It took a long time, but I finally made it to “The Wave” with the help of some very lucky friends. It happened the end of January – before the expansion of the number of daily visitors (which is a topic for another discussion. Of the many Arizona/Utah hiking experiences I’ve been lucky enough to do (Havasu Falls, Rim to Rim, Lockett Meadow, to name a few), this was one of the best.

The standard “everybody does it” photo.

For me, it was a wild ride just to get there – a blizzard hit Flagstaff that almost “froze” me out. It was a 4AM wake up just to get the rest of the way in time. But I did make it!

It began in the cold – the trail was icy and snowy in places.

It’s not a challenging hike, but we did use a guide. Mostly, because we didn’t want to waste the limited amount of daylight we had just finding it. It was worth it – I’d recommend hiring one.

And there is more to the area than just “The Wave”

And we were lucky to run into some big horn sheep on the journey out

I know a lot of people that have tried for years in the lottery, and I feel blessed. We saw only a handful of people (which I like). But I feel it will become less special and I’m worried that tripling the number of daily visitors will take its toll on the fragile sandstone.


  1. Hiked the Wave in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument a few years agoIt was a great hiking experience for another ‘old man.’

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