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The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona, 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 the large number of people wishing to visit it, a daily lottery system is used to dispense permits for up to 16 people and/or 4 groups (whichever comes first) two days before (visitors must apply within a geofence area encompassing the greater Kanab visitor center, Vermilian Cliffs, and Page areas). Additionally, 48 people and/or 12 groups (whichever comes first) 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.

The Wave consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age. The two major troughs which comprise this rock formation are 62 feet (19 m) wide by 118 feet (36 m) long and 7 feet (2 m) wide by 52 feet (16 m) long. Initially, infrequent runoff eroded these troughs along joints within the Navajo Sandstone. After their formation, the drainage basin, which fed rainwater to these troughs, shrank to the point that the runoff became insufficient to contribute to the cutting of these troughs. As a result, the troughs are now almost exclusively eroded by wind, as indicated by the orientation of erosional steps and risers cut into the sandstone along their steep walls. These erosional steps and risers are oriented relative to the predominant direction of the wind as it is now naturally funneled into and through these troughs.

The Wave exposes large-scale sets of cross-bedded eolian sandstone composed of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae. The rhythmic and cyclic alternating laminae represent periodic changes in the prevailing winds during the Jurassic period as large sand dunes migrated across a sandy desert. The thin ridges and ribbing seen within the Wave are the result of the differential erosion of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. These laminae have differing resistance to erosion as they have been differentially cemented according to variations in the grain size of the sand composing them. The soft sandstone is fragile, especially the ridges and ribbing of the Wave. As a result, visitors must walk carefully to avoid breaking the small ridges.

BLM limits access to the North Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area to just 64 permits per day. 48 of the permits are available in advance by an online lottery conducted four months before the month for which the permit is sought. The remaining 16 permits are made available by geofenced daily lottery two day's before one's intended hike. The legacy walk-in lottery has transitioned to the new Daily Lottery. While within the geofence area on a mobile device this lottery is only available by going to in your browser or by installing the app. Spring and autumn are the most popular times of year to visit, but the popularity of the Wave is such that the chances of obtaining a permit by either advance lottery or the day-before lottery are much less than 50% from March through November. - Wikipedia


Best Adventures Near The Wave:



Whether it's your first time fly fishing or you're a fanatic, enjoy this picturesque river with our expertly trained guide!



Saddle up for a relaxing horse trail ride tour near Kanab, Utah through breathtaking Cave Lakes Canyon.



With its sweeping rock landscape and vibrant colors, The Wave hiking tour is truly a bucket list item. 

Come ROAM with us

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