The Wave, located in the Coyote Buttes region of the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness on the southern Utah/Arizona border is deservedly well- known as one of the most spectacular hikes the Southwest has to offer. I could add countless superlatives describing how unusual, colorful, spectacular, unforgettable it is but other writers and photographers have already done that. I'll just say that it is a must see for anyone who wants to lose themselves in a quiet, very private place of extraordinary natural beauty (one of many websites displaying photos of The Wave is www.theworldinlight.com). Swirled bands of red,pink, yellow and green rock cut into a sandstone mountain have been eroded into curious and fantastic shapes. As the light of day changes the gallery of unworldly rock formations change as well - smooth chutes and jutting columns of multi-colored rock change in intensity. The Wave could also be called The Glide since many of its formations sweep up and down like sleds before jutting out onto small, private sized ledges with remarkable views. The hike itself is only a moderately challenging 5.5 miles but expect to spend time exploring and quietly wandering through the surprising landscape. To me, the landscape is like a tiger skin in all its bold stripes with extra colors of green and pink thrown in for additional dramatic effect. And despite being rock, the environment somehow feels alive with all that energy of color and enticing rock formations to discover and gape at. The Trailhead that leads you to The Wave is also the starting point for another distinctive site, Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin Gulch is known as one of the world's longest slot canyons. This is a win-win that takes you slightly off the usual tourist track of discovery.(Also check: www.utah.com/playground/the_wave.htm)
But be aware. Because of the precious and delicate nature of The Wave the overseeing agency, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) only issues 20 permits a day. These permits are usually applied for online months & months in advance. Since you probably weren't aware of or able to plan that far ahead Savage Point B&B offers another option for getting you into The Wave.
The BLM Office located here in Kanab, minutes from our B&B, offers a morning lottery for potential next day visitations to The Wave. Competition, depending on the time of year, is fairly strong but after a day or two of perseverance most of our guests have gained their permits. Wanna-be applicants arrive at the office early morning and take their chance, we'll send you off to the Applicatons Office after a good breakfast and with our best wishes - which often seem to work.
I hiked The Wave on New Year’s Day with my little dog and it was – The Wave. Truly a unique spot on earth. Many guests visit Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon we also suggest visiting but...I personally believe The Wave is a 10 Point Plus Factor on even Antelope Canyon, even if it does present a challenge for gaining that permit. We highly recommend it as an amazing place and a truly unique part of the astounding and always surprising Southwest landscape. And, remind you that your best chance of gaining a permit is from Kanab while staying at our comfortable B&B.