Quick Guide to Trails in the Falls Creek Area in Durango, Colorado

We’ve outlined some of our favorite hiking trails in the Falls Creek area to make it easier for you to pick a trail that’s right for you!

Hiking In Sedona: What You Should Know

To get you prepped for your hike in Sedona, we’ve compiled advice into a detailed guide on what to expect when going for a hike in Sedona.

Snowshoeing in Durango: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado this season? Here’s a few of our favorite snowshoeing trails for your next Microadventure in Durango!

Our 10 Favorite Places to Hike in Tucson, AZ

As you’re planning you Tucson, Arizona trip, here are our 10 favorite places to hike with trails around Tucson.

Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Boulder, CO this Winter? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area.

5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans

To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van.

Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon

If you’re considering hiking with your family in the Grand Canyon, here are our 10 favorite family-friendly hiking trails.

What is Car Camping?

Trying to figure out what car camping is and why so many people are doing it? Here we define car camping for you in a simple way.

Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure

To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack.

Payson, AZ Free Dispersed Camping Areas

In order to help you narrow down where to camp, here’s a list of our favorite free, dispersed camping spots and areas around Payson, Arizona.

Flagstaff Free Dispersed Camping Map

To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff

Looking to go hiking in Flagstaff? Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A Guide to Camping in Sedona

The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. For those who haven’t visited, Sedona is a mecca for Microadventures. With miles of hiking and biking trails, climbing, and towering red sandstone views, you could spend a lifetime exploring Sedona and not see...

Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map

Trying to figure out where to camp around Sedona, AZ? We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Sedona

With over 200 miles of trails, there’s a lot to choose from in Sedona, Arizona! Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona.

How To Get A Permit To “The Wave”

Get A Permit Through The Lottery System

Located on the border of Utah and Arizona, “The Wave” is the most famous portion of the Coyote Buttes North area managed by the BLM. For those unfamiliar, “The Wave” is comprised of two U-shaped troughs of sandstone on a small mesa within the Coyote Buttes North area. What surprises a lot of hikers is the size of the area itself: it’s extremely small. The main “Wave” feature is only about 118 feet long and 62 feet wide! Wandering around “The Wave” is over before you know it.

The small area and to prevent an influx of tourists, photographers, and Microadventurers from overrunning “The Wave,” the BLM has instituted a permit system in order to moderate and regulate the amount of traffic (and potential damage) that this beautiful and fragile area receives. The permit system is lottery-based where you can apply for permits in one of two ways: online and in-person. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages, but either way you apply, one thing is for certain: the lottery system is extremely competitive. In fact, “The Wave” saw 170,000 permits applications for the year’s 7,300 allocated permits in 2017 alone. Meaning that for every one permit issued, there were 23 other people that applied as well. And only 20 permits are available per day- 10 reserved for the online lottery and 10 for the in-person lottery.

Online Lottery System For “The Wave”

The online lottery system is where a majority of interested hikers apply to get a permit for “The Wave.” As a result, the online lottery system is the more competitive way to get permits compared to the in-person route.

You must apply for a date four months out and just that month only.

What is nice about the online lottery system is that you can apply from anywhere in the world from the comfort of your home without needing to drive to the BLM permitting office for “The Wave” in Kanab, Utah. This can also be a major disadvantage- now you’re competing against interested hikers on the international scene, not just those who are able to drive to Kanab to apply for an in-person permit.

Another disadvantage involves the lottery application fee. To even apply for a permit, there is a $5.00 non-refundable application fee- whether you get a permit to hike or not. If you do manage to snag a permit, there is an additional $7.00 per person fee to actually hike in Coyote Buttes and to see “The Wave.”


Advice On Getting A Permit Online

Try and try again. Get a lucky rabbit’s foot? Can you sacrifice a goat? You get what I’m alluding to…getting a permit to “The Wave” via the online lottery is challenging- you are really gambling and hoping for the best. In fact, when writing this post, we were able to see the actual applications that were coming in for February 2020- and you can see how competitive the online lottery really is first-hand:

Just for February 2020 when we wrote this post, there were already 1,885 applications for just 580 permits. Meaning that this February, you have a 30% chance of getting a permit to “The Wave”…for now. 30% are actually great odds considering that the average is 4-5% during the busy months and 8-25% during the off-season in January.


The Wave Permit Odds

Each day that passes will see a rise in online lottery applications and decreasing odds that you’ll actually get a permit.


One tactic that is recommended to try to get a permit online is to check the calendar on the permit page to see if there are any cancellations. To be successful with this tactic, you almost need to check the calendar at least once a day and add quick if a cancellation happens.


Walk-In Lottery System For “The Wave”

The walk-in lottery system is where things really get interesting. As shown through the video above, you physically apply for a permit in-person at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab, Utah. You have to be at the office to apply in-person at 8:30am in the morning and you will be applying for the next day- not the day of you submitting your application.


Advice On Getting A Permit In-Person

Similar to applying for an online permit to “The Wave,” bring your lucky rabbit’s foot or sacrifice a goat before applying for a walk-in permit. Fortunately, if you plan a trip in the southern Utah or northern Arizona area, you can keep applying for permits in-person every day until you get one. And a lot of hikers do this. They’ll plan a trip to visit nearby Zion National Park, Buckskin Gulch, Page, Arizona, Bryce Canyon, or the Toadstools and just stop in every morning to fill out a permit application and stay for the lottery.

From our own personal experience, applying for permits repeatedly in-person gives you the highest odds to win a permit to “The Wave.”

In addition, apply for weekdays and the off-season (December through February) if you can. Avoid applying for permits for “The Wave” during the peak season and on weekends at all costs- the likelihood of getting a permit is much, much lower.



Applying for permits to see and hike “The Wave” in Coyote Buttes can be challenging. With literally 170,000 people for the year’s 7,300 allocated permits is a little hard to wrap your head around. Your best bet to win a permit for “The Wave” is to only use the walk-in permit lottery (don’t waste your time with the online lottery), be consistent about applying for several days in a row, and apply for weekdays and the off-season (December through February). With those tactics and a little bit of luck, you hopefully will win a permit to “The Wave” eventually. And if not, there’s always scrolling the #thewave Instagram feed and day-dreaming…



Photo Gallery


Resources For “The Wave”

Kirsten Chesney
Kirsten Chesney

Kirsten is the owner of a functional nutrition company named “CustomCare Nutrition.” Based in Flagstaff, Arizona, she is a nutrition and fitness advocate who loves hiking, climbing, and backpacking.




Join our club!

Get the latest Microadventures, travel tips, tricks, and more.


Woohoo! You've joined our club!


Join our club!

Get the latest Microadventures, travel tips, tricks, and more.


Woohoo! You've joined our club!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This