Surface acoustic wave (SAW) propagation characteristics in a multilayer structure including a piezoelectric aluminum nitride (AlN) thin film and an epitaxial cubic silicon carbide (3C–SiC) layer on a silicon (Si) substrate are investigated by theoretical calculation in this work. Alternating current (ac) reactive magnetron sputtering was used to deposit highly c-axis-oriented AlN thin films, showing the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the rocking curve of 1.36° on epitaxial 3C–SiC layers on Si substrates. In addition, conventional two-port SAW devices were fabricated on the AlN/3C–SiC/Si multilayer structure and SAW propagation properties in the multilayer structure were experimentally investigated. The surface wave in the AlN/3C–SiC/Si multilayer structure exhibits a phase velocity of 5528 m s−1 and an electromechanical coupling coefficient of 0.42%. The results demonstrate the potential of AlN thin films grown on epitaxial 3C–SiC layers to create layered SAW devices with higher phase velocities and larger electromechanical coupling coefficients than SAW devices on an AlN/Si multilayer structure. Moreover, the FWHM values of rocking curves of the AlN thin film and 3C–SiC layer remained constant after annealing for 500 h at 540 °C in air atmosphere. Accordingly, the layered SAW devices based on AlN thin films and 3C–SiC layers are applicable to timing and sensing applications in harsh environments.