Wave Cave

New
Updated
Views from the Wave Cave
Map: Wave Cave
Views from the Wave Cave
Elevation plot: Wave Cave
Views from the Wave Cave
Hike to the Wave Cave
Hike to the Wave Cave
Hike to the Wave Cave

Location

How to Get There
This hike is located in the Superstition Wilderness East of the Phoenix area.

From the Phoenix area, take US-60 East, leaving the city limits. After leaving Apache Junction, continue about 8.5 miles, turning left onto signed Peralta Road (FR 77). After starting out as a paved road, this quickly turns into a maintained dirt road. After 5.6 miles, you'll stay left at the signed junction that heads towards the Peralta Trailhead. Go another 0.6 miles and park at the unsigned parking area and trail on your left. If you reach the obvious Peralta Trailhead, you've gone too far. This area is on Arizona State Trust land and requires a permit.
city
apache junction
state
az
Region
Superstition and Mazatzal Wilderness

Hike details

Distance
3.00 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
3.0 miles round trip.
Time
2.00 [Hours]
Time-details
It took us two hours to complete this hike.
Elevation Change
900 Total gain/loss [Feet]
Elevation Details
about 900 ft of climbing to the Wave Cave
Hike Trail Type
Out and Back

Season

Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • October
  • November
  • December
Date Hike completed
April 20, 2022

Solitude

Solitude
Low
Solitude Details
This is a super popular hike on weekends and unfortunately parking is limited. Don't expect solitude here unless you go on a weekday.

Difficulty

Difficulty Rating
Moderate
difficulty detail
This is a Moderate difficulty hike due to some scrambling on the final climb.

Permits

Be Aware of
Parking can be a challenge, Permit Required

Hike up to the Wave Cave in the Superstition Wilderness, Arizona.

The Wave Cave has grown significantly in popularity as a hiking destination in the Superstition Wilderness. People are flocking to take a social media worthy picture of the signature wave formation inside this cave. If you'd like to take your own photo, or more importantly, enjoy a fun hike in the Superstition Wilderness, then read on!

From the parking area, follow along the wide, closed dirt road heading towards the Superstition Wilderness. This old road used to lead to the Carney Springs campground, but has since been closed to cars. You'll soon arrive at the site of the old campground and a fence marking the wilderness area (marked Fence on the map). On the other side of the fence, the road goes away and you'll follow rocky but well worn trail for the remainder of the hike. About 0.2 miles from the fence, you'll reach a carned unsigned trail junction. Stay left here (JCT_1L on the map) to head towards the Wave Cave. There are white arrows spray painted on rocks to help guide you towards your destination.

The trail drops into a wash and on the other side begins a steep climb. This section can be a bit slick, with small rocks and pebbles on the trail, so be cautious. I managed to slip and fall when descending this section.

After about 1.5 miles of hiking, you'll reach the obvious Wave cave. There are great views from this vantage point as well as the fun exploring this shallow cave and the interesting wave rock formation within. Snap that perfect picture and head back when you're ready.

Map

Swap Start/End
Adding markers to the map ...