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What is the Wave?

The Wave is one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

Have you heard of the Wave? No, not the one you surf. The Wave that you can walk on without getting water up your nose! The Wave that takes just as much physical activity, but allows for a view of your lifetime!
I’m talking about THE WAVE that is a sandstone rock formation on the border of Utah and Arizona. You might have seen it as a Microsoft screen saver years ago. Due to the Wave’s overwhelming popularity and its fragile nature of the sandstone, only 20 people can visit a day. Permits can be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management via a lottery system that you can read about here. Chances of winning the lottery for a daily permit to the Wave is as low as 4% in the busy season of April to November.

The Wave is one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

To get to the Wave requires a 6 mile round trip, moderately strenuous hike. I recommend a tour guide so you do not get lost and you find the Wave at the opportune time. It is best to see the Wave mid-day to get the best views of the striations developed by the wind over the many, MANY years. You do not want to miss that opportune time because you are wandering around lost! We used Dreamland Safari Tours and highly recommend them!

A tour guide plans the day out for you and makes sure you see the highlights of Coyote Buttes. And most important, packs a picnic lunch and keeps you safe!

Our guide mentioned that of the 20 people that win permits to the Wave, some still never find it. Some wander around and get lost. In fact, while we were hiking, there was a rescue helicopter flying over looking for someone lost. Our guide told us about every week someone gets lost in the area. Some even have to spend the night since you aren’t considered “missing” the day you are lost.

Chris and I decided we would be more than happy to pay for a guide to make sure we were able to see as much of the area as possible. That, and we have been known to get lost FOLLOWING people! 😉

Here I am ready to get the day started! The trailhead starts behind me.

Across from the parking area, you see one of the only trails of the day.

The hike continues on a dried up river bed.

Thank God we had a tour guide, as I would have walked right past this sign guiding us to the Wave!

The terrain to the Wave is sand or rock that is not level. You basically follow your map looking in the distance for markers.

The scenery along the way is so beautiful. I did not even feel as though I was hiking.

A sign directing you towards the wave. It is one of just 2 signs out in the North Coyote Buttes area.

A happy hiker!

Almost to there!

We arrived midday. The perfect time to see it!

Of course, we had to take pictures of us in the Wave!

There are not enough words to express the beauty of this rock formation.

There were about 10 others that arrived midday while we enjoyed there. We spent over an hour here eating lunch and enjoying the scenery.

Chris and our guide eating lunch at the top of the Wave.

After lunch, we spent more time checking out the crevices in the Wave. With every minute that passed, the light changed the color of the striations creating a different view.

the wave

There is More to the Wave than the Wave!

If you are lucky enough to win a permit to the North Coyote Buttes area, explore all that it has to offer. There are dinosaur tracks and other rock formations that are just as amazing! We went to Melody Arch and Window, the Sand Cove, and the Second Wave.

The Second Wave

Sand Alcove

Melody Arch and Window is a destination in itself! Most hikers in this area never get to experience this beautiful rock formation! It requires a strenuous and steep climb but allows for an amazing view out the hole in the rock. Words cannot describe the beauty looking through the arch and window out into the Coyote Buttes area.

Melody arch and window
Melody arch and window

After climbing to the top, it was time to head back down and explore more of the North Coyote Buttes area.

There are many dinosaur tracks and rock formations in the area you can check out. There are lace rocks and even one that looks like giant rock cheeseburger! The wind and rain has created many beautiful geological masterpieces.

Since we were in the area, we headed to the Wire Pass Slot Canyon. You can read more about this addition to the trip here.

Watch a video of our day in North Coyote Buttes.

Recommended Hiking Gear

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What did you think of the Wave? Comment below!

Things to see in North Coyote Buttes

By | 2017-07-28T16:26:49+00:00 December 3rd, 2016|

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