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How To Get A Permit For The Wave Arizona

A once hidden gem is now found!

As the saying goes, “it wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ but a matter of ‘when.’” In this case, the “when” was the summer of 2009, when the powers-that-be at Microsoft thought it would be a fabulous idea to include a photo of The Wave in Paria Canyon, Arizona on the desktop wallpaper of Windows 7.[1] From that moment on, what had until then been a relatively well-kept secret among hikers and backpackers was catapulted to “Arizona Bucket List” status, and suddenly everybody and his brother wanted to go there. Does that include you? Be ready to jump through some hoops, but be ready to experience a place like no other on Earth, and an adventure you’ll never forget!

The Wave is located in the Coyote Buttes North Special Management Area of the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area in Northern Arizona. Areas with this designation are considered ecologically sensitive and vulnerable to irreparable damage if access to them is not strictly controlled. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, for years, only 20 lucky people per day were allowed to visit Coyote Buttes North and The Wave in Arizona. In February 2021, the BLM approved an increase in the daily hiker quota to 64 people, or 16 groups, whichever comes first. In order to be included in that number, you must obtain a permit. This can be done one of two ways:

1. Apply in advance for the online Paria Canyon permit lottery through  website. Forty-eight (48) spots per day are given out in this manner. You can – and should – apply up to four (4) months in advance for your desired date. Applications are taken for the entire calendar month for the month four (4) months ahead. If, for example, you wish to hike to The Wave in October (the 10th month on the calendar), you would need to apply online anytime during the month of June (the 6th month on the calendar). The winners of the lottery would then be drawn on the 1st day of July, etc.

For more information regarding the Wave go to

While waiting for your permit, check out Antelpe Canyon!

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There is a $9.00 non-refundable fee to apply for the online lottery. You may choose three (3) different dates to hike The Wave and apply for up to six (6) people. Applicants are notified of their results in the lottery by e-mail on the first day of the month following the application period. If, for some reason, you are not notified by the second day of the month, please contact the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Permit Desk. Be sure to check your spam/junk mail folder first, though. Only one application may be submitted per month. Please do not try to “game the system” by submitting more than one application per month. You will be found out and both applications will be forfeited.

2. Obtain an in-person permit through a daily virtual lottery. Read a first-hand account from someone who hiked The Wave on a walk-in permit

64 people a day are allowed to hike to Coyote Buttes North and The Wave. 48 will have secured their permits ahead of time by online lottery; the remaining 16 hiking slots can be acquired by in-person/walk-in permit. **Effective March 2022, the lottery for last-minute hiking permits to the Wave will transition to an app-based system, administered by, whereby visitors may apply for a permit to hike the Wave from their cell phone or other mobile device two days prior to when they wish to hike. Entries will be monitored through a geofence system which limits participation to those physically present within a designated radius around the communities of Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT. Geofence Perimeter Map Successful applicants would then be notified by text to pick up their permits and attend a mandatory safety briefing at the Page-Lake Powell Tourism Hub in Page, AZ, or the Kane County Visitor Center & Office of Tourism in Kanab, UT. Fact Sheet for New Mobile-Based Wave Permit Lottery 

General Notes:

