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Wave Cave, AZ
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History
Dubbed the "Wave Cave" by Joe Bartels in 2002. Check out the underlying surfing dream for full details.


Notice: See directions about avoided the parking issue.

Overview: If you are looking for a departure from the usual Peralta/Fremont Saddle, Bluff Springs, or West Boulder Saddle routine, this may be the hike for you. Having said that, there is bushwhacking, boulder-hopping, confusing cairns going the wrong way, NO signage, steep, slippery inclines/descents, loose dirt/gravel, a great cave, and some of the best scenery the Superstition Mountains have to offer. Wonderful solitude. Relaxing day. This is also a great route up to the Ridgeline. Still interested? Read on.

This is a shorter hike out near Peralta. 4.25 miles, at best, but it is a tough little route. It isn't off trail, but it is a very faint trail (likely dating to the 50's-60's) that we have been quietly resurrecting over the last year. We recommend long sleeves/pants (and perhaps gloves) due to some catclaw, and the generally overgrown nature of the "trail" in spots. As such, snakes (and other critters), may be present, and can be hard to spot due to the vegetation. In addition, a recent presence of bees have been noted at the cave (similar to those found at Wind Cave at Usery Mountain Regional Park). Stay away from them, and you should be fine, but if they are a concern for you, this may not be your hike. Many might find walking sticks/poles helpful on this hike, though they are not a necessity.

Hike: Begin this hike from the Carney Springs Trailhead and proceed in a northwesterly direction along the old road bed for about a mile to a fence line that marks the Superstition Wilderness. Look ahead of you and to the right, and pass through the gate into the Wilderness area. Continue up the trail maybe a quarter mile or so and take the faintly marked trail to the left just the other side of the old palo verde tree ( Ironwood ). This spot sometimes has a cairn at it, and usually has some rocks laid across the entrance to it. There is an obvious trail at this junction to the left, but it quickly becomes a bit less distinct as you travel it. Just keep your eyes out for the cairns as you go, and continue to follow a generally west-northwest direction as you climb ever so gently in a diagonal direction toward a deep wash which shall become evident upon reaching it in a half mile or so. At the wash, descend carefully into it along one of the two paths in the area, and proceed in a northerly direction up the wash for some distance (just a couple tenths of a mile) until you see a rather pointy large boulder to the left of the wash, at which time you should see the cairns taking you out of the wash to the left. At this point, the real climbing begins. However, it is brief, as you will reach the cave within 5-10 minutes, as you steadily make your way up the embankment on a rather remarkably clear trail considering the route so far.

The cave will be visible to you at various points along the route, including a clear view from the trailhead itself. Keep an eye out as you travel towards it, and you should have no issues reaching it first time out. At the cave, you will find a welcome respite from the climb in the confines of a large deep opening cut into the rock over time, that provides ample shade and delightfully cooler temperatures during your visit. Some evidence of man in the form of spray painted graffiti marks the walls of the cave in some spots. There is a marvelous wave shaped rock jutting out of the floor of the cave, that lends itself to great photo opportunities for those interested. Travel back around and in front of the cave and to the west 50 feet or so, and you will find a smaller "guest house" cave next to this one. Each cave provides a great spot to enjoy lunch, and overlook the valley far below to the south. Return the same way, or continue up the wash to the left to reach the Ridgeline Trail across the Superstitions to the west, or turn to the right (east) to make a loop hike coming down at West Boulder Saddle or continuing on to Robber's Roost and Fremont Saddle (or ever Cave Trail, if you wish) to add distance, and adventure to this wonderful hike.
Description 65 Triplogs  1 Topic
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 15
 Region
 
0
0
 Superstitions SW
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,204 feet
Elevation Gain 977 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.24
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Author DavidNLetlet
Descriptions 1
Routes 0
Photos 21
Trips 2 map ( 12 miles )
Age 53
Location Mesa, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
8  2017-04-07 gummo
14  2017-03-27
Connecting the Y - Wave Cave/W Boulder Sdl Lp
Vashti
2  2016-07-13 RickVincent
10  2016-03-12 ddgrunning
5  2016-03-05 ddgrunning
13  2016-02-06 phlak
6  2016-01-22 rtaylor3235
4  2016-01-22 hikingaz2
8  2016-01-02 gummo
15  2015-12-20
Wave and the Robber
The_Eagle
6  2015-12-02 gummo
9  2015-11-28 ddgrunning
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Forest Tonto
Wilderness Superstition
Backpack   Possible - Not Popular
Preferred   Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:18pm
Route Scout
import queue
Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Robbers Roost Canyon - Tonto NF
0.0 mi away
4.0 mi
2,000 ft
Old Turk's Head - Peak 2777
0.0 mi away
7.6 mi
1,348 ft
Dacite Mesa
0.0 mi away
7.0 mi
2,500 ft
Superstition Peak 5057 - Carney
0.0 mi away
9.1 mi
3,408 ft
Three Sisters
0.0 mi away
7.7 mi
2,700 ft
W Boulder Cyn to Willow Springs
0.0 mi away
7.4 mi
1,370 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna
Common Tree Lizard
Desert Tortoise
Gopher Snake
Leaf-footed Bug
Long-nosed snake
Orb-Weaver Spider
Ornate Tree Lizard
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Wren
Turkey Vulture
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
Western Patch-nosed snake
Zebra-tailed lizard
Flora
Engelmann Prickly Pear
Hedgehog Cactus
Mexican Gold Poppy
Pincushion Cactus
Saguaro
Sugar Sumac
Meteorology
Moon
Named place
Picketpost Mountain
Superstition Wilderness - West
Three Sisters - Superstition Wilderness
Turks Head - Superstition Boundary
Wave Cave - Superstition Wilderness
Culture
Aircraft
Cartwheel
Dacite Tide
Humor
johnr1
Snoozing Home
add me
Superstition Pipeline
by DavidNLetlet

History
Dubbed the "Wave Cave" by Joe Bartels in 2002. Check out the underlying surfing dream for full details.


Notice: See directions about avoided the parking issue.

Overview: If you are looking for a departure from the usual Peralta/Fremont Saddle, Bluff Springs, or West Boulder Saddle routine, this may be the hike for you. Having said that, there is bushwhacking, boulder-hopping, confusing cairns going the wrong way, NO signage, steep, slippery inclines/descents, loose dirt/gravel, a great cave, and some of the best scenery the Superstition Mountains have to offer. Wonderful solitude. Relaxing day. This is also a great route up to the Ridgeline. Still interested? Read on.

This is a shorter hike out near Peralta. 4.25 miles, at best, but it is a tough little route. It isn't off trail, but it is a very faint trail (likely dating to the 50's-60's) that we have been quietly resurrecting over the last year. We recommend long sleeves/pants (and perhaps gloves) due to some catclaw, and the generally overgrown nature of the "trail" in spots. As such, snakes (and other critters), may be present, and can be hard to spot due to the vegetation. In addition, a recent presence of bees have been noted at the cave (similar to those found at Wind Cave at Usery Mountain Regional Park). Stay away from them, and you should be fine, but if they are a concern for you, this may not be your hike. Many might find walking sticks/poles helpful on this hike, though they are not a necessity.

Hike: Begin this hike from the Carney Springs Trailhead and proceed in a northwesterly direction along the old road bed for about a mile to a fence line that marks the Superstition Wilderness. Look ahead of you and to the right, and pass through the gate into the Wilderness area. Continue up the trail maybe a quarter mile or so and take the faintly marked trail to the left just the other side of the old palo verde tree ( Ironwood ). This spot sometimes has a cairn at it, and usually has some rocks laid across the entrance to it. There is an obvious trail at this junction to the left, but it quickly becomes a bit less distinct as you travel it. Just keep your eyes out for the cairns as you go, and continue to follow a generally west-northwest direction as you climb ever so gently in a diagonal direction toward a deep wash which shall become evident upon reaching it in a half mile or so. At the wash, descend carefully into it along one of the two paths in the area, and proceed in a northerly direction up the wash for some distance (just a couple tenths of a mile) until you see a rather pointy large boulder to the left of the wash, at which time you should see the cairns taking you out of the wash to the left. At this point, the real climbing begins. However, it is brief, as you will reach the cave within 5-10 minutes, as you steadily make your way up the embankment on a rather remarkably clear trail considering the route so far.

The cave will be visible to you at various points along the route, including a clear view from the trailhead itself. Keep an eye out as you travel towards it, and you should have no issues reaching it first time out. At the cave, you will find a welcome respite from the climb in the confines of a large deep opening cut into the rock over time, that provides ample shade and delightfully cooler temperatures during your visit. Some evidence of man in the form of spray painted graffiti marks the walls of the cave in some spots. There is a marvelous wave shaped rock jutting out of the floor of the cave, that lends itself to great photo opportunities for those interested. Travel back around and in front of the cave and to the west 50 feet or so, and you will find a smaller "guest house" cave next to this one. Each cave provides a great spot to enjoy lunch, and overlook the valley far below to the south. Return the same way, or continue up the wash to the left to reach the Ridgeline Trail across the Superstitions to the west, or turn to the right (east) to make a loop hike coming down at West Boulder Saddle or continuing on to Robber's Roost and Fremont Saddle (or ever Cave Trail, if you wish) to add distance, and adventure to this wonderful hike.
© 2012 - 2017 hikearizona.com

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

-
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    AZ State Land Recreational Permits are available for an individual ($15.00), or a family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18 ($20.00).




    Land Parcel Map


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To Carney Spring Trailhead
    7.6 miles east of the junction Idaho Rd / US-60. Turn Left on to FS77 which is Peralta Road. Follow FS77 5.6 miles to a left and up turnoff. Continue 0.6 miles to Carney Spring Trailhead.

    Warning
    This trailhead and the first 0.5 miles is periodically enforced as being on State Land, see permit for info.
    2 easy ways to avoid the small lot and fee.
    - Lost Goldmine TH / +0.8 miles GPS Route
    - Peralta TH w/restrooms / +1.3 miles GPS Route

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 46.3 mi - about 1 hour 6 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 95.8 mi - about 2 hours 12 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 191 mi - about 3 hours 10 mins
    page created by DavidNLetlet on Mar 15 2012 5:53 pm
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