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Comprehensive Guide to Hiking The Wave in Arizona

The Wave PermitThe Wave Arizona

What is The Wave

From Wikipedia:

The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona, the United States near its northern border with Utah. The formation is situated on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. The area is administered by the Bureau of Land Management(BLM) at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument visitor center in Kanab, Utah.

The formation is well-known among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms and the difficult hike required to reach it. Due to the fragile nature of the formation and a large number of people wishing to visit it, a daily lottery system is used to dispense only ten next-day permits in person at the Kanab visitor center. Additionally, ten online permits for each date are available four months in advance of a planned trip. A map and information about the hike are supplied to those who have obtained permits.

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The Wave Hike Overview

Trail Type: Out-and-back

Distance: ~5.2 miles round trip

Elevation at the trailhead – 4,807’

Elevation at The Wave – 5,225’

Elevation Change: ~ 400’

Approximate hiking time – up to 6 hours

Difficulty – Moderate

Trail – None

[irp posts=”48471″ name=”The Wave Permit – Guide to Getting Yours”]

Permits for The Wave (Coyote Buttes North)

Some people try for years with no luck.

Find out the low down on Wave permit – click here to read my article on how to get Coyote Buttes North permits. (There is also information on how to obtain permits for Coyote Buttes South.)

What to Pack for The Wave

Below are the recommended items for your consideration for you to pack for your big day at The Wave:

WATER: If you plan on staying for most of the day then you will need the recommended gallon of water. I prefer a hydration pack over bottled water since the water will stay colder throughout the day.

FOOD: Enough snacks (and lunch) to keep up your energy for the day.

CLOTHING: Weather appropriate clothing. Remember you are in the desert and the temps can rise or drop drastically so be prepared for both extremes.

DAYPACK: A good daypack to hold your extra clothes, poles, camera gear, food, and water.

SUNSCREEN. I shouldn’t need to explain this one.

HAT. Hat to protect from direct sunlight to face.

THERMAL UMBRELLA: My new favorite item to keep with me when hiking areas with miles of trail with no shade, it truly makes a difference. Click here to view thermal umbrellas on Amazon.

CAMERA GEAR. This is your chance to photograph one of the most in-demand places to hike… don’t blow it!

SHOES / BOOTS. Comfortable hiking shoes or boots. The terrain is mostly sandstone and I prefer a good “sticky” shoe, e.g., 5.10 tennies. Click here to view Five Ten approach shoes on Adidas.

HIKING POLES. My favorite ones are the Cascade Mountain Tech from Costco. If you don’t have a Costco, you can buy them on Amazon here, view Cascade Mountain Tech hiking poles. Be sure to use the rubber end when hiking on the sandstone.

The Wave Arizona Online References and Resources

The Wave Arizona