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Wave Cave, AZ

Guide 94 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.5 of 5 
729 94 1
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,204 feet
Elevation Gain 890 feet
Accumulated Gain 890 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.55
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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6  2021-05-13 Daytripper
24  2021-03-15
Lost Goldmine Ridgeline II
16  2021-01-29 Stoic
1  2020-02-25 JoshhikesAZ
7  2020-02-12 Daytripper
24  2019-12-18
Hieroglyphics TH to Wavecave
18  2019-04-28 adilling
6  2019-03-23
Robbers Roost - Superstitions
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 8
Author DavidNLetlet
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 21
Trips 2 map ( 12 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Mesa, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec
Seasons   Late Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:27pm
Official Route
9 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2020 Sawtooth Fire24.7k
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥

Warning the 2019 Woodbury Fire & 2020 Sawtooth Fire damaged a majority of the Superstition Wilderness.
Superstition Pipeline
by DavidNLetlet

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If you are looking for a departure from the usual Peralta to 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. Relaxing day. This is also a great route up to the Superstition 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 '50s-'60s) 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 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 this may not be your hike if they are a concern for you. Many might find walking sticks/poles helpful on this hike, though they are not a necessity.

Begin this hike from the Carney Springs Trailhead and proceed in a northwesterly direction along the old roadbed 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 general 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 this 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 the 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 cave walls in some spots. There is a marvelous wave-shaped rock jutting out of the cave floor 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 Superstition Ridgeline 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 to Robber's Roost and Fremont Saddle (or even Cave Trail, if you wish) to add distance, and adventure to this wonderful hike.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-03-15 DavidNLetlet
    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 Recreational Land Permits
    For hiking, driving & sightseeing purposes, you seek the recreational permit.
    Under "Recreational Land Use" in the link above.
    2020 - $15.00 individual
    2020 - $20.00 family limited to two adults and children under the age of 18
    Plus $1 processing fee
    The permitting process quick, you will be emailed your permit instantly.

    Land Parcel Map

    Map Drive
    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.

    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 / +0.9 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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