My wife and I had a trip to northern Arizona in September of 2015. One of the things that we wanted to do was to visit a remote area called Coyote Buttes North, which features a very beautiful sandstone formation called The Wave. The area was formerly sand dunes, compressed into rock, then folded and eroded to reveal the curved layers. It is in a protected wilderness, and you must have a permit to visit. There are two ways to get one of the few permits that are available: by online lottery or in a local lottery at the Kanab, Utah Visitor's Center
I applied online, but did not get a permit. During our trip, I also went in to the local lottery several times, but no luck. Back home, I continued applying online. Alas, I kept coming up empty.
After a second visit in 2019, we made one final plan to stay in the Kanab area for our spring 2021 trip. The odds in the local lottery are around 100 to 1 per drawing, much better than the online one at 1000 to 1 or worse. Amazingly though, I hit for an online permit on a very good date during our planned stay in Kanab. I was so happy!
On the chosen day, we loaded our backpacks with food, water, and photo gear. The Wave trailhead is located down a rough dirt road, and then it is a 5.5 km hike to get there over sand and slickrock. We arrived late morning, which is a good time to shoot there because you do not want shadows falling across the formation.
I took a lot of wide shots from various angles, as the Wave presents quite uniquely from different directions. This is one of the classic views, and my five year quest was complete.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor