Hiking enthusiasts from all over the world dream of hiking The Wave, a stunning sandstone rock formation in the Coyote Buttes North area of Arizona. The Wave’s unique geological features and colorful striations make it one of the most photographed destinations in the world. However, hiking The Wave requires a permit, and obtaining one can be challenging.
The Wave Arizona hiking permits are in high demand, and only a limited number of permits are available each day. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the Coyote Buttes North area and issues permits through a lottery system. To obtain a permit, hikers must apply through the online lottery or participate in the daily in-person lottery. Only 64 people are allowed to hike to The Wave each day, with 48 permits issued through the online lottery and the remaining 16 permits issued through the in-person lottery.
Due to the high demand for permits, hikers must plan their trip well in advance. The online lottery opens up four months in advance, and hikers can apply for up to six months in advance. The daily in-person lottery takes place at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah, and the Paria Contact Station in Arizona. Hikers can apply for the in-person lottery two days before their desired hiking date. With a little bit of planning and luck, hikers can experience the breathtaking beauty of The Wave.
Permit Application Process
Getting a permit to hike The Wave in Arizona is a bit tricky, but it’s worth it. Here’s what you need to know about the permit application process.
Online Lottery System
The online lottery system is the most popular way to apply for a permit. It opens up four months in advance, and you can apply for up to three dates at once. The application fee is $9, and it’s non-refundable. If you’re successful, you’ll need to pay an additional $7 per person when you pick up your permit. You can apply for the online lottery on the Recreation.gov website.
Walk-In Lottery at Kanab
If you’re feeling lucky, you can try your hand at the walk-in lottery in Kanab, Utah. The lottery takes place at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center every day at 8:30 am. You must be present in person to enter the lottery. If you’re successful, you’ll need to pay $7 per person when you pick up your permit.
Permit Fees and Payment
The permit fee is $7 per person, and it’s payable when you pick up your permit. You can pay with cash, check, or credit card. If you’re applying online, you’ll need to pay the $9 application fee with a credit card. The application fee is non-refundable, even if you’re not successful in the lottery.
It’s important to note that missing any deadline will void your successful permit award. Carefully review the chart under Important Dates to see particulars concerning time zones. If you have any questions about the Coyote Buttes North Daily Lottery (The Wave), you can call 435-644-1200 or 435-644-5033 or email [email protected]
Planning Your Hike
When planning a hike to The Wave in Arizona, it is important to consider several factors that can affect your experience. This section will provide information on the best times to visit, safety and preparedness, and what to bring on your hike.
Best Times to Visit
The best times to visit The Wave are during the spring and fall months when temperatures are milder and more comfortable for hiking. Summer months can be extremely hot, with temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter months can often bring snow and icy conditions. It is important to check weather conditions and plan your trip accordingly.
Safety and Preparedness
Before embarking on a hike to The Wave, it is important to attend a safety briefing and ensure that you have the necessary equipment and supplies. The hike can be challenging, with steep inclines and rugged terrain, so it is important to be in good physical fitness and ensure that your fitness level matches the demands of the hike.
It is also important to note that there is limited cell service in the area and GPS coordinates may not always be accurate. It is recommended to bring a map and compass and ensure that you have a basic understanding of navigation skills in case of emergency.
What to Bring
When preparing for a hike to The Wave, it is important to bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. The hike can take several hours, so it is important to be prepared for extreme heat and temperatures. It is recommended to bring at least one gallon of water per person per day.
Other essential items to bring include sturdy hiking boots, a hat, sunglasses, and a first aid kit. It is also recommended to bring a lightweight backpack to carry your supplies and ensure that you have enough energy for the hike.
Navigating to and Exploring The Wave
Trailhead and Parking
Access to The Wave Arizona requires a permit, and the trailhead is located in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area between Kanab and Page. The Wire Pass Trailhead is the starting point for the hike, and it can be reached via House Rock Valley Road. Visitors should note that the road is not paved, and a high-clearance vehicle is recommended. There is a small parking lot at the trailhead, and it can fill up quickly, so it is best to arrive early.
The Wave Arizona is a 5.2-mile round trip hike that requires some route-finding skills. The trail is not marked, and hikers must navigate through a maze of sandstone formations to reach The Wave. Visitors are advised to bring a map, compass, and GPS device to assist with navigation. It is also important to stay within the geofence perimeter to avoid damaging the delicate geologic sandstone formations.
Local Geology and Scenery
The Wave Arizona is known for its stunning beauty and unique geologic formations. The sandstone formations were created over millions of years by wind and water erosion, and they are a testament to the power of nature. Hikers will encounter a variety of rock formations, including sand dunes, fins, and hoodoos. The colors of the sandstone change throughout the day, from pale yellow in the morning to deep red in the afternoon. The Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch are also nearby, and they offer additional opportunities for hiking and exploring.
Overall, The Wave Arizona is a must-see destination for anyone interested in hiking and geology. Visitors should plan ahead, obtain a permit, and be prepared for a challenging but rewarding experience.
Regulations and Conservation
Group Size and Restrictions
To preserve the natural beauty of the area and minimize human impact, there are strict regulations in place for group size and visitation at The Wave. Only 20 people are allowed to visit Coyote Buttes North each day, with a maximum group size of six people. This includes infants and dogs. Visitors are required to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Land Management or Recreation.gov before entering the area. The permit system is designed to limit the number of visitors and protect the fragile ecosystem of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.
The Wave is located in an undeveloped wilderness area, and visitors are required to follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the environment. Visitors are not allowed to bring drones or other motorized vehicles into the area. There are no facilities or amenities available at the trailhead or along the trail, and overnight camping is not allowed. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own water and pack out all trash and waste.
The Bureau of Land Management and other agencies work to protect the area and ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. However, it is important to note that hiking in the backcountry can be dangerous, and visitors should be prepared for the challenges of the terrain. Fatalities have occurred in the area, and visitors are strongly encouraged to use a guide service or seek local advice before attempting the hike.
Overall, visitors to The Wave should be respectful of the environment and take steps to minimize their impact on the area. By following regulations and practicing good environmental stewardship, visitors can help preserve this visually striking area for future generations.
Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Cool Rad Weird