Home Landscape Photography Hiking The Wave in Arizona | Travel Photography

Hiking The Wave in Arizona | Travel Photography

April 4, 2018


Y’all, this one is a must-add to your bucket list.

The Wave in Arizona (trail actually starts in Utah) provided views unlike any other.

I first heard about this hike when I was visiting Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona last year. Several locals mentioned it to me and once I did some research I decided I had to make it happen. At the time, I didn’t expect it would be less than a year later that I’d find myself standing in front of this 190 million year old formation.


Plenty has been written about this hike, but here are the highlights:

  1. You have to win a lottery to receive a permit to hike it. They pull 10 permits online 3 months in advance and another 10 the day before in Kanab, UT. That’s right, only 20 people per day are allowed access to this amazing place. Though people have been trying for years, we were lucky enough to win a permit online in our first attempt!
  2. The trail isn’t marked. At all. If you’re one of the lucky lottery winners they provide you with directions and photos of landmarks to look for. You think to yourself, “I’ve got this,” and then you proceed to get lost. In the desert. Likely finding yourself on the side of a crazy steep bit of sandstone and continually reminding yourself that it’s going to be worth it.
  3. The hike is 5.6-ish miles. That all depends on how well you follow the path and how much exploring you do beyond The Wave. While we managed to go off trail both coming and going, we were never terribly far off track even though we thought the desert might be where we now lived.
  4. Once you’re there, there’s more to see. We did a little exploring beyond The Wave itself — to The Second Wave and Hamburger Rock. The views from all around are spectacular and change drastically at every turn.
  5. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, there’s so much else you can see in the northern Arizona & southern Utah area. The exclusivity of The Wave paired with feeling all good about yourself because you didn’t die in the desert makes it amazing, but the beauty of creation in that part of the country is my absolute favorite. Photos from the rest of this trip (to Bryce & Zion National Parks) as well as last year’s trip (Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley) coming later this week.

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We did it! Everyone needs a good travel buddy. Specifically, one that won’t push you down the steep mountain you just led them up only to realize that wasn’t the right direction.

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