Wednesday, November 03, 2010



About two years ago, Cathie and I were lucky enough to obtain a hard to get permit for hiking to The Wave in Southern Utah. We were so awestruck by the site that I decided to try to get a permit again. The Bureau of Land Management issues permits for 20 persons a day to hike the 3 miles to The Wave. Ten are issued via a lottery conducted 4 months before the date you select to hike on the Internet. The other ten are issued at a nearby ranger station the day before you hike. Each month approximately 1000 people apply for the permits issued by lottery on the Internet. The lottery gods smiled on me and I won a permit for two people hiking on October 31st.

Cathie opted to go to Montana to visit her brother, but I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity. I asked my friend Duane if he wanted to go, and the trip was on. We left early on Saturday morning arriving in Kanab, Utah in the late afternoon. After a good nights rest in a local motel, we set out for the trailhead arriving around 9 AM. It was cold, about 35 degrees, but the sky was clear and with the sun poking up over the eastern hills, we headed out. There are no signs pointing the way, but the BLM provides the permit holders with detailed instructions that include photographs of the route to take.

Most of the hike is over slickrock, the red sandstone so common in this part of Utah. After a 90 minute hike we arrive at the wave. I am reminded once again how beautiful the rock formation is. When Cathie and I were here two years ago, we took 200 photographs. This time I restrained myself and only took about 50. We enjoyed about 2 hours in the wave and checking out the surrounding rock formations.

We pulled ourselves away and on the way back to the trailhead, took a side trip to Wire Pass, a very narrow slot canyon. Unfortunately, we were only able to explore it a short distance before being halted by a dry waterfall which were could get down, but probably not back up. We made the safe choice and headed back to the car.

Our next stop was Page, Arizona. After another restful night, we started the day by touring the Glen Canyon Dam. After our tour, we went to the local Navajo office and obtained a hiking permit for the reservation. Just south of Page on the reservation, we climbed down the steep trail, not really much of a trail, into the bottom of Waterholes Canyon. This is a narrow slot canyon cut into the native sandstone. It’s not as deep as some slots in the southwest, but it’s just a beautiful, with its golden and red hews as the sunlight streams into its deep recesses.

The next morning we once again headed out and took some back country roads (dirt) north through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. One stop we made was for a short hike down Lick Wash, another beautiful Utah Canyon. We ended our adventure by driving through Zion National Park before our last night in Mesquite, Nevada.
Perhaps in a couple of more years, I'll be lucky enough to get a permit again. I know I will at least try.

Here is a link to a 4 minute slide show of our trip.


Nick Saraceni said...

Dry waterfall? Sounds like an oxymoron. Amazing beauty. You're photos are magazine quality.

Ann Cashen said...

Thank you for visiting Kane County, UT and The Wave! We are so glad you had a great time.
From all of us here at The Kane County Office of Tourism,
Happy Trails.