Another “to hell with it” travel adventure is complete for me. Or is it only getting started? For the past six or seven years, I have attempted to get a permit for The Wave, a unique rock formation out along the Arizona/Utah border. Only 20 people per day are allowed to visit The Wave (in North Coyote Buttes); 10 people by an online lottery (apply four months in advance), and 10 people by an in-person, daily lottery (apply the day before you want to visit). I have tried the online lottery every summer but have never won it (the win rate is roughly 2-3%).
I have timed many westerly roadtrips to include stops in Kanab, UT but I have never won a daily lottery (held at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center). So, in January, in a random “to hell with it” moment, I stepped up my game. I decided to apply for the online lottery every month until I won a permit. I applied in January for a May permit: I didn’t win. I applied in February for a June permit, I didn’t win. I applied in March for a July permit, I didn’t win. I applied in April for an August permit…Bingo! I won! I won a Wave permit for one person on August 12, a possible perfect ending to the summer before faculty reported to work on August 19.
Access to the three-mile trail that goes to The Wave takes a little driving. About halfway between Kanab and Page, AZ, on Highway 89, turn south onto House Rock Valley Road. Slowly drive the 9 miles of dirt and rock to Wire Pass Trailhead. On Sunday night, I camped at Stateline Campground, which is about a mile past the Wire Pass Trailhead. I was back at the trailhead at 4:30am the next morning, waiting for the sunrise to start my hike.
I am already attempting to win the lottery again so I can return. Here are some pictures from The Wave and the hikes around it. Get out there and Go!