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“Worth the effort - review of the hike!”

The Wave at Coyote Buttes
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Big Water
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located near Big Water, Utah on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. It is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged, trackless hike required to reach it.
Rancho Santa Fe, California
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Worth the effort - review of the hike!”
Reviewed 4 March 2014

As stated many time before if you can get your hands on a permit - DO IT!! This was a fabulous day and we enjoyed the beauty of the area.

However I have to chuckle at all the folks on here that say the hike is easy or no problem...I'm in pretty good shape, I exercise 3-4 times a week, mostly walking 3-5 miles and I found the hike strenuous at best. So I'm going to review the hike from my perspective as a 49 yr old female.

First, from a photographers perspective - I think I underestimated how much a 10lb backpack full of water, extra battery, extra lense, tripod, etc.. would affect my hike. It's so much harder to climb uphill in soft sand with the extra weight. At the end of the hike, even though I'm a fairly hard core photographer - I would dump the tripod as I never used it (the light is really good and with a good lense not really needed unless you are a fanatic!) and would even ditch my ultra wide angle lense...I only used it three times on my hike and stayed 98% with my 28-70...my niece used her 28-105 the entire time and her pics are fabulous as well! I took multiple panorama's by shooting 5-6 stills and stitching them together in Microsoft's ICE program which is a free program...I really liked how they came out. If I did this hike again I would simply bring my DSLR with the 28-70 or 28-105 lense and my little point and shoot (which also shoots in RAW)

The hike itself has challenges in that you will hike level soft sand, climb uphill in soft sand, go downhill in soft sand and climb horizontal rocks...a great pair of hiking shoes (not boots) was key for me to really feel stable and secure...they also kept the soft sand out of my socks...my niece had on a pair of Nikes and had to stop several times to empty her shoes out...

Lastly, don't forget the bit of elevation you face when hiking the wave...I'm from San Diego so hiking at 5,000-6,000 feet added a bit of a challenge to the day. I needed every bit of water I brought and could've used even more - it was 65 degrees when we hiked so absolutely listen to the experts when they say you need about a gallon of water for this hike!

In the end we made it - it wasn't as easy as many folks had stated but then I assume all those folks hike for a living and are 25 and tri-athletes!! LOL...seriously though, don't underestimate it and you will do fine. There are no bathroom facilities along the way so be prepared. We did use a guide and I'm glad we did - they showed us some areas we probably wouldn't have found on our own and if you are lucky enought to get permits to this beautiful location - you will want to see all you can in that day! Enjoy!

Visited February 2014
14 Thank Twotouch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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256 reviews from our community

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Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wave plus lots more....”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Endless beauty and awe. The hike to the Wave has wonderful side hikes to amazing rock formations. After the Wave keep hiking up to the amphitheaters and arches. And checkout the Milkshake river of sediment that looks like a chocolate/vanilla striped raceway. And the Wave, well what else can one say. The whole area is worth the lottery. If you don't get in North Coyote Buttes, for sure go to South or White Pockets.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Cheweywashere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Park City, Utah
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014

Highly recommend going through the process of obtaining a permit to hike to the Wave. I would not, however, suggest going during the summer. There is no shade and the walk each way takes a couple of hours. We went in late October and the conditions were ideal. It isn't a strenuous walk other than some sand but it takes a while. Would also recommend having a high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead as the road isn't great. It can be done in a car when the conditions are good but I wouldn't take my car in there.

Visited October 2013
14 Thank nbdv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wylie, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Totally Amazing Hike”
Reviewed 15 February 2014 via mobile

I hiked The Wave February 13th with two friends.We obtained the permits the day before through the walk in lottery.The Wave is stunning well worth the home.The hike is not difficult but
In February it was about mid 50's.your best chance to get a permit is to walk up for the lottery in the middle of winter.The day we were drawn ,there were 10 separate groups looking to be drawn.Luckily the group looking for 6 places were not drawn.That left 9 permits and when the group requesting 6 refused the one left,someone could get it the next day without drawing for it..Highly recommend this beautiful place

Visited February 2014
8 Thank Paintczar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“the wave”
Reviewed 3 February 2014

Went to the wave after receiving permit. Used national park tourz as guide service. Would highly recommend Tyler as a guide. His family has been in the area for 4 generations. Totally professional, highly educational. No need to worry about the route with him. Otherwise would have been stressing trying to make sure that we were on track. Showed us many great photo opportunities as well as nearby highlights in addition to the wave which was spectacular!

Visited February 2014
16 Thank glen h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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