Wave Cave Trail is a 3 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.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
846 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no shade

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

hiking
4 hours ago

Very cool hike. The parking lot was packed on a Saturday in November by 9 am. I had to hike from another parking lot on the lost goldmine trail just to get to the wave cave trail. Made for long return trip! Anyway, the hike is pretty strenuous unless you’re in good shape. The elevation gain is pretty intense in the last leg before the cave. Definitely worth it. I hiked in running shoes and wished I had a hiking shoes. There’s a lot of slippery gravel on the way down so be careful and take your time. The cave itself is pretty dusty. Amazing views!

2 days ago

Do not go after 4:00. Be very careful bringing kids. It’s not an easy hike at the top. More like a climb to the cave. Takes about 2hours to get up if you are a non hiker.

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail, the view was spectacular

Awesome trail but definitely not easy! This is my first official hike, I don’t know how but I MADE IT TO THE TOP. A big shoutout to my group who encouraged me to do it!

5 days ago

Definitely hard trail. Steep at the end going up and down is rough with a lot of loose rocks. But the cave is amazing! Our family loved it!

5 days ago

This hike is NOT MODERATE! Starts out flat but as you progress to the cave this incline gets steeper and stepper, rocky and rockier. I can’t call a 45 degree incline moderate. But it’s worth the effort, great cave and view.

hiking
5 days ago

This trail definitely borders on hard. The last 1/2 mile will challenge you with large rocks and a steady incline. The reward at the end is incredible. As noted by others, park in the first lot you see once you hit dirt. There is another trailhead past the first lot. You will need to walk through.a gate that should be marked with a wooden sign. We had to secure the sign with some extra wire as it had fallen down. Other hikers told us they missed the sign and spent an extra hour looking for the cave. This trail is dog friendly but is challenging for them as well.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a great hike. The trail is well marked, but it can be easy to lose in some areas if you are not paying attention. I went on 11/1 and there were a bunch of people on the trail around 8:30am. I would say this is a moderate hike. Nothing too intense, but will definitely work up a sweat! This is definitely a trail I would revisit.

Beautiful hike! Went off trail a few times but still made it. No heavy traffic during the week. Gorgeous views!

17 days ago

Probably one of the coolest caves in the area, very nice to relax in after the final pump to the top. Trail can get a little crowded at times so I’d recommend going early.

17 days ago

Great trail, it’s an adventure finding it but worth it. We ran into a rattlesnake while on the trail, no harm done but just keep your eyes and ears peeled, scrambling near the cave can be difficult to downclimb on the way out for sure

hiking
25 days ago

Trail is a bit challenging to find.

Great views.

This is more of moderate/difficult hike.

BEWARE of rattle snakes. Stay on the trail, mosdef.

hiking
25 days ago

Awesome hike in the desert! It took around 2 hours to complete the out & back trail.

hiking
28 days ago

Fun little quick hike with some scrambling at the end near the cave. We were surprised how big the cave was. Beautiful area!

29 days ago

Great hike until the last few hundred feet, it becomes a little steep. Great views from top and very rewarding

1 month ago

one of my favorite hikes. easy to moderate then the last 500 feet is difficult.

1 month ago

At the start of the trail, you will come to a fence which appears to discourage you from entering, but you actually have to walk through it. Otherwise you'll get lost and wind up on another trail and have to back track. See attached photo of the fence. You have to walk through it were the orange posts are.

Other than that, it's not too bad of hike. I would call it moderate.

May want to bring gloves as there were some points where you need to grab rocks for balance/footing.

1 month ago

This trail is on the tougher side of moderate for those less seasoned. The ascending climb to the cave can prove to be difficult but “surfing the wave” at the top is well worth it. At the fork, make a left not a right. If you find yourself having to crawl through brush, you went the wrong way!

hiking
1 month ago

Cons: It is extremely easy to lose the trail.

Pros: The trail offers a little bit of everything including beautiful views challenging climbs and cool breezes down the canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

This was NOT a moderate hike. It's lovely at the cave, but so hard to get there. Like everyone said, easy to get lost.

hiking
1 month ago

Finally Hiked The Wave Cave!!! Loved it with GTAH AZ....Kicked my Butt, one of my top 5 favorite hikes!!! Amazing scenery riding the wave :)

hiking
1 month ago

Really fun trail. You definitely have to pay attention to where you are going, since the trail isn’t marked besides one sign in the beginning. It is definitely a harder moderate hike, challenging at the end but that’s when you know you are near the cave! The views are well worth it. Love this one!!

1 month ago

The beginning of the trail is not really marked. We got a little lost and had to look out for foot prints. Once you start hiking the incline it’s easy to follow.

hiking
2 months ago

Got to the trailhead at 6, reached the cave by around 7:40 with a couple breaks. We started from the second/further lot. Views were AMAZING at sunrise. Worth it to get there early because you are shaded almost the whole time coming up! Can be slipper coming down, steeper than expected. Cave is super cool. Trail is decently marked.

hiking
2 months ago

Not very well maintained trail. Wouldn’t take kids on this hike because of the heat.

2 months ago

I understand how gorgeous the cave and view are, but this is not a moderate hike unless I took a different trail! This is a very difficult hike on trails that are not marked and blend in easily with the desert...along with numerous areas of veer offs leaving you wondering which way to go! I had two guys show me how to use GPS on this site after I turned around in frustration. So, stupidly, I tried it again. I finally got to the Cave which is a beautiful wonder of nature, but it isn't worth almost dying over when you get lost coming down even using GPS! I was happy to have made it out alive! Please, be careful...this is not easy and not marked...you have to guess many times which way to go and tear through thorny bushes and cacti to get back on track. It is too easy to get lost! I unfortunately will not be putting myself in that situation again on Superstition. I will go hike a trail that is thoroughly marked and maintained! Sorry if this disappoints fans of the trail, but I want everyone to know what they are getting into!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! Would highly recommend it. The last little bit of hike before the wave is a bit challenging but well worth it.

2 months ago

Initially the trail had a gradual climb. after you half the distance of the hike, it's a moderate to steep climb when nearing the cave.
Remember to bring lots of water. It's an amazing hike. The view from the cave is beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a fun trail. Make sure you go through the fence. This trail is a good work out. I went on a Tuesday around 6:00 am. I saw two other people on the trail. No matter where you are the views are beautiful and amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

Love, love, love this trail. It's a must-do, essential for any passionate hiker in the Phoenix vicinity. ...or any surfers. :) Everyone needs a pic of themselves "riding the wave" at some point to use as desktop wallpaper.
The hike itself is fairly easy, though the last part up to the cave is the most challenging, hence the "moderate" rating. But it's absolutely something you can do, because YOU HAVE TO! Your reward isn't just the view, but the cool air in the cave. It's remarkably cooler. Be sure to bring a lot of water if it's warm out because there's no shade along the way.

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