Hike of the Week: The Wave

Hike of the Week: The Wave

This is a weekly series that highlights an outstanding day hike or backpacking trip. The goal is to inspire you to want to get out and see these places for yourself. I know for us, just seeing amazing photos and reading about a great hike is enough to get us motivated.

This week's hike is The Wave Trail in the Coyote Butte area of southern Utah.

Why this Hike?

The unique twisted sandstone formations of The Wave (and nearby Wave 2) are beautiful and not found in this quantity anywhere else in the United States. The trail is also a relatively easy day hike and therefore accessible to most.

How long is the hike?

The trail starts at the Wire Pass trailhead parking lot and extends approximately 2.8 miles to The Wave. Plan to explore the area, including the nearby Wave 2, for at least a couple of hours. As a result, 5-6 hours is recommended.

How do I get there?

The hike is approximately 45 miles west of the Town of Page, AZ. Page is accessible from Flagstaff (about a 2 hour drive) and Phoenix (about a 4 hour drive).

From Page, take US 89 west for approximatley 34 miles and turn left onto House Rock Valley Road. Drive another 8.5 miles to the Wire Pass trailhead parking lot on your right.

Several shuttle providers service the Wire Pass trailhead. 

What will I need?

Since this is a day trip, the amount of gear you'll need is minimal. However, due to the exposure and desert environment, make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. In addition, the following are recommended:
  • comfortable day pack
  • trail shoes or boots, socks, and liners
  • hiking poles
  • appropriate clothing
  • food (include extra just in case)
  • first aid kit
  • camera!

What do I need to consider?

The biggest consideration for the hike is obtaining permits. The US Bureau of Land Management limits the area to just 20 persons per day. Half of the permits are issued in advance through a lottery while the other half are walk-in permits. As a result, obtaining a permit is pretty difficult and requires advance planning and a lot of luck. For more permit information and to apply, see the US Bureau of Land Management website.


Here are a few great resources to check out for more detail:

The Wave.info
Coyote Buttes: The Wave by ZionNational-Park.com
Coyote Buttes Permit Area by US Bureau of Land Management

Have you been fortunate enough to hike The Wave? Do you have other outstanding hikes that you'd like us to write about? Please share your feedback in the comments.

Hike of the Week USA Southwest

1 comment

  • Gary Grube

    The Wave (North Coyote Buttes) is in Arizona, not Utah.

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