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Gorgeous hike! Beautiful bluffs after you drop into little bear, and get on the river. Definitely a scenic and worth while hike! The pool is big enough to stretch out and enjoy, was tucked perfectly into the hill across the river when you get to a little camp site (look north/NE, on river bed for small trail leading up - the pool is not on the main river!).

The Wave is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Our permits were for late March. The weather was perfect, it drizzled at times which kept the temperature perfect. We didn't use a compass or GPS... probably would've found it faster if we had. It was a rough hike for the non-hiker in the group.

Scenic and steady hike up. Perfect amount of backpacking-per-day. Springs were great, campground was dispersed. We thought the hike was quite manageable, but we found two texans stranded on the trail with no water and some pretty bad altitude sickness. Creeks are everywhere, so bring a water filter. High avalanche danger in the winter.

Amazing! Easy hike but be very very careful with navigation, you can get lost easily.

This was a hike that was beautiful and a good workout that ended at one of the most beautiful natural shrines I have seen. A highlight on a trip full of great hikes!

Definitely a beautiful hike if you can get a permit through the lottery! Went at the end of February 2 years ago and even with the cooler temps, it was still hot. There is no shade so take more water than you think you need!

Beautiful trail, and totally worth it. The last 2 miles you cross a fork of the Gila River 15 times one way, and the water was only up to about my knees at the deepest (I'm 5' 5"). We wore Chacos but our feet ended up getting pretty beat up in the water, so I would probably recommend a sneaker you don't mind getting soaked and then bringing another pair of dry shoes. In the morning going out the water was extremely cold! However, it was totally worth it as the canyon was beautiful and the spring relaxing. The visitor center has maps available for $4 or can show you one before you go. They told us it was 14 miles round trip. There were several other people camping there while we were there during spring break, but there is plenty of room to spread out to camp near the spring, so you won't disturb one another.

backpacking
2 months ago

10/10. Loved every step of this trail. I suggest counter clockwise. The climb up trail raider from clockwise direction looked miserable. Glad I was going down!

Easily one of the most scenic and exciting trails I've ever hiked -- but at a cost. The trail cuts through the river leading into the canyon. The water is VERY cold and the rocks are VERY sharp beneath the water. Be careful and be prepared. Bring a very light pair of extra shoes for the second half of the trail because we had to cross the river at knee depth 15 times (30 times total). Very worth it though!

lifetime memory

Beautiful!

wonderful

backpacking
3 months ago

Second time on this loop in September with friends. Campsites were crowded around Snowmass Lake. Pics from the trip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffreydgraham/albums/72157688773204146

backpacking
3 months ago

First backpacking trip this past September and fell in love! Elevation was no joke but a little bit of training beforehand and you’ll be alright. Views are amazing!

I have been here 4 times, I always enjoy the springs any time of the year! looking forward to catching that annual September trip @Thomas and Jay!

backpacking
3 months ago

I recommended working this trail clockwise because the significant climb/drop in the northwest corner may not have water at the top. I personally began at the Cliff Dwellings heading west on trail #151. Be sure to top off water before climbing north on trail #28. The view from the top of the northwest corner was breath taking. I camped the first night on the trail at the base of the switchbacks before crossing the river.

The second day I walked along the Middle Fork for eight miles within the cliff faces which rose hundreds of feet on both sides. Just like other reviews warned I crossed the river so many times I lost count (twenty? twenty-five? I dunno). Because of this I wore my river crossing sandals all day and trekking poles helped greatly. In the beginning I had trouble in the Meadows (near the intersection of trails #157 and #53) due to an overgrowth of vegetation. I followed one trail I presumed was man-made through tall grass into what I eventually believed was a bear den. It looked like a vegetation-made igloo filled with beautiful yellow flowers, freshly eaten animal bones, and bear scat nearby. No photos unfortunately as I did not want to become the next set of bones. After backing out I walked through the river for a time upon losing the trail to get away from the den. Thankfully I did not actually run into any bears face-to-face though signs of their presence were around. I later learned flooding took out many of the cairns causing frequent loss of the trail among the river rock however it almost always paralleled the river. About half way through the second day I passed the the Jordan Hot Springs which was a neat place to stop and rest. There were numerous camps sites across the river from the springs so please minimize your impact if visiting here.

