The Wave :: Arizona


The Wave, also known as Coyote Buttes North, has become quite famous over the last few years. Thanks to Microsoft’s desktop wallpaper and Instagram, this hike has become a popular hiking destination. Due to the increase in foot traffic and concern for environmental destruction, The Wave is now a lottery based system. You can apply online for a permit a few months in advance or apply in person in Kanab, UT for same day lottery permits. The sum total of 20 people allowed daily prohibits throngs of people from irreparably damaging the sandstone. The rippling colors are formed from years of water and wind erosion of Navajo sandstone.

The Wave is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau, once home to the ancestral Puebloan people and later the Paiute tribe. The hike is 6.4 miles round trip and known for being quite challenging in the heat of summer. We drove to the trail head on Friday after work, and hiked Saturday morning. The picture map directions provided with our permit was like a treasure hunt and focused our thoughts on the details of every butte and crag. We enjoyed it immensely! Unfortunately, my camera has been awry lately and all of my photos ended up grainy. Thankfully, Whit took some clearer photos on her phone.


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