Like everyone that goes to the Wave, Coyote Buttes North in Vermillion Cliffs in northern Arizona, I had to enter the lottery drawing for one of the 20 permits issued daily.
I entered on Sept. 1 for a December date. I was chosen for Dec. 3.
I booked my hotel in Kanab, Holiday Inn Express. It is close to the BLM permit office and about a 40 minute drive from the road to go to the Wave.
I was told at the permit office that 206 people has been present for the Friday drawing for one of the 10 permits available. On the Monday that I went to the permit office it was to seek a person to go with me on my permit. I had a permit for two and my partner had cancelled. I dound one of the 23 people there to go with me.
I hired a guide through Circle Tours. We both paid $200 for the guide service. We were both disappointed with the guide provided on that day.
However, with a guide they will have a four wheel vehicle. The road to the Wave hiking point is dirt, uneven, bumpy road. If it is wet from rain it is very difficult to drive on without a 4 wheeled vehicle. So that was a plus.
I carried two camera bodies, one with a wide angle lens and the other a zoom. I also carried a tripod and two bottles of water. It was winter and two bottles of water was enough.
This hike is not easy. I have read that on a 10 scale this hike is rated a 7.
The first portion of the hike is over soft, fine grain sand. Very difficult to walk on and a strain on the leg muscles.
Approx. 1/3 of the total distance we hiked, 8.11 miles, was this soft, fine sand.
The other 2/3 of the hike was up and down over rock formations, again a strain of the leg muscles if you are not in good shape. I am 65 and it was a difficult hike for me. The distance to the Wave is appox. 3 miles. Not a straight line and not easy to find.
There are many formations along the hike area that are worthy of photographing.
The Wave area is of course a great photo location. The other hiker/photographers respected each others attempt to get a picuture and shared the space.
There was significant wind while at the location and the blowing sand hurt as it struck my face. I had to cover my eyes to keep sand out. It was also difficult to protect the camera equipment from such fine, blowing sand.
I wore good hiking boots, and a jacket for the cold. However, during the hike as the body temperature went up I took off the jacket.
On the return with 2 miles to the parking lot my upper thigh muscles were hurting and walking on the sand became more difficult. I had to take small steps, find the head winds and keep going. There is no stopping and having someone pick you up. You have to just suck it up and put one foot in front of the other and complete the hike.
Again, it is not an easy hike. The location is great. Photos can be great, but don't think it is an easy day in the park hike. It is not. The hike to the Wave was approx. 2 hours. We spent 2 hours taking picutures and then began the hike back to the parking lot, another 2 hours.
By all means if you go in the heat of the summer, take plenty of water. Know where you are going or hire a guide to get you there and back.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.