The popular climb to Wind Cave isn't long, but it's rugged and steep!


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The trail to Wind Cave is the marquee hike in Usery Mountain Park and is arguably one of the most popular hikes on the north side of the Phoenix Metro Area.

At just 2.9 miles round-trip, it's a short jaunt to a stunning vista over the foothills to the north and the city spreading out to the south. Just because the hike is relatively short doesn't mean it's easy.

The brunt of the climb up to the cave is steep, gaining almost 800 feet in the 1.4-mile ascent. The trail isn't smooth, either.

After the initial approach to the steepest part of the climb, the trail kicks up and climbs steeply through a boulder field via a series of switchbacks.

Parts of the trail will require the use of hands and moderate scrambling to maintain forward progress.

In the higher reaches, the trail gets moderately exposed from an elevated bench.

While the stats make this hike look easy, the rough trail and rock scaling turn away many prospective hikers.

Come prepared for a short but intense challenge. Eventually, you'll reach the eponymous Wind Cave and the expansive views of the region.

"The 'cave' at the end of this trail is not so much a dark, cavernous hole full of bats or anything that dramatic," [writes](

"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," they conclude. Come prepared with plenty of water for this hike.

Heatstroke and dehydration are both very real dangers, especially during the summertime.