Day three started as I entered the Little Bear (slot) Canyon southbound on trail #729. I hammock camped in an area previously used by others to save time but was extremely disappointed in the amount of trash left behind near Little Bear Canyon's intersection with the Middle-Fork river. The walk back to the starting point was fairly easy but the shade from the cliffs and trees disappeared by this point. Be sure to take a water purifier as I was advised by a Park Ranger that the rivers have Giaradia in them. In all, this was a beautiful hike which I will do again though losing the trail throughout the second day was frustrating.

Really fun and worth the lottery process. The Wave is spectacular, as are the surrounding areas and the hike in/out. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t go! The volunteer ranger has some horror stories... also don’t think that you can do this without a permit. You will get caught! We saw a group of 6 caught without permits and fined $1500 each!

hiking
4 months ago

We were lucky to win the Lottery at first attempt. It’s really a great privilege to be able to do this epic hike. Fantastic to see the Wave in real, but don’t forget to go further to Wave2 and down in the Canyon. There’s a lot to see.
Also, if you want the best light you should be on site early morning, preferably before 10 am. Afternoon light is also pretty nice, as it reveal other parts of the Wave.

hiking
4 months ago

We went in December and were lucky to score a walk up permit on our first try. The hike was breath taking, not just the wave but the journey there was filled with beautiful scenery. Note that in December aim to arrive by 10:30am at the wave for bear light, we got there around 1pm and parts were shaded but it was still amazing.

We were so lucky to win the lottery online. Came all the way from NY and we were awestruck. We felt like we were on Mars the entire time. We went in January and it was a fantastic temp of 53 degrees. We had no cell service or gps service, you’re really out in the middle of nowhere and it’s great if you know what you’re doing

backpacking
5 months ago

My girlfriend and I completed this trail in 4 days in early July, 2017. It was her first backpacking experience. Much of the trail was still covered with snow pack, we used crampons on a couple traverses and used ice axes to glissade down from two of the passes. We were hoping to summit Snowmass Mountain, but decided it was too much for a first time backpacker. The only bugs we encountered were immediately surrounding Snowmass lake. We saw no traces of bear. There were not many people on the trail when we were there, probably due to the amount of snow pack. Water was abundant and we never carried more than 2 quarts each. A few of the creeks were tough to cross without getting our feet wet, so I would recommend bringing sandals for the trip. The trip could easily be done in 3 full days, but add a fourth if you make a Snowmass Mountain summit attempt.

backpacking
5 months ago

Most epic backpacking trip I have ever done. Simply outstanding!

I don't recommend doing this hike all in 1 day. It's a bit much even for relatively experienced hikers. Even so, this was a great hike with a couple cool (but mild) challenges. Docking 1 star because the hot spring area wasn't that well kept and because I've been on better hikes.

backpacking
6 months ago

Best hike of my life so far! Stunning. Very difficult. Very worth It!
We did it in 4 days and 3 nights.
We took too much food. There were plenty of spots to fill up water so I started carrying no more than 1.5 to 2 liters of water any given time.

hiking
6 months ago

We hired a guide to take us to the wave and it was well worth it! We enjoyed the wave so much and our guide also took us to many places around the wave. I can’t recommend this place enough!

I did South Truchas in a day and had to go off trail at the end of skyline, but all above the treeline and clearly visible. skyline is one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on!

Loved this hike. I'm coming back with more friends.

ppvojk

It's already winter up there so bring your layers! Snowed 4 inches the night we camped up by the springs. Also there are free wag bags at the trailhead. Use them! You'll save the Forest Service a lot of unpleasant work.

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