Wind Cave hiking trail0
Location: Usery Mountain Regional Park
Park Hours: Sun-Thu: 6am – 8pm / Fri-Sat: 6am – 10pm / 365 days a year
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
Route Type: Out & Back
Length: 3.0 miles round trip
Trailhead Elevation: 2,000 ft.
Elevation Gain: 812 ft.
Park Fee: $6.00 per vehicle
Trailhead Amenities: parking, restrooms, vending machines, trail map and information
Directions: From central Phoenix, take I-10 east to US 60 east. Exit Ellsworth Road, follow Ellsworth Road/Usery Pass Road north to the Usery Mountain Regional Park entrance.
Wind Cave Trail is a 3-mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mesa, Arizona that is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from November until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
It will take a total of about 2 hours for the entire hike. If you go early in the morning the ascend will be shaded.
This hike begins at a popular trailhead which is equipped with restroom facilities. Parking fills up quickly. The trail is well marked from the trailhead and is very easy to follow.
Desert cacti and palo verde dominate the landscape. Heavy concentrations of Saguaros pack the area.
Not long after starting on the trail you will junction with Pass Mountain Trail. Continue straight and gently ascend towards the mountainside you see in front of you. The trail will continue to ascend for over 800 ft. over 1.5 miles and will eventually bend right towards the “cave”. You will see a sign pointing left towards the cave. The “cave” at the end of this trail is not so much a dark, cavernous hole full of bats or anything that dramatic. This cave is about 10 to 12 feet high and is more like a gash carved out of the side of the mountain. It provides welcome shade in the summer, and a place to catch your breath before beginning the descent. The real treat at the end of your hike is the nice views that look over the valley floor.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these hiking guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!