening on the fence just to the right of the trail. So many people make the mistake of walking along the fence!
2) After passing through the fence you will come to a fork, veer left at the fork.
3) You will dip into a wash at one point briefly, don't follow the wash, follow the path to your left. We went through the wash and we got WAY off trail.

Enjoy!

trail running
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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! :)