Wave Cave Trail

MODERATE 426 reviews
#3 of 19 trails in

Wave Cave Trail is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gold Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.9 miles
866 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



Utah Travel Council, Council Hall, P.O. Box 147420 , Salt Lake City, UT, 84114, Phone: 801-538-1030, travel@utah.com

5 days ago

Great view from the top. Trail is easy to loose. Pay attention to the trail. Loose gravel and it’s a good incline at the top. Wear shoes with good tread otherwise you will fall and it’s a long, painful fall down...

5 days ago

Really cool cave at the top. Did it with my kids, easy for 9 year old, challenging for 5 year old. It’s pretty steep toward the top and the trail isn’t marked very well in some spots. Really good photo opportunities at the cave too. Overall a good hike.
We parked in a small parking lot. You go through the fence and not next to it, we hiked off to the side by accident. Up toward the top, it’s easy to go off the trail but that’ll eventually bring you to the cave too.
My GPS has us at over 4 miles and elevation gain of over 1,400 feet.

5 days ago

Hard to find but awesome

9 days ago

Hiked this a few weekends ago with the Boy Scout troop. Super fun and not too hard.

11 days ago

Love it! Felt accomplished afterwards. Great hike!

17 days ago

This hike is definitely considered hard in my book. The trails are not marked - very easy to miss the actual trail. Steep climb to the top. It didn't help that the weather was unseasonably warm. The views at the top make this worth it!.. Bring LOTS of water.

20 days ago

Great short day hike. Definitely a bit challenging some rock scrambling but worth it.

24 days ago

Great hike! Amazing views!

24 days ago

Great hike with a very rewarding view at the top. As many have stated, make sure you walk through the fence when you get to the fork in the trail. (Rather than going left or right) Also, keep in mind it’s a dirt road to get to the trailhead. It takes about 15 mins to the trailhead from the main road and it’s helpful if you have a vehicle with some clearance.

25 days ago

Great trail, but definitely tricky to find the right way to go after the flat stretch at the beginning. At the point where the the trail splits and there are trail signs on the left and right, don’t follow either one. Go straight through the zigzag in the barbed wire fence. It’s hard to see, but there’s an opening and this is the trail to the wave cave and it’s pretty much straight up to it from there.

26 days ago

The last stretch to the cave is fairly steep and is challenging on the way up and down. Was surprised the trail was rated moderate for that reason. Not a lot of shade cover. Beautiful views from the cave—worth the effort. Watch out for bees. If you need a bathroom afterwards, you can head up the road, past the parking lot, past the Lost Goldmine Trail, and into the Tonto National Forest parking lot. Was really glad that was there. :)

28 days ago

Great hike & my dog loved the trail!

29 days ago

Gave it a 5 but that depends what you’re looking for. It’s a bit over 3 miles but that’s misleading. The last 1/4 on the way up is very challenging. We loved that but between the challenge and the Arizona weather it’s quite an amazing workout. Put it this way we saw no “out of shape” people on that last stretch! Great view and worth the effort. Bring water for sure.

30 days ago

Awesome payoff at the end but really needs trail markers. Don't do this at night like I did.

1 month ago

Beautiful views all the way up, and esp from the cave itself. Quite a unique feature- it’s huge! Hike up is split about 50/50 with a very slight grade from the parking lot to about the half way mark, then it becomes a steadier ascent. Not a “hard” hike by any stretch but it will give you a decent cardio workout on the climb. Take your time if you’re not in shape but most anyone can do this one if you take your time. Be careful with the footing in spots as there are loose rocks and small gravel on much of the trail. Enjoy! It’s a good one!

1 month ago

Good hike but I’d say it more than moderate!

1 month ago

Beautiful view at the top! The middle part of the trail is kind of tricky (I got lost and didn’t make it to the cave the first time I attempted it) remember this: follow the wash and go through the gate, left at the large pile of rocks, and left again at the log in the trail (both of those areas are where the trail forks...) The last leg of the hike gets pretty steep! Make sure you wear good shoes with tread.

1 month ago

Great hike great views!

1 month ago

I love this trail!!!!! It was an amazing workout with some of the best views ever!!

1 month ago

There is about 2 miles or so of dirt road before you get to the trailhead but it is well maintained. There were 5 or 6 other groups on the trail, but we had the cave to ourselves when we go there. It was a good hike for the kids and the dog.

Load More