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Catching Waves: North Coyote Buttes


After applying for the lottery 12+ months, I have finally succeeded in securing my permits for the Wave. It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t have been more stoked to go on this new adventure.

Just to give a little backstory, I had been planning to see the Wave for a long time. Probably since my brother Hung had went and shared his photos of this unique place. That was roughly 2-3 years ago. Since then low profile places like the Wave has grown in popularity to where each day it becomes more difficult to lock in permits. For those that don’t know how the lottery system works, you could either do it online at or attempt to do a walk-in at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah. If you apply online keep in mind that it is a $5 non-refundable fee each time you apply. The online lottery is set up to pick the winners on the 1st of every month for your hike that’s scheduled 3 months ahead. So if you apply in June, you can expect that your chosen date to hike would be in the month of October. In addition each applicant is allowed to select 3 different dates within the month one is seeking to go. Walk-in lottery permits are issued the day before your proposed hiking date. (Don’t try to sneak your way into the Wave without a permit or that ass will get arrested or pay a nice big Ol’ fine.)

In the beginning of my lottery attempts I was shooting for the weekend because I didn’t want to take any days off from work. It also turns out the demand for weekend dates are higher than during the week. After failing the first few times, I said screw it and aimed for any weekday I could possibly land permits on. I also recall when I first began my struggle to get permits that I talked to one of my co-workers about the Wave. Mind you my co-worker isn’t much of an outdorrsy person and never even drove North past Flagstaff in their lifetime. My co-worker became interested and WON the lottery on her FIRST TRY. Yes I was salty as hell but that didn’t stop me from trying.

Fast forward to now, I finally got the confirmation email that I been waiting for so long. I was able to acquire 4 spots for this trip so I took my lady and invited another couple who flew in from LA just to join us.

We kind of made a mistake by hiking late into the day, especially during June. The hikers we came across were already making their way back to the parking lot and they had started the hike as early as 5am… We started hiking around 8:30am…  and let me tell you that Sun was beating down hard on us. There is little to none spots for shade so I recommend bringing a sunhat or an umbrella. I took 5 liters of water just to be safe and managed to get back to my vehicle with a little over 1/2 liter left in my camelback. We got lost for a bit but luckily the picture map that BLM had mailed me proved to be very helpful in getting by. Don’t try winging it on your own because believe it or not there are people who win permits and never locate the wave.

A fun tip I advise others who go on long hiking trips is to leave a cooler in your car stocked with Gatorades and ice. There is no greater feeling than drinking a ice cold beverage after being exposed to the Sun a good chunk of time and body aching from exhaustion.

We conquered this hike and am extremely pleased with the photos taken from my camera. My preparation for hiking trips has gotten better over time. As always it helps to have a travel crew tag along to help bring creativity behind the photos and to also look out for each other when the unexpected happens.

Thanks for reading and I hope you can join me on my next adventure.

Location TBD…

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