|Miles||3 round trip|
Wind Cave Trail is located in Mesa, Arizona and is part of the Usery Mountain Regional Park located at 3939 N Usery Pass Rd Mesa, AZ 85207. The cost to enter the park and do this hike is $7.00. Is this worth it? In my opinion, YES!
We entered the park off Usery Road and drove down a dirt road that was not even a mile long. We drove up to the guard station to pay the $7.00 entrance fee. If hiking is your thing, you can even purchase an annual pass so that you can enter a multitude of parks throughout the year. For that list of parks or to purchase an annual pass please visit Maricopa County Parks. The price of an annual pass at the time this article was written is $85.00 and $65.00 for hikers over 65 years old.
I was told by my hiking colleagues that this was going to be an easy hike. Well, I wouldn’t consider it easy or hard. I’m going to rate this hike as moderate, considering all the switchbacks we encountered as well as the rough, rocky terrain that pops up periodically as you get close to wind cave. Elevation gain is about 820 feet. Not a bad hike, not too easy or too hard. Definitely moderate.
As I mentioned earlier, this hike starts off very easy with flat terrain and lot of valley to view. We couldn’t help but soak up the sightseeing opportunity here. Everyone got out their phones and started taking pictures of all the saguaro cactus, cholla, ocotillo and beautiful flowers that were blooming in April. The weather was just right for this hike. Sun was out and it wasn’t too hot to hike. A little breeze kept going throughout the hike, which helped us stay cool.
Wind Cave Trail is dog-friendly as long as your dog is on a leash. We ran into about five people with dogs along the trail.
When we finally reached the cave I was a bit surprised as the cave isn’t actually a cave as its name states. It is more like the side of the mountain got carved 10-12 feet high in a crescent shape.
Most people stop their hike at the wind cave, however, there are other optional trails for anyone who wants to continue their hike and catch more views. We didn’t take any of the optional trails. Instead, we took the journey back down to the parking lot where we parked.
On the way back down, we ran into a sight you don’t see everyday. We got to witness a wasp dragging a paralyzed tarantula across the hiking trail. It was quite a sight and I just had to video record this rare event. If the video below doesn’t work click here.