Wind Cave Trail
ElevationAscent: 740' 226 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 2,772' 845 m
Low: 2,032' 619 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)
Popular runs nearby
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Second Water/Black Mesa/Dutchman Loop
9.3 mi 14.9 km • Loop • 994 ft Ascent 302.89 m Ascent
Sunrise to Andrews Kinsey Out-and-Back
9.1 mi 14.6 km • Out and Back • 1,476 ft Ascent 449.81 m Ascent
Lizard/Cactus Over-the-Rock Loop
2.0 mi 3.3 km • Loop • 109 ft Ascent 33.35 m Ascent
XTERRA McDowell Mtn Trail Run 7k
4.6 mi 7.4 km • Loop • 288 ft Ascent 87.9 m Ascent
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“The most popular trail in the park provides beautiful views and a good climbing workout.”— Doug Baer
The climbing workout is excellent, but having to constantly stop and wait for crowds to pass becomes tiresome. Watch out for gravel, especially on the descents. In the rain, the limestone gets really slippery. Use the Pass Mountain Trail for a longer run, better views and fewer people, but this is still a good climb up to the saddle on the east side of the mountain.
If you're looking for a truly solitary outing, consider the east side trails that don't get much traffic at all: Ruidoso Trail County Line Trail, and Meridian Trail.
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 scenery is excellent on clear days, and you can even see the Fountain Hills fountain shooting water into the sky if you're up there at the right time.
Take a minute to get a drink and snack, enjoy the view, then make sure your shoes are laced tight before starting back down. Remember the uphill runner has the right of way.
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Land Manager: USFS - Tonto National Forest Office
Oct 3, 2019: Travel Management Project Draft Decision
Sep 29, 2019: Reminder for Campers, Fee Increasing October 1, 2019