  • The hike from Wire Pass Trailhead to The Wave is approximately 6 miles round-trip. It is considered “moderate” in terms of degree of difficulty. Individuals should be in reasonably good health and have some desert hiking experience before attempting this trip. Those who wish to go further may opt to visit Top Rock Arch, Second Wave, Melody Arch and Dinosaur Tracks, which will extend your hike to 8 miles round-trip.
  • Remember this is a desert environment; water and shade are scarce to non-existent. You are responsible for providing your own food and water. 3 liters of water per person and high-energy snacks with moderate salt content are recommended. If you encounter a pool of water in this area, please avoid wading through it unless absolutely necessary. Do not drink from these pools or allow dogs to do so.
  • There is no “established” trail to The Wave. Many report getting lost on the way in and/or on the way out of the main scenic area. Markers such as cairns are not provided (please don’t make your own) and signs are kept to a bare minimum. Keep the maps you receive from the BLM handy throughout your hike and bring a portable GPS device if desired.
  • There is no cell phone service in the area. Please inform friends and family of your plans, and be sure to sign in at the register box at Wire Pass Trailhead.
  • The House Rock Valley Road, the only means of accessing the Wire Pass Trailhead, may be rendered impassable in wet weather. Even in favorable conditions, it can be bumpy and sandy. A vehicle with sufficiently high clearance to navigate these obstacles is recommended. If you are uncomfortable driving in these conditions, you may wish to hire a guide service. Using a guide does not exclude you from the permit requirement, nor does it increase your chances of getting one.  
  • You must pack out all trash, including your own waste. Burying or burning toilet paper is not allowed.
  • Dogs are allowed, but they must be kept leashed at all times. They are subject to a $7.00 per animal entrance fee (which doesn’t count against the ‘human’ quota), and you are required to pack out their waste as well.  
  • No overnight camping or fires are allowed in the Coyote Buttes area.
  • Again, The Wave is in high-demand year-round. Statistically speaking, your chances are slim that you will get a permit. You should have a “plan B” in mind if you are not selected for an online or walk-in permit. Areas you might consider exploring include but are not limited to: Coyote Buttes South (a permit is required, but these tend to be easier to get), White Pocket FoldSteamboat RockCobra ArchBuckskin Gulch or The “New” Wave near Page, AZ.

For more information regarding the Wave go to

Comments Section

193 Responses

    1. Hi Julia,
      The only other alternative for obtaining a Wave permit would be to participate in the in-person lottery held 2 days before your desired hike date.
      You would need to download’s mobile app on your smartphone and follow the instructions for Coyote Buttes North. To apply for the in-person lottery, you must physically be within the prescribed “geofence” area, which includes the towns of Page, Greenhaven, Marble Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs, Jacob Lake, White Sage, Fredonia, Moccasin, and the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation in Arizona; as well as Big Water, Paria, Johnson Canyon, Kanab, Mt. Carmel, Orderville, Glendale, and East Zion in Utah. If you are successful at obtaining a permit in this manner, you would be required to attend a safety briefing in either Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT, the day prior to your hike.
      Since the likelihood of your being successful at getting a Wave permit are statistically low, it would be wise to start making alternate plans for touring other sites that area just as scenic but don’t require a permit. The Alt Wave Adventure with Kanab Tour Company would be one possibility, as would White Pocket, Soap Creek, the New Wave, Wire Pass Canyon and/or Buckskin Gulch.
      Should you really have your heart set on seeing The Wave at any price, you might consider chartering a plane or helicopter out of the Page Municipal Airport. Yes, this would be a pricey way to go, and neither aircraft would land at The Wave, but you would see a ton of incredible scenery in a relatively short amount of time. For more information, visit our partner site, So You Didn’t Get A Wave Permit – Now What?
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Isha,
      Children may accompany parents on the hike to The Wave, but you are responsible for judging whether they would be able to handle it without difficulty or injury. You would also need to include them on your permit application.
      Bear in mind that the hike to The Wave is approximately 6 miles round-trip, and considered “moderate” in terms of difficulty. During the summer months, daytime high temperatures can get up above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be uncomfortable for an adult, much less a child. You would need to ensure that you bring enough water for yourselves and for your kids, and you would need to pack out all waste, including the “bodily” kind!
      Seeing as though The Wave might be too much for a 5 YO to handle, plus the odds of you getting a permit are low anyway, you might consider the New Wave Trail near Page, AZ. This is a much shorter and easier trail that leads to a small but interesting cluster of rock formations, some of which bear slight resemblance to The Wave.
      For more information on The Wave, please visit our companion site,
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  1. Is the permit you squire for the wave, the same permit for antelope canyon? Or do I have to apply for two separate permits?

  2. I’m sorry if this has been answered but I have looked everywhere for the answer and can’t find a clear one. If my husband and I both apply for a daily permit, is there any way we both can be chosen? It seems odd that we would both pay the application fee and only one of us should win. Do we apply as a group of 2? Or is that reserved for 4 or more (which is how it looks everywhere I’ve read)?

