Friday, May 2, 2014

Hiking The Wave (in Arizona)

I read about The Wave (in Arizona near the Arizona-Utah border) some time last year, but I had forgotten until I saw a When On Earth article via The Presurfer. It looks like an amazing rock formation and very beautiful, but I'll never get to see it in person. It's a protected area (you can see why) and only 20 access permits are given out each day (10 of those are issued in an on-line lottery 4 months before the date of the visit; the other 10 are given out in a lottery the day of the visit).

  Unreal rock formations at The Wave, Coyote Butte North, Arizona

The hike from the trail head is only 3 miles, but to protect the landscape there is no marked trail, and apparently people frequently get lost and never find The Wave (it can also be extremely hot in the summer, and there is no shade. Water must be carried). There is apparently a guide sheet which can be used with a compass, a GPS or using visual landmarks. 

This video clip shows the lottery process, the drive to the trail head and part of the trail.


And this one shows part of the trail and, eventually, The Wave (around 2:09 if you're short on time and don't want to watch the whole video).



If you ever get there, take lots of photos (and videos). It promises to be a unique experience. But please don't go if you are inexperienced or take a risk in high summer when the weather is too hot (or without enough water). This can be a dangerous hike for the unprepared.  (If like me, you're happy with just viewing the lovely images, they're on Flickr, and there are numerous videos on YouTube).

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