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19 by photographer avatarbkraay
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Wave CavePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
bkraay
Hiking7.60 Miles 977 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles
977 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was as accidental as destinations come. Having recently gone through a divorce and feeling the freedom to pursue whatever hike I'd like at any given point, my goal was Superstition Peak. I parked at the Carney Springs Trailhead which I must admit is slightly further than the other description I read. At the actual point where it says there is an obvious turn-off, it's on the right and does NOT help you get to the start of the hike. Rather, continue for about .2 miles and there is indeed an obvious parking spot good for maybe 7-10 vehicles.

The start of the hike was very level as you make your way towards the majestic Superstitions, walking directly towards them. It was colder than I ever imagined it would have been, but very pleased to learn that my Patagonia R1 jacket is rather warm--another point for Patagonia! After a little more than a half mile the dirt and boulder filled road leading to the trailhead ends, and you will meander to the right to find the trailhead. From here the hike becomes more confined and less open, much more defined and requiring a greater amount of your attention to stay on track. At one point the trail clearly moved to the left along the barbed wire fence at the entrance to the forest, and I inadvertently followed this trail for a mile and a half while soaking up the sheer beauty of the place, not realizing I'd passed the forest entrance (poorly marked, plus the sunrise was throwing my vision off). After a bit of serenity, I made the decision to turn back because there was no way I was going to gain the rest of the expected elevation gain in such a short distance.

Alas I found the entrance to the forest and was reinvigorated, ready to take on the Superstitions--the trail was decently marked and cairns existed, but there were times when I had to stop and really focus to find the next cairn as if in a Where's Waldo sort of way. Very overgrown at points (my legs had the scratches to prove it). A short distance after entering the forest I noticed a faint fork in the trail to the right--my assumption remains that by going left I went up the wrong canyon to reach the summit. Regardless, I went left and began a quick climb up a canyon ridge and began a trek along a stunning canyon offering wonderful views.

There was nothing strenuous about this hike, rather easy frankly. A little ways into the canyon I noticed what looked like a cave up to my left, on the opposite side of the canyon, and decided to check it out. To my excitement, the trail went this way anyway, and I was stunned. The cave was massive, and its namesake evident. There was what I believe to be a coyote hide torn up (minus head), but I could be wrong as I'm not a wildlife expert yet. I spent some time looking around and taking photos before sitting on the wave shaped rock in total solitude for some meditation.

After my break, I decided to bushwhack/do some bouldering to higher elevations, and while possible, I don't really recommend it. The views were great but I don't really recommend this unless you're an adventurous spirit with destination unknown. I felt safe on the boulders, but really exposed on the steep inclines and very, very, very loose footing when off of them. Again, cool views, especially after almost a mile of doing this, but there are safer ways to see those views.
Named place
Named place
Wave Cave - Superstition Wilderness
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