10 Reasons to See Arizona's The Wave in Person

Located in Arizona, The Wave is a place like no other and needs to be seen by everyone. It's so incredible to see firsthand how the force of nature has shaped this place millions of years ago. With strict access issues, few get to see this place in person and thousands, maybe even more, get turned away each year. The access issue sometimes even persuades people to not even try to get a permit.

The Wave Arizona

Here are 10 reasons why you need to try to get a permit to see The Wave in person.

1. Only 20 permits are issued per day through a lottery system. If you get a permit, you can say that you won the lottery!

2. The hike out is intense and requires you to navigate an unmarked trail over slick rock and through sand dunes. Once you're back, you'll have more to talk about than just The Wave.

3. Your hike starts in Utah and The Wave lies in Arizona. You get to be in two states in one day!

4. It's one of the most photogenic places you can visit in your lifetime (Hint: get your photos during midday to reduce the amount of shadows in your photos).

The Wave Arizona

5. It is nature's careful work of eroding the sandstone over the course of millions of years.

6. Aside from The Wave, you're able to explore North Coyote Buttes, and there's so much more out there to see.

7. Until 1990, it was virtually unknown until it was advertised in German travel brochures.

8. Windows 7 includes it as one of its stock desktop backgrounds.

The Wave Arizona

9. The best time to visit The Wave is spring or fall when the weather's more favorable. You have a better chance to win a permit during the winter, and winter can be favorable during brief warm spells.

10. Some have described The Wave as a drug-induced walking dream.

Hopefully you're going to go play the lottery and try to win a permit to see The Wave in person. Have a few days set aside that'll work with your schedule to increase your chances, but if the lottery luck isn't on your side, take a look at The Wave like you've never seen.

*All photos courtesy Justin Fricke.

Team Sierra blogger
posted by
Justin Fricke
Blogger at The Weekend Warrior
As a member of #TeamSierra, Justin Fricke receives promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post. Justin traded in his comfy desk job for a life of adventure on the road. Nowadays he's a freelance content creator while living in a van full time, exploring America. Follow his adventures on his website, The Weekend Warrior, and on Instagram and Facebook.
Comments (3)
6/23/2016 at 10:17 PM
I live in Arizona and have been to the Wave. Brutally hot in summer and freezing in winter. No trail per se and it is almost entirely in fine sand however one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. There are a limited # of people (10) allowed in per day and you have to enter a lottery for a permit. I went in December. Would NEVER do this in the summer.
8/24/2016 at 2:39 PM
Why is the trail out more intense than the trail in?
  • The only reason the trail out would be more intense is if the individual did not bring enough water/liquids, thus feeling worse as they are leaving. Too many people think 1 water is enough to hike minimally 3 miles under a hot desert sun. The trail out is actually a little bit easier since there is more downhill, less uphill.
    Comment made on 12/19/2017 by John Dinsmore from California
12/19/2017 at 9:16 AM
I have been to the Wave before in the summer. You will be fine if you bring at least 3 or 4 waters/Gatorade per person. In most years there is not a heat wave. 2006 was dreadful, 125F in the day, cooling down to 120F at night. Thankfully, most summers are not over 110F.
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