An amazing natural sandstone formation located in Arizona near the Utah border is an amazing and surreal place. Looking at the images you almost do not believe what you are actually seeing is real or even possible!
A Popular Desktop Background Image of ‘The Wave’
Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness is where you will find the slopes called “The Wave.” I first saw an image of this place as a desktop background for a LINUX operating system and was convinced that it was a Photoshop image or had at least, been manipulated a little. But this is real place.
This has got to be an amazing feeling to get permitted entry to this wondrous place. Few people will ever get to visit, most don’t even know of this place.
Between Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona, this location can be reached by an approximately 3-mile hike. The Bureau of Land Management has a strict limit of the number of daily tourists permitted to explore, about 20 visitors per day. You need to book your reservation in advance. Ten permits are made available by advance booking and the remainders are available the day before at the nearby ranger’s station by lottery.
Wikipedia cites that this formation is particularly popular with European tourists in part because this location was used in a German film several years ago, but does not cite the film or how the scene was used.
The Wave, After a Rainstorm
The sandstone is soft and fragile, which is why tourism is limited to small numbers of visitors. Photography here is best at midday when the sun is high, to limit shadows which are present in the morning and afternoon hours as in all canyons. The Wave is stunningly beautiful after a rainstorm, numerous pools of water are created and it is said that one can bath here. These pools often contain hundreds of newly-hatched tadpoles which will become frogs or toads quickly, before the water all evaporates.
Unbelievable Beauty, The Wave
Surf’s Up at The Wave
This looks a lot like a similar ‘rock wave’ in Australia!
Use of a GPS, Global Positioning Satellite device is recommended. The Wave is difficult to find and there are a prudent lack of signage pointing the way. The signs and easily-identified trails would detract from the natural beauty of the place. Visiting parties often get either lost, or miss finding The Wave altogether, so GPS is advised.