    1. Hi Angie,
      Parties of two are welcome to apply for Wave permits, and you and your husband should apply for the lottery as one entry. Applying separately will be flagged as a duplicate entry, resulting in the forfeiture of both entries, and no refund of your application fee.
      If you have further questions about the Wave lottery process, visit Coyote Buttes North Advance Lottery or phone the Page-Lake Powell Hub (one of the locations for the safety briefing) at (928) 608-5749.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. We have a large family and I applied for a group of 6. My son is an adult and also going along. Can he apply for a permit also to increase our chances? My sister lives in another state and was going to apply for a group of 6 also. I wanted those to apply that could so that we have a greater chance of getting a permit for some of us. Does that make sense? I called the number and asked and they said I could only apply once but others in our group could apply but I wanted to double check. Didn’t want my application to be disqualified.

      1. Hi Tisha,
        According to, “each individual may submit only one application per lottery; being an alternate permit holder or group member prevents one from applying for their own permit.” If your sister has a group of 6 individuals who are not included on your permit application, she is welcome to apply.
        Good luck and in the likely event your family is not selected for a Wave hiking permit, please visit our companion site, for ideas of other areas to visit that are just as beautiful and don’t require a permit.
        Best wishes for safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  3. Hello! I registered for lottery twice by mistake. I really dont want to be disqualified. Is there any chance i can delete one application?

    1. Hi Olena,
      Since both the advance and walk-in hiking permit lotteries for The Wave are administered by, you must work with them to remedy the error. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, on the bottom right hand side, you’ll find tabs for “Your Account” and “Your Reservations.” You could try to delete the duplicate application from either of those. You might also look on their “Help Center” page to see if you can find what you need there. If that doesn’t work, they do have a phone line that is staffed from 10:00 AM to Midnight Eastern Standard Time. That number is (877) 444-6777 or (606) 515-6777 if you’re calling from overseas.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Arlene,
      You certainly can enter the advance online lottery for Wave permits, which is held 4 months prior to your desired hike month. Therefore, if you wish to hike in April 2023, you would apply in December 2023; if May 2023 is when you wish to go, you would apply in January 2023, and so on, on
      For the in-person lottery, held 2 days prior to your desired hike date, you would need to be within the prescribed geofence area, namely, in Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT, and a short radius around these two towns. You can only apply via your phone or connected mobile device (e.g. tablet), with GPS on. You cannot apply via a desktop or laptop computer.
      For more information about hiking The Wave, and other activities to check out in the likely event your lottery entry is not successful, visit our companion site,
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels.
      Alley 🙂


    1. Dear Tamar,
      We are so sorry for your family’s loss.
      Unfortunately, we cannot cancel or modify reservations from this site. You will need to contact the tour company you originally booked with to receive a refund. The company name should be listed on your credit card receipt.
      Again, our deepest sympathies. We wish you a safe return to Israel. Hope you can come back to Arizona someday.

  5. Hi! I have a permit for a group of 4. I submitted 3 names as alternate permit holders. 2 of the alternate permit holders won’t be able to come. Can I still invite 2 other people to come with me?

    1. Hi Casey,
      According to, “Wave permits are non-transferable except for up to three specific people you list when applying for the lottery. These people are called “alternate permit holders”. If you win a permit and are stopped by a ranger on your hike to The Wave, either you or a listed alternate permit holder must be present with your group.” To me this implies that if you substitute 2 out of 3 people as your alternate permit holder, you should be OK as long as you and one of the original names on your alternate permit holder list are present.
      However, to be absolutely sure about this, I strongly recommend that you read the information packet that you received with your permit, or contact the BLM at BLM at (435) 688-3200 or the Page-Lake Powell Hub at 928-608-9749.
      Good luck and safe travels,

  6. I registered and confirmed my permit yesterday and submitted a list of names of the party. Today, I find out that one person can’t go and someone else wants to go instead. I’m the permit holder. Does the names of the rest of party matter? Thanks, Frank

    1. Hi Frank,
      Wave permits are non-transferable except for up to three specific people you list when applying for the lottery. These people are called “alternate permit holders”. If you win a permit and are stopped by a ranger on your hike to The Wave, either you or a listed alternate permit holder must be present with your group. If not, your group may be ticketed. Alternate permit holders must have an account on
      If the person who canceled was not an alternate permit holder, a different person should be able to take their place without issue. To be 100% certain, you might call the BLM Visitors Center in Kanab, UT, at (435) 644-1300.
      Good luck and safe travels,

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