Man Who Didn’t Have a Clue
I had been taking pictures of arches I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to
do something different for a change and went on an excursion to
The Antelope Canyons are located next to this city and easily accessed from there to take pictures. There are more then enough pictures of these canyons that have been made but it is always a lot of fun to take pictures there.
During some shopping at a local supermarket I discovered a badly printed postcard with a motif I found fascinating: there were white lines drawn through red sandstone in a waves.
No one was able to answer my question where this place was. So I took the postcard and went off to the local Chamber of Commerce to show it there
were not able to tell me either where exactly that place was, but it was
supposed to be in the Paria-Canyon-Vermillion-Cliffs-Wilderness-Area which
in turn is part of the Grand-Staircase-Escalante-National-Monument. A huge
nature preserve, bigger then
the back of the postcard it said: Vermillion Cliffs, situated at the mouth
I also found the ranger station between Page and Kanab. Unfortunately it was closed due to the minimal tourist traffic in the month of December 2002.
my return to
The result was that only 20 visitors per day received a permit to visit “The Wave” – that was what the motif I saw on the postcard turned out to be called - . You have to register the day before, starting at at the ranger station between Page and Kanab (if it is open) and the first ten receive a permit for the next day. If there are more then 10 people there at nine, a raffle decides.
Another ten can receive a permit 6 months earlier through the internet. At exactly the lines are opened for that date in six months and the 10 fastest people get their permit for that day. Of course a lot can happen in six months and it usually turns out that only half of the ten people are actually there at that specific time to pick up the permits and the rest (the ones who did not show up) are not distributed to the waiting people there but are just voided.
tried to register on the 1st of April for
second try to get permits for the 17th or 19th was
unsuccessful since you can only register for one day at a time. By the
time you enter all the
entry spaces for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave)
strategy was to take the confirmed permit for
It is hard to find “The Wave” in spite of having viewed the card and pictures. Some advice for you if your are interested in going: be at Wire Pass-Trailhead while it is still pitch dark and join the first group that starts off at dawn. You should take 2-6 liters of water with you depending on the time of the year and temperatures – per person.
the way from
Upon arrival at the ranger station a number of cars were already parked there and I did not like that much at all. When the drawing started, 9 permits were already all filled out on the counter.
A request for one person, a request for three people (you can fill out requests for up to 6 participants) and seven requests for two people. That morning 18 people wanted to go to “The Wave” but only 10 would be allowed.
First a ticket for two people was drawn three times (mine was unfortunately not among them) then one for the request of three people and that left only room for one more.
The ranger asked the remaining people with requests of two people if they wanted to withdraw or stay in the raffle. If you stay in the drawing only one of the two people could go and the second had to stay in the hotel, that is how strict the practice is there. So all the pairs withdrew and the only one left was a single Japanese who ended up being the 10th in the group that day.
Today, again, numerous cars were parked at the ranger station by the time we got there and I was afraid that the drawing would go like it did yesterday. As it turned out, thank God, it was one single large group that already had permits and were only looking for the directions to get there. At there were only six applicants for the 10 permits there, so that everyone received a permit to visit “The Wave” the next day.
This October’s record of applying visitors at to get one of the 10 permits was 45 people the week prior. So there is no way to estimate in advance how the chances for the following day are
Our two permits: the red ones are issued 6 months prior trough the internet lottery and the green ones a day prior to the visiting date.The top part has to be clearly visible in your windshield at Wire Pass-Trailhead and the bottom part has to be attached to your rucksack with the provided wire.This way the ranger controlling the area and parking lot can immediately seeif you have a permit, which one. Seems to be very “German” to me and “un-American-like” meticulousness.
Now we had two chances to take photos in the area of “The Wave”, one through the lottery at the ranger station on October 15th, and one through the internet lottery on the 1st of April.
We started out in Page at on both days, were at Wire Pass-Trailhead an hour later, at , where we had to park our car in order to hike for 2 hours with rucksack and tripod until we reached “The Wave” at about and were able to start work. These times change depending on the time of year and when the sun rises.
Here are some results:
Those of you who are interested in “The Wave” can find more
You can find the internet lottery to apply 6 months in advance here:
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