Why the Wave cave is known as the Wave in Arizona
Do you know why the Wave cave is known as the Wave in Arizona? The path to the cave of the waves is an unmarked path and something “secret” that is also not marked, so you will definitely want to have a map and be able to read it on this hike. If it is accidentally lost, don’t worry. Although I got lost a few times on this hike when I first explored it, I always found my way to the wave cave. The cave will be in view for most of the hike, so you can know which way to go. If I can fight my way, you can too!
Why the Wave cave is known as the Wave in Arizona? The Cueva de las Olas parking lot is along Peralta Road, which leads to the popular Peralta starting point. In fact, if you’re not careful, you might miss out on the fact that this area is a parking lot. There is no sign that there is a path here, and if you didn’t know how to look for it, you may not even see it. It is 10.3 miles off the main road on the left. If you arrive early in the morning you will likely get a place to park, but as the day progresses and the more popular the trail becomes, it can be more difficult to find a place to park at this little trailhead.
From the car park you can see the cave on the left. The trail begins on a wide, flat path that takes you to the base of the mountain. Follow this head on. After about 1 km you will come to a fence. Near this fence, you will see route markings indicating that you should go left or right on the trail. Don’t follow these signs. To get to the wave cave, you must go straight past the fence.
This path starts on the other side of the fence and takes you up the mountain towards the cave. You will notice many other dirt roads that branch off and leave numerous forks in the road. Why the Wave cave is known as the Wave in Arizona? In many cases, these branching turnouts are more prominent and wider than the actual road. So it’s easy to assume that these more challenging trails are the correct route. But unfortunately this is not the case, which is why I have gotten lost on this trail so many times!
Over the years, I have seen numerous attempts by other hikers and even road builders to divert them from these wrong trails. The rocks stood as an obstacle to not opening the wrong paths, but those little rock walls cannot be trusted to be there all the time. The areas I got lost in before were roughly 0.8 miles and 0.9 miles. In both cases, the actual lane turns left. So in these areas, remember: stay left!
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The bottom line
Most hikers are very respectful of each other in the cave and usually offer to take photos on the wave. If you arrive early enough in the day, you have a better chance that the cave will be less crowded so that you can enjoy it a little more leisurely. When you’re done surfing, head back the way you came and watch out for those steep and slippery sections.