Obtaining a Permit

Permits for both Coyote Buttes North (the area where The Wave is located) and Coyote Buttes South are required. Permits and permit information can be obtained at Coyote Buttes Permits.   There are separate permits for each area.  Twenty people are allowed into each permit area per day.  Ten permits are issued on-line and ten via a walk in lottery that normally occurs the day before the permit is valid.

On-line Permits

On-line Permits for Coyote Buttes North are very difficult to obtain. Conversely, permits for Coyote Buttes South are generally easy to get, provided you apply when they first become available. For Coyote Buttes South just go to the South Buttes calendar and select an available date.  You can apply up to four months in advance of your trip date.  For example, for a South Buttes January 15th permit go to the permit page starting on October 1.  Permits first become available at Noon MST (or daylight time when DST is in effect) on the first.  South Buttes permits cost $5 per individual.  For Coyote Buttes North there is an online lottery. The lottery opens up four months in advance of your trip date.  You have the whole month to apply.  For example, for a January 15 permit you would open the lottery page in September. The application fee is $5 per group.  On each application you can select up to three dates.  The drawing is held the day following the close of the lottery (i.e. October 1 in our example). You will be notified via e-mail that day if successful. If you win the lottery you will have to pay $7 per individual for a North Coyote Buttes permit.

Coyote Buttes North Lottery Schedule

Apply between
for a permit during
Lottery Run at 1:05 p.m. MST
remaining permits available
January 1 - 31
February 1
February 1 - 28
March 1
March 1 - 31
April 1
April 1- 30
May 1
May 1 - 31
June 1
June 1 - 30
July 1
July 1 - 31
August 1
August 1 - 31
September 1
September 1 - 30
October 1
October 1 - 31
November 1
November 1 - 30
December 1
December 1 - 31
January 1


Walk in permits

Walk in permits are issued one day in advance of your hiking date in Kanab at the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM) visitor center. The address is 745 E. Highway 89, the phone number is (435) 644-1300. The visitor center is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM seven days a week. The visitor center is on the North side of Highway 89 as you head east towards Page just after the Kanab City Cemetery. If you pass the Comfort Inn you've gone too far.  From March 15 to November 15 permits will be issued every day of the week excluding national holidays. During the winter months (approximately November 16-March 15) weekend and Monday permits are issued on Friday. The lottery in Kanab is held at 9 AM Utah time. If you are hiking alone your chances for a permit are better than for a group since there are relatively few single hikers looking for permits.  For example if permits were already issued for two groups of four and a single, and you are the only single left you will get a permit unless a group is willing to be split up.

The number of applicants at the walk-in lottery varies greatly by month, and slightly by week day. I recently received data from the BLM showing the number of applicants by day for the period Nov 5,2012 - November 30, 2013. The data was generally of good quality but there were some limitations: the lottery is not held during weekends during the winter months, it is not held when the office is closed for national holidays, and the government shutdown occurred in this period. There were also a very small number of points where data was not available. After reviewing the raw data I adjusted it so that no data was missing. Based on the adjusted data I drew the following conclusions:

Below are two summaries of the data supporting the above. Note that the daily data shows the number of people applying in Kanab on that day, for a permit the next day.

Permit Statistics by Month

Average # of
Min # of
Jan 11.4 11 0
Feb 19.2 9 6
Mar 58.8 33 11
Apr 77.9 23 33
May 94.5 17 62
Jun 52.9 17 26
Jul 39.2 15 8
Aug 48.6 11 21
Sep 71.1 23 29
Oct 66.8 15 42
Nov 44.1 20 0
Dec 23.8 20 9
Average 50.4 30 0

Permit Statistics by Day

Sun 41.7 28
Mon 48.9 27
Tue 55.6 31
Wed 53.1 31
Thurs 53.6 30
Fri 52.7 32
Sat 47.1 28
Grand Total 50.4 30

If you're interested in the raw data download and unzip the attached file below:

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