The hardest part about hiking the Wave is getting the permit. Each day, thousands of people will apply for just 64 daily permits, 48 of which are given out by advance on-line lottery, 16 through a daily in-person lottery. Ask the people on the trail with you and you will hear stories about flying to the United States and staying in Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT, for weeks just to apply for Wave permits as often as they can! Most will leave empty handed. There is no short cut and there are no tricks to getting a permit, beyond maybe choosing a low visitation time of year.
You no longer need to drive to Kanab and blow your whole morning on a long shot gamble!
Effective March 15th, 2022, the in-person permit application process for Coyote Buttes North and The Wave has gone virtual. One of several significant changes to the process is that you must submit your application two days prior to your desired hike date instead of the day before. You must also be physically present within a certain area of Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, which is monitored by a geofence system.
Step 1 – 3 or more days prior to your desired hiking date, download the Recreation.gov mobile app on your smartphone or other mobile device. Desktop and laptop computers may not be used to apply for the Wave walk-in lottery.
Step 2 – 2 days before your desired hiking date, enable location detection on your device. Open the Recreation.gov app and search “Coyote Buttes North Daily Lottery (The Wave).” Submit your application for a permit anytime between 6:00 am* and 6:00 pm.* A non-refundable application fee of $9 will be charged to a valid debit or credit card. Then, wait for notification of your results by e-mail; these will typically post anytime after 7:15 pm* on the day you apply, so be sure that the e-mail address you submit for your Recreation.gov account is correct. You must log back onto Recreation.gov to officially accept the awarded permit and pay the applicable fees ($7 per person, which are not included in the application fee) no later than 8:00 am* the following day. If you fail to do so, your permit will be forfeited.
Step 3 – At 8:30 am* the day before your hike, those who have successfully obtained and claimed their Wave permits must pick them up in person at the location designated on your initial application:
Kane County Office of Tourism Visitor Center
78 S 100 E
Kanab, UT 84741
Page/Lake Powell Hub Tourist Information Center
48 S. Lake Powell Boulevard
Page, AZ 86040
At this time, you will also attend a mandatory safety briefing where you will be given trail maps, directions to the Wire Pass Trailhead, and address any last minute questions you may have about hiking The Wave the following day. *Note that all times are Utah/Navajo Nation Time!
TIP: take a picture of your license plate (or memorize it) before applying. You will need the make/ model and plate to fill out the permit application.
TIP: start considering a “Plan B” sightseeing option in the likely event you are unsuccessful at obtaining a Wave permit. Popular alternatives include but are not limited to:
TIP: If money is truly no object, and you are bound and determined to see The Wave in whatever legal way possible, consider flying over it. Fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters depart out of the Page Municipal Airport (PGA) daily, weather permitting and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. Touring aircraft will not land at The Wave or anywhere in the Coyote Buttes Special Management Area. Mornings are the best time to fly for lighting conditions and lack of wind.
This process is pretty straightforward. You will be applying for dates four months in advance. Just go to this website https://www.recreation.gov/permits/274309 read the instructions, and apply for the dates you want to hike during the application period specified on the chart. You get up to three choices. Drawings are done the first of each month and results are emailed shortly afterwards.
Pro Tip: wherever your sightseeing plans take you, start your day with a good breakfast. If you’re staying in Kanab, head over to Kanab Creek Bakery to fuel up for your day’s adventures. The breakfast burrito is a personal favorite. If you are staying in Page, the Ranch House Grille is a local institution!