“The Wave” is one of Arizona’s most coveted photo-ops, made very tantalizing by the fact that only 20 permits are issued every day (10 walk-in permits and 10 online permits). Now, however, the Bureau of Land Management is considering increasing that number to 96 in response to heavy demand.
From April to October, the busiest time of the year for the area, as many as 150 people apply for the 10 walk-in permits daily, meaning most applicants are rejected. The Bureau is currently asking for public feedback on the change, which would make the area accessible to a greater number of hikers.
The limit was initially imposed to protect the geological feature’s fragile nature. It was created by wind that eroded the rock to resemble an ocean wave.
There is no trail to get to the wave and a six-mile hike is required to get to the sandstone formation. According to The Wave.info, “You should be able to use a map and compass or GPS to help with navigation.”
To enter the lottery for one of the 10 online permits you should apply at least four months in advance. Accessing The Wave — and Coyote Buttes North — costs $7 per person per day and per dog per day. To acquire a permit in person, show up at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah, from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM. Your chances of obtaining a walk-in permit are higher between December and February.