One of the trickiest yet most coolest places I’ve ever been.
In early January, my friend Zebrina and I set off to the Superstition Mountains to find the Wave Cave. An hour drive out of Phoenix, and limited time to hike before going to work, we thought, that with absolutely zero knowledge of the mountain range, we would be successful at finding it. Long story short; we were not. So after losing all hope of finding the cave, and recovering from the heart break of not finding it; A month went by before we went back and tried again.
First of all, the main problem as to why we didn’t find the cave the first try was that we went on a Thursday at noon! There were noooooo people on the mountain at all. SO this time Zebrina and I went again on a Saturday with lots of people and we also brought our friends Eric who is going to (spoiler) ask our friend Nikki to prom!! :)) This hike was such a blast, but, don’t worry, WE GOT LOST THIS TIME TOO.
Everyone met up at my house, Eric stopped and bought himself a smoothie before the hike but didn’t offer us one (how rude right), then after we got our waters and were ready, Eric drove us to the Superstition Mountains. Zebrina was in charge of music, (thank God), she found her old Ipod with all her 2009-2011 hit songs on it and it was such a throwback! We sang so loudly the whole way, dancing in the car.
The last five miles of the drive before reaching the trailhead, which is unmarked by the way, is a dirt road – a bumpy dirt road that Eric was going like 30mph on bouncing us up and down in his Juke!
Anyway, the hike began with a great start, until I found a sign that said “TRAIL” and was pointing the other way. I stupidly said that this is probably the trail sign we missed the first time around and so we took it. And it took us in the very wrong direction. Eric and Nikki thought it was a horse trail because it went along the side of a hill and was just wide enough for horses, it probably was, but either way it was not the right trail. Unfortunately we walked on this wrong trail for a good mile or more before turning around, so we used up a ton of energy and weren’t even on the right trail yet.
Walking back to the main trail, I looked up and saw a cute shirtless man. I said damn aloud when I saw him, then Nikki looked up and noticed what I said damn to and laughed. When he got closer to us I asked him if he was headed to the Wave Cave, which he was, but also going the wrong way. So he and his parents walked with us towards the main trail and Shirtless man told us his name was Brad and that he was from Canada. Once we got back to the main trail, we picked up the pace and left them behind us.
Another man we passed (older and wearing a shirt) warned us of a fork in the road, that in order to get to the Wave Cave, we have to take a left. No problem, Right? We found the fork, stayed left, then the trail turned up a hill, behind a huge boulder that we didn’t see. What we did see was a wash. So with Eric leading us, convinced that the wash/dried river was the ‘right way’ we got lost. Again, we walked in this wash, which was thick and full of overgrown spiky plants that were clinging to my shirt and scratching up my legs for well over a mile, using up all our energy we walked so far that turning around was going to suck if we didn’t find the trail again soon. Eric had the idea to climb up the side of the wash and look to see if he could spot the trail. Nikki and Eric climbed up together:) and not only found the trail but also saw Brad our shirtless friend walking with his parents!! The trail was on the other side of the wash though. Climbing up the side of this thing was one of the most challenging parts of the hike. It was steep, and clearly had never been walked on before so every step the loose rocks were slipping underneath me and causing me to fall. Plus the entire side of this dried river was covered in overgrowth. There was no clear or easy path to take up the side of this thing, we were hopping over bushes, but it was so steep we all kept falling! Another major issue we were facing was the heat and lack of water. It had only been about an hour since we left the car but we had already walked so far in many directions that we were burning up and did not have enough water to keep us in the best condition.
Thankfully we were out of that horrible wash and back on the trail. However the trail started to jet up a steep hill and we were all so tired from the free range wash hike we just did that the trail incline was killer. There was no shade and no place to just sit and catch our breath, we kept going. But we were close, and did not look too much further. The last stretch of the hike was so steeply inclined that it took Eric and I a while to make it into the cave, I slowed him down for sure, but Nikki and Zebrina stopped a while back behind us and didn’t make it into the cave until Eric and I had already been in there for about twenty minutes.
BUT MAN OH MAN THIS CAVE WAS THE COOLEST. Well worth the strenuous hike, the Wave was huge and the cave was so shady and cool – it felt amazing to be out of the sun.
Mr. Canada/Shirtless man/Brad was also in the cave when we got there, his parents didn’t make it, it was too hard for them. But Brad made new friends- these two girls who looked more his age. Inside the cave we had quite the photo shoot, and Brad had the Idea to do the Dirty Dancing pose, so Zebrina, being an amazing dancer, willingly offered. It only took them like four tries to nail the pose, it was so exciting to watch. We kept joking around, but I can’t even remember what about, we were teasing Mr. Canada and I just remember laughing so hard.
We stayed inside the cave for a while, not until we regained our energy and cooled off did we start our descend. The way down at first was just as tough as the way up. It was so steep that I slipped and was falling straight towards a cactus with many arms, when mid-fall I saw what was happening and completely rerouted my fall. I screamed so loudly because all I saw was my face going towards the cactus then suddenly changed directions and fell the other way. Other than that very vocal fall: The way down was extremely easy. The hike that took us a good two plus hours to make it to the cave was down the mountain and done with in less than half that time.
My step counter had counted 13,241 and it was only 1:30 pm (give or take that number). We had done so much walking that sitting down in Eric’s car felt like something I hadn’t done in years.
It’s been two days since that hike, and the only part of my body that is sore is my arms. How weird.
Please enjoy some pictures from this marvelous journey(: