Thursday, May 3, 2012

Riding the Wave at Coyote Buttes

Calling all inland surfers!  As part of Zion National Park, the spectacular sandstone rock formation known as 'The Wave' is located near the Utah-Arizona border in Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness area on the slopes of Coyote Buttes.

Dating back to the Jurassic age (190 million years ago!), The Wave almost looks like a piece of modern art as it displays its sleek curves and deep rich hues of reds and browns.  Even though it looks structured and chiseled, The Wave is still a very delicate geological formation - in recognition of such, admission to this icon is limited by the Zion National Park Wilderness Reservation System.  Be sure to plan your visit in advance as the park utilizes a lottery system to allow visitor access by which only 10 hiking permits per day are issued.  

A visit to The Wave begins with arriving at the park's Wire Pass Trailhead - from there, it's about a 3 mile hike across the unforgiving desert to The Wave itself.  It's important to come well equipped with a GPS locator, sunscreen, snacks and plenty of water as the trail climbs up 350' while temperatures can rise well above 100°F.  

For more information, visit Zion National Park. Photo Credits:
The Incredible Wave at Coyote Butte North, Arizona by Alaskan Dude
The Second Wave - Just as Impressive as the First! by Alaskan Dude Registered & Protected

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