By request, we are offering the Wave Cave hiking adventure once again!
In 2011, when we took the photo you see here, there had been no descriptions of this area available online, or in any guidebook we had found. In March of 2012, we finally opted to share the route here (http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=548), and we are excited to post it again for you to experience.
Since originally posting this hiking route, it has become an increasingly popular destination for Superstition Mountain adventurers. Having said that, there is still some bushwhacking, boulder-hopping, confusing cairns going the wrong way (if you are ahead of us during the hike you have a good chance of getting lost), 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, but we'll save that for another trip. Still interested? Read on.
This is a shorter hike out near Peralta. 4 miles, at best, but it is a tough little route. Don't be fooled...extra water is a good idea. This was a very faint, overgrown trail (likely dating to the 50's-60's when there was a campground in the area) that we rediscovered, and quietly resurrected a couple years ago now. We do 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), although mostly still hibernating, may be present, and can be hard to spot due to the vegetation. In addition, a constant presence of bees has been noted at the cave (similar to those found at Wind Cave). 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 required.
So, if you want a real Superstition Mountain Wilderness experience, this may be your hike, but, PLEASE, you must understand this is a difficult hike that doesn't follow the usual dusty trail. We want you to enjoy your experience, but if you haven't done any off trail/scrambling type hikes, or have trepidations about such adventures, this may not be your hike.
Group size is restricted to 15 by Wilderness rules.
Distance: Approximately 4 miles
Accumulated Elevation Gain: About 1000 feet
Hike Time: Expect to spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours on this trek depending on the group's speed.
Difficulty: This hike, although relatively short, is steep, and should be considered moderately difficult depending on your abilities.
What To Bring: Water, sunscreen, hat, camera, snacks/lunch, sturdy footwear, and your sense of adventure.
Note: There is no water at the trailhead.
PLEASE: This is not a dog friendly hike.
SUGGESTED CARPOOLING: 9:15 am at the Home Depot at Power and US 60 to complete our trek to the trailhead. Go east on the Superstition Freeway (US 60) to Superstition Springs Blvd. exit 187. Take that exit, turn right and go 1/2 mile east, across Power Road. Then turn left, toward Home Depot, at the second driveway. Park in the southwest corner of the lot, behind Burger King. The Home Depot address is 6838 E Superstition Springs Blvd., Mesa, AZ 85208.
LOST GOLD MINE TRAILHEAD LOCATION: From Phoenix, travel east on US 60 to Peralta Road which is just east of mile post 204, and turn north on Peralta Road (a well marked, stop-lighted intersection). The road is paved, but becomes gravel after about one mile. It is well graded and traveled by many cars, but SUV are preferable. At 5.5 miles from the US 60, follow the sign and take the left fork up the hill to the well marked Lost Gold Mine Trailhead sign where you turn left into the large parking lot.
VERY IMPORTANT: (we don't want to leave anyone behind): Please state whether you will meet at the carpool spot or, in the alternative, whether you will meet at the trailhead. As always, if no one has indicated they will be meeting at the carpool location, please consider proceeding directly to the trailhead.
Due to the nature of this hike, involving some off trailing and no signed junctions, it is recommended that we keep within close proximity of each other. We will stop at each junction to assure we have everybody, but if you are ahead of the hike leaders, you are on your own.
As with all Saturday hikes, there will be a voluntary $1 donation to the club collected at the start of the hike.