The primary purpose of this website is to provide information about The Wave and the Coyote Buttes area of Northern Arizona / Southern Utah. Following my many visits to The Wave in the late 1990s and early 2000s I created this site in 2003. It is designed to serve the needs of hikers and photographers, and provides permit information, maps, travel directions, locations of particular photographic features etc. General information on visiting The Wave can be found on this site's Home page. More specific information can be found via the Information menu item on the Home page.
Thewave.info also provides advice about other photo worthy sites I have visited in the Southwest, the United States, and foreign countries. Many of the locations covered are little known and require significant effort to get to. In most cases images were taken by me in good to very good conditions. Photos were processed in Photoshop to enhance color, vibrance, and mid-tone contrast. In some cases I have only been to an area in poor conditions. If the location is especially noteworthy I usually include an image anyway. A full list of recommended locations can be found via the Locations menu item on the Home Page.
For hikers, I have provided topographic maps for most of the locations included on this website. Maps are provided in a variety of formats. Maps and travel directions can be accessed via the Maps menu on the Home page.
Finally this site provides tips, techniques, and tools to help photographers get the shots they want.
Hiking to The Wave and the other locations described on this site can be dangerous. Most of the areas covered have no trails and receive little visitation. Your safety is your responsibility. Remember, the wilderness is not your friend.
There have been five deaths in Coyote Buttes over the past five years. Getting lost combined with heat was a factor in four of them. Before starting out on a hike I urge you to download the appropriate maps from this or other sites and have them with you on your phone, GPS, or on paper. Know how to use these maps, or go with a friend or professional guide who does. If you haven't used a GPS before your trip to The Wave your first visit is not the time to learn to do so. Practice using maps, compass, and GPS on the streets where you live or on well defined trails before venturing into the backcountry.
If you do get lost or injured the most important thing to do is keep a clear head. Do not panic or wander around aimlessly. Stay with your party. You may be able to get cell service if you can gain elevation safely. Viewing the surrounding terrain from a high point can help you find other hikers, a trail or other landmarks. Before starting your trip to The Wave make sure someone knows your plans, has the phone numbers and names of the organizations who provide emergency response, and has been given a clear check-in time. I carry a Garmin Inreach Mini with me when I hike so that I can text others with my current location and status. The Inreach relies on satellite service rather than cell towers for communication. Service is available anywhere with a good view of the sky. The device has an SOS button should your situation become life threatening. Alternatively a personal radio beacon (PRB) can be used to send an SOS in a dire emergency.
Four of the five deaths at The Wave were heat related. If you hike in the summer be sure to have at least one gallon of water with you, preferably more. Start your hike at sunrise or earlier and plan to return to your car before noon. If you must stay out longer find shade during the hottest part of the day between 1 PM and 5 PM. A space blanket supported by branches or hiking sticks can provide shade in an emergency. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and light colored clothing. If yhou feel nauseous or faint stop hking and fins shade, sip water, and place a wet cloth on your forehead or neck to help cool down. During the summer months BLM volunteers will often be in the area with extra water should you need it, but do not rely on them.
The information provided by thewave.info is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty; without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The material is provided to give a general idea of what to expect on your hike to The Wave or other covered locations. Information provided may contain errors or be incomplete, and we take no responsibility for these. GPS tracks on this site are only to be used as guides, as they are subject to error and may provide wrong directions. Use your own judgment should a GPS location appear to be wrong or unsafe. We assume no liability for any accidents, injuries, loss of life, or other loss while traveling to or from the locations on this website. The use of this website implies agreement with the above.
Do I need a permit?
Yes, everyone going to The Wave is required to have a permit. The only exceptions are for preapproved scientific research that can only be done in Coyote Buttes North. Typically this would involve the fields of geology, archaeology, or paleontology. Information on applying for a permit can be found at https://www.thewave.info/CoyoteButtesNorthCode/Permits.html. You can apply for a permit at https://www.blm.gov/az/paria/obtainpermits.cfm?usearea=CB.
I need a permit because:
Can you help me?
No. Except for preapproved scientific research there are no exceptions made to the permit policy stated above. If you wish to argue your case anyway call +1 435 688-3200.
Do you work for the Bureau of Land Management? What is your relationship to them?
No. I have no relationship to the BLM or any government agency. I have no authority to grant or modify permits. I am a professional photographer who has been to The Wave more than thirty times over the past twenty years.
My friends and I are applying for a permit via the online lottery. Can each person in the group apply separately or is only one application allowed per group?
For the online lottery each person in the group can apply separately, i.e. if four people are in the group four separate applications are allowed. Each person applying must have a different email address. Note that a single person can only apply once; if they apply more than once and win a permit it will be forfeited. Also note that while the online lottery allows multiple applications per group, the walk-in lottery only allows only one application per group.
I applied for a permit via the online lottery and did not hear if I won. What should I do?
You should get a response from the BLM by the second of the month following your application. You will get a response win or lose. If you have not heard from the BLM by the second of the month check your spam / junk folder for an email. If you still have not heard you probably typed your email address incorrectly. You should call +1 435 688-3200 to find out if you were awarded a permit.
I applied via the online lottery and entered the wrong date information. Can the dates on the application be changed prior to the lottery drawing?
No. The system is an automated system and dates cannot be changed. You will need to enter the lottery again with the correct dates and pay the $5.00 US fee again. You must use a different email address when applying the second time.
How do I volunteer to work at The Wave?
Call 435-688-3200; they should be able to help you
Do you guide trips to The Wave or the other locations described on your site?
No. I do not have the necessary permits and insurance required by the BLM to guide trips into The Wave.
Can your recommend a guide for The Wave?
A list of authorized guides can be found here. I do not recommend particular tour companies as I am not familiar with all of them, and because different people have different needs. Before hiring a tour company I suggest you ask if their guides have either Wilderness EMT or Wilderness First Responder designations. If you are primarily interested in getting good photos you should ask whether the tour includes sunrise or sunset shoots. You should also review the photographs on the tour company's website. If their photos do not meet your standards it is unlikely the tour will get you to the best locations in the best light.
Note that you must acquire your own Wave permit; the guide cannot provide one. You do not need to provide a permit for the guide however.
Is the walk-in lottery held on US holidays or weekends?
The walk-in lottery is normally held seven days a week. It is not held on weekends during the colder months of the year. From November 15 to March 15 the lottery for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday permits is held on the preceding Friday. For US holidays you need to call the BLM in Kanab at +1 435 644-1300 or 1301 to see if they will be open.
What time should I be at the BLM Kanab office to enter the walk-in lottery?
The lottery is held at 9 AM Utah time, so I suggest you arrive between 8:30 AM and 8:45 AM to allow yourself time to complete the lottery application. Since Utah observes DST and Arizona does not, during much of the year Utah time is one hour later than Arizona time. If you are staying in Page and your watch is on Arizona time be sure to arrive at the Kanab BLM office by 7:45 AM AZ time.
Images on this site are ©2003-2018 by William H Belvin unless stated otherwise. Commercial use of images or use on other websites is allowed only with prior written consent.
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