Coyote Buttes

This day trek has minimal elevation gain but requires some tactful navigating skills to find the wave because there is no trail. The best time to view the wave is midday when the sun is directly overhead this is create dramatic shows of the undulating sandstone. Coyote Buttes were designated as a special management area years ago and are comprised of two distinctive areas Coyote Buttes North and Coyote Buttes South. Both protected due to the amazing sandstone formations contained within them and for the delicate nature of these formations. While these areas are relatively close to a gravel road the terrain around them is difficult to negotiate. The natural solitude this creates is also something that was a goal of the special management area designation. In order to secure the protection goals stated in the managing document limits to the access of the public was instituted.

Everyone regardless of age must be included in the permit. However, dogs must be included on the permit and require a fee . North is exponentially more popular because it contains The Wave formation. Although, we would argue that the South Buttes are just as beautiful and easier to obtain a permit to visit. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and mouth/nose covering in case the winds pick up while out there in the sand. All three access points are undeveloped; no toilets or water are available at these sites. We did make it to the Rainbow Cove from a very distant overlook.

What was your favorite part of Coyote Buttes? Leave a comment below or tweet at us!

To try for a permit to the South Coyote Buttes, which, though less known, is easily as good or perhaps even better than the famous “Wave” that everyone wants. However, only ten permits are available for each area per day at the Visitor Center. We’ll take you through as much as we can show you in a day, showing you more than other tour companies have the time to do. We’ve done this tour longer than anyone else, we know the area very well and will get you to all the best photo locations at the right time of day. This a great spot for a sunset, especially when really hot, leaving from the Outpost at mid-day. Our guides will offer expertise on the entire area, helping you get the best shots and the best day possible.

Coyote Buttes

Yet the land in the South, with its rock piles , arches, and fins, is visually stunning and completely enthralling. The chance of receiving a permit is drastically increased here, potentially ensuring a brilliant visit to the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness from your base camp in Kanab. The trailhead for the Wave is already well marked on the gravel road.The Wave is situated on the Paria Plateau, Coyote Buttes North in Arizona, close to the Utah border. Getting there is easy on the gravel Rock House Valley Road.


The colorful stripes and otherworldly rock shapes provide infinite opportunity for photography. It’s really addicting to see what’s around the next corner. Your best bet is to be consistent when applying for a permit and choose the in-person route when applying. In general, the online lottery is way too competitive to get a permit. When we were looking at the online reservation system for February 2020, there were already 1,885 applications for just 580 permits. And as the days get closer to your chosen date, your odds of getting a permit shrink more.

  • The small parking lot to the left of the signs is Lone Tree Access point.
  • Permits for Coyote Buttes South are usually available if you walk in.
  • The rest of the Southwest is also stunning at this time of year.

White Pocket is extremely difficult to access due to the road leading to it. There are sections with very deep, soft sand going uphill! You must have a high clearance 4WD vehicle and air down your tires to have any hope of making it here. Do not take this lightly, a tow bill will cost you a minimum of $1,000. When you reach the trailhead, it is short hike into the White Pocket to the west, an e… At 15 miles long it is the longest slot canyon in the world.

Adventurous One Week Arizona to Utah Road Trip

The permit gives you a 24 hours access, but camping is prohibited. After 3 years of sporadically entering the online lottery and 4 failed attempts at the wall-in lottery, we finally beat the 0.01% online odds and got the coveted golden ticket. BLM sends out the permits 2 months in advance with detailed instructions.

How hard is the wave hike?

The Wave hike is moderate in difficulty.

The trail is 3 miles one-way in wilderness land. It's also a low trafficked trail so you won't see a distinct path part of the way unless there is sand or dirt.

Because of the ridgeline that runs north-south, you can capture amazing light in your photographs at sunrise or sunset. Upon entering at the trailhead, you’ll see the large red rock piles and teepees.

The Drawing for The Wave Permits

Is that really needed when we just want to go to the Wave? Which area is it if we can get a permission for overnight stay in the car? Thanks again for sharing your experience to me. We did the orientation in Kanab ahead of time and I recommend the process for anyone who has not previously done the hike. Questions answered, current conditions explained, etc. Although the route in is easier and clearer than expected, some of the guidance on the route out is helpful. Also, in our case, road conditions were dicey because of the rains and some hikers were stranded the day before coming southbound from Route 89.

Planning to visit The Wave? Mobile-based app required for daily, advance lottery – St George News

Planning to visit The Wave? Mobile-based app required for daily, advance lottery.

Posted: Sun, 20 Nov 2022 08:00:00 GMT [source]

They are pretty easy to explore without putting in too many miles. We crisscrossed the area multiple times and only ended up walking about four miles total for the day.

The road out to the TH (about 8 mi.from 89) is in fair to poor shape. It is very doable in a high clearance car or SUV with two wheel drive. It truly doesn’t seem possible that a place like this should exist!

Coyote Buttes

A dinosaur trackway or trample surface is found in the area and provides evidence of a variety of dinosaurs. The area includes dramatic swirling erosional rock formations such as The Wave. There is no overnight camping allowed in the Coyote Buttes permit area. In order to make it fair for everyone who wishes to visit, a lottery system has been put in place.