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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, December 07, 2012

Get Lost In The Beauty Of 'The Wave'

The Wave” is a famously photogenic spot on the Utah/Arizona border, where swirls of color and strangely eroded sandstone create an environment that looks like it should be found on some exotic alien world.

Photographers and nature lovers flock to the area, which is found in the Coyote Buttes area of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, southeast of Kanab, Utah. Permits are needed to hike there and only 20 are issued per day, to preserve the wilderness setting. We have extensive information about The Wave here.

The San Francisco Chronicle has this interesting article about hiking The Wave. The article includes gorgeous photos that are worth viewing. It starts by describing a hiker who was briefly lost in the area. Below are excerpts.

"I went up the wrong wash," he gasped, visibly calmed as we showed him the path back to the parking lot. "There's no trail. ... The maps they give you are !@$#% worthless. ... I've been lost for an hour and a half."

At least he didn't die out there. Some people do. The Wave may be one of the most visually stunning, ardently photographed features in the Southwest desert, but the Bureau of Land Management doesn't make it easy to find (or to find your way back).

The Wave is a tangible hallucination, a convoluted corridor of multicolored, brilliantly striped sandstone. Its history dates back to Pangaea: the single, giant continent that once covered the Earth.

The Wave sneaked onto every landscape photographer's bucket list in 2004, when it was featured in a German documentary called "Faszination Natur - Seven Seasons." Today, about a third of the visitors are from Europe (with a recent influx from China and Japan).

(BLM Monument Manager) Kevin Wright has also turned down multiple requests - from the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition to representatives of the Occupy movement (who wanted to hold a candlelight vigil at the Wave).

"Even National Geographic had to get a permit," he says reverently.

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