Hike Coyote Buttes North to the Wave

5.5 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Brendon Kahn

The Wave's natural Jurassic Navajo sandstone shows striations of red, orange, pink, yellow, and beige. Be sure to get a permit ahead of time and remember your GPS, the trail isn't marked.

The hike to the Wave is 2.5 miles (one-way). When you arrive, take in the sandstone showing incredible striations of red, orange, pink, yellow, and beige. Please note that this adventure is only accessible by obtaining a permit. Only 20 visitors are allowed access per day with 10 permits given online months in advance and 10 more given through a lottery system for walk ins first thing in the morning. You may obtain a permit through a $7 lottery system on the Bureau of Land Management at their website or at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah. If you want to apply for a future date, through the lottery application, you have to to submit your application 4 months ahead of time. There's no flexibility and you must submit a $5 application fee. Make sure you have your date locked in and that you submit your application on time.

After the first half of permits are gone, there are also 10 permits available the day before. If you're hoping to obtain one of these permits, you need to head to the Kanab, Utah Field Office at 9:00 AM the day prior to the day you wish to hike. All applicants are taken into a room and each group of hikers (6 or fewer) are assigned a number. Numbers are drawn randomly from bingo balls to assign the remaining available permits. During peak times your chances of getting a permit may be extremely low as many other folks are showing up for the lottery with the same goal in mind.

Best of luck!

The Hike:

Hiking to this amazing ancient geological structure begins at 4875' and continues to until you reach the wave at 5200'. This day trek has minimal elevation gain but requires some tactful navigating skills to find the wave because there is no trail. Most hikers use the BLM photo landmarks, a topographical map, and GPS while following a prominent landmark known as “ The Black Crack” to find The Wave, which lies directly below The Black Crack. The best time to view the wave is midday when the sun is directly overhead this is create dramatic shows of the undulating sandstone.

Beginning from the parking lot that connects to Wire Pass Trailhead, head down the path until it drops into a wash. Take a left turn, east, down the wash for .6 miles until you reach a sign that designates Coyotes Buttes North exiting Wire Pass Wash. Take this path where it becomes steeper the next few hundred yards. The trail quickly drops into a wash that you cross and approach a small ridge. Making your way to the top of the ridge, continue downward on the backside of the ridge where you will start to bear right, southward. Hugging the slopes on the right of the ridge continue southbound.

Looking south, a large sandstone mountain appears far in the distance with a vertical crack in the mountain. This will be your landmark to steer in the direction of the wave because it is located the crack.

Continuing southbound, two large unmistakable buttes come appear called Twin Buttes where you will pass along the right side. A half mile later you will encounter a wash that will lead you to geological formations resembling the wave where you will take a sand path up to the wave.

Once inside the wavy formation, it will bring you to another level of satisfaction and awe. This is a true gem and no words or photos can truly bring it justice. Wondering around above the just above the wave and high up on the ridge can bring some really interesting finds as well.For a bite after, Rocking V Café in Kanab is one of the best spots for some great food!

For Detailed information on the process and the hike, head to Hundred Goals

GPS Coordinates for the Wire Pass Trailhead - N 37° 01.162′, W 112°01.465′

Here are the GPS Coordinates for The Wave - N 36° 59.764′, W 112° 00.365′

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

A Must Do Hike!!

If you're luck enough to win the lottery and grab a permit for the Wave, you're in for a real treat. There really isn't a trail to follow for much of the hike so you really need to pay attention to landmarks and your surrounding to find your way. The wave is spectacular to see and photograph, but don't just stop there. There are many incredible rock formations and places to photograph throughout the permit area. Take your time and explore as much as you can!

One of my favorite hikes

I absolutely loved this hike. I got drawn out for a permit at the walk-in, in Kanab. (I suggest doing this.) The hike itself is not too hard, luckily they give you a guide, so that you don't get lost, you climb terrain, walk through sand, it is an adventure!! I have been on many hikes in Southern Utah/AZ & i had never seen anything like it, it was incredible. I honestly felt like i was on another planet, everywhere you looked, it was eye candy. The hike to the wave was amazing too-- so incredible that it was all created naturally. Definitely a hike to add to your bucket list.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

UNREAL!

This place is out of this world! I can't believe it was created by nature, itself. For the permits, I suggest trying the walk-in lottery during the first few weeks of December. During this off-season month, they only do lotteries in the weekdays, so if you go on a Friday to apply, you get drawn for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Chances are definitely higher, and there are a lot less people too.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

One of a kind

The Wave is well worth the trip to Utah. Start the hike early so you can spend the afternoon in the area. If you are around Kanab, UT for a couple of days I think you have the best luck of drawing a permit on Friday; they will draw 10 permits for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Even the hike in is incredibly beautiful. Love this spot and the guide provided by the BLM is excellent, you you will have no trouble following the photos. Personally, I really enjoyed doing this trail just before sunset; the lighting was really nice for photography and the temperatures were much more manageable

Stay Nearby

Kanab, Utah

The Casita At Purradise

The Casita at Purradise is set on five acres of beautiful high desert, bordered by Pinyon Pines and brush. This unique ecosystem has a mixture of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world....

From $115/night

Kanab, Utah

The Cabin At Purradise

One of the first things our guests notice at the Cabin at Purradise is the deep sense of quiet. The wind whispering through the wilderness is often the loudest sound you'll hear. Far from any built...

From $135/night

Fredonia, Arizona

Jacob Lake Recreation Area

Overview Jacob Lake Recreation Area is conveniently located in Jacob Lake, Arizona, the gateway to the Grand Canyon's North Rim. The campground is nestled among the towering Ponderosa Pine trees of...

Fredonia, Arizona

Riverside Trail Park

Two private camping sites with water, porta-potty, and porta-shower. Easy access by vehicle just minutes off hwy 89A. Great place to stop overnight to visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon and ...

From $30/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hiking Through Wire Pass Slot Canyon

    Wire Pass is a hike through a scenic slot canyon that is often overlooked due to it's close proximity to the very famous Wave. Unlike the "Wave" a permit is not required to make the hike, only a day use fee at the trail head.Getting to the trail h...

  • Hike Buckskin Gulch, Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness

    Buckskin Gulch is a natural wonder. At 15 miles long it is the longest slot canyon in the world. It sometimes is as narrow as 2ft. Because of the nature of this canyon and Utah topography this canyon is subject to deadly flash flood if it rains an...

    15 miles

  • Hike the Buckskin Mountain Passage from Stateline Campground on the Arizona Trail

    Depending how you approach this 800 mile trail, I did the first 4 miles or last 4 miles as an out and back from Stateline Campground on the Utah/Arizona state line and the border of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. This section of the t...

    8 miles 1400 ft gain

  • Hike to the White Pocket

    White Pocket is extremely difficult to access due to the road leading to it. There are sections with very deep, soft sand going uphill! You must have a high clearance 4WD vehicle and air down your tires to have any hope of making it here. Do not t...

    4 miles