While we were in Kanab, Utah for a workamping job, we had the opportunity to go hiking at one of the most beautiful sites in Arizona! It is called Coyote Buttes North or more commonly known as “The Wave.” I'm sure you have seen pictures of the unique formed rocks before, but maybe didn't know where this amazing place was. It is located in the Paria Canyon -Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness on the Arizona and Utah border between Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona. To get there, take Highway 89 east from Kanab to House Valley Road, turn right, and then go 8 miles on a rough gravel road to Wire Pass Trail head. By the way, there is a "comfort station" in the parking area.
This hike requires a permit and only 20 hikers per day are allowed for day use, no overnight camping is allowed. Our hiking mentors had secured our permits 4 months prior to our hike. There are 2 ways to obtain a permit – one is online at the Bureau of Land Management website and the other is to apply in person at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitors Center in Kanab, Utah, the day before you would like to hike. The drawing in Kanab it as 9 a.m. and you need to be present before they draw at approximately 8:30 a.m. to fill out an application. They give out 10 permits online and 10 permits the day before the hike. The cost is $7 per person. When you receive a permit they give you a car pass and detailed instructions to get to The Wave.
Many areas on the hike are not on a specific path and many hikers have gotten lost. It is important to bring the instructions with you in order to find the landmarks noted. Unfortunately people do die on this hike every year as they are not prepared or get lost. We started early as the days get hot and there is not much shade. It is the Wilderness!
We started our hike at 6 a.m. on July 3rd just as the sun was coming up. It was shining a bright pink on the clouds and it was gorgeous! The clouds were a welcome site knowing the heat of the day was on its way. The beginning of the hike is on a sandy path with beautiful views of the Vermillion Cliffs. There are many ups and downs over the rocks so you need to watch your footing. But don't forget to stop and look around from time to time as the views are breathtaking along the way!
|Gorgeous Sunrise! Well worth getting up at 4:30 a.m.!|
The next part of the hike is over a rocky, hilly area. This is the part of the hike where there are no paths so it is important to look for the landmarks noted on the instructions. There are a few posts along the way that point you in the right direction but they are easily missed. One of the main landmarks you look for is a big crack on the mountain that is located just above The Wave.
|The mountain with the big crack is our destination!|
Just as you are about to arrive at that mountain you encounter a sandy hill that can be difficult and slow you down. But there is great anticipation for what you are about to witness!
|It is kind of hard to judge size and distance in this photo,but those are our footprints in the sand.|
Seeing "The Wave" for the first time you are treated to the most amazing rock structures created by wind, rain, and God! It is hard to describe and even the photos do not capture the true beauty! There are so many areas to explore!
The hike is approximately 6 miles so come prepared with plenty of water and snacks. We stopped several times along the way to take in the view, to rest, and for water and salty snacks. You can get dehydrated very quickly in these conditions.
We knew we would be doing a lot of hiking when we got to Utah so we invested in some good hiking gear - good quality hats, hiking shoes, and Camelback backpacks to make sure we would have plenty of water. These are backpacks that also hold water. Mine is a little smaller Purple version (and it matches my shoes!) that mainly just holds water, cellphone and other small things. But Doug's is larger and also held our lunch and snacks. We are pretty frugal with our money so we checked several brands before we made our final purchases. We will use them on many hikes to come and bike rides. Always have to find a deal!
We did run into about 12 other hikers that day. Some were just getting to The Wave as we were leaving and had kids with them - sure hope they made it back safely! We stopped in the shade for a snack and great conversation with our “hiking mentors.” It was very comforting to be with them as they had hiked The Wave before. It is so amazing to just look around and take in all the breathtaking views!
|We always have to take a shadow picture! Love My Man!|