THE WAVE, UTAH

The most unusual rock formation in the world. The water-stream erosion Navajo Sandstone, 190 million years old, is a heart flayed open, taffy gone wild, a hallucination in stone! Located near the Utah-Arizona border in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. The BLM limits access to just 20 permits per day, for the sandstone is fragile and there is no trail (best to go with a guide). Ten of the permits are available in advance by an on-line lottery, and the remaining ten permits are available by lottery the day before your intended hike at the Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah. The lottery for the walk-in permits takes place at 9:00 AM each morning. (We lucked-out; two of ten chosen out of 96 walk-ins on site; 10% chance). From the Wire Pass Trailhead, The Wave is reached by hiking 3 miles (4.8 km) across open desert, so round trip is 6 miles (9.7 km), climbing about 350 feet in altitude. Temperatures in the summer can be blow-torch hot — exceeding 100 degrees F (38 C). Best time to go is in the autumn, with cooler temperatures. We went in early October, with temperature in the 70’s and clear blue sky. Highly recommended is Dreamland Safari Tours, www.dreamlandtours.net. (Request Brent Kinley, a super guide & knowledgable naturalist.) For detailed information about the lottery and for further information: www.blm.gov/az/st/en/arolrsmain/paria/coyote_buttes/permits.html  

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