Trail Report: The Wave, Arizona

After spending a day hiking around Zion National Park, we spent another night in Hurricane and left early Sunday morning and headed towards The Wave, in Arizona.The drive from Hurricane to The Wave is about 2 hours. One thing we forgot to take into account was the time difference between Utah and Arizona, since this was before day lights savings time, we actually gained an hour going from Utah to Arizona and made it to the trail head around 7:30 AM. Once you turn off from Hwy 89 onto Red Rock Canyon Road, the road becomes unpaved and this last 10 mile stretch will take about 30 minutes depending on the road condition and weather. Based on our permit, a high clearance, 4WD vehicle came highly recommended but since there was no rain in the recent forecast, we decided to test out the road with our 2WD. The trail was surprisingly well maintained and luckily, we arrived at the trail head with no problems.

My recommendation for anyone who wants to drive a 2WD to The Wave is to check the weather forecast and make sure there is no rain predicted in the forecast. The  soil is fine and clayey on the road, with rain, it would be VERY easy to get stuck.

The Wave

The start of the trail, note the bright pink permit I had to hang off my backpack. Only 20 people are allowed on this trail per day.
The round trip hike to the Wave is 5 miles but the trail is not well established or marked. We relied on the trail map and a photo map sent to us by the BLM along with our permit. Louis was our navigator and did a great job navigating us to our final destination.

The temperature in the morning was much cooler than in Hurricane. We started out with our jackets and started shedding our layers once the sun came out. The entire trail is fully exposed and It’s easy to imagine what a dangerous environmental it must be in the middle of the summer when the temperature exceeds the triple digits.

The Wave

The Wave

Group shot before descending down to the canyon. Tip for navigating: make sure you understand how to read a topographic map before trying out this trail. We had to figure out which direction we were going based on the elevation differences on the top versus the actual terrain.  The Wave The Wave

The group coming down into the canyon before finding The Wave.
The Wave


We made it!

We were all in aw of how beautiful it was when we first arrived at the entrance of The Wave. It’s hard to believe something so perfect and beautiful were formed naturally by mother nature. Having the entire area to ourselves with the dramatic colors of the sand stones made my heart ache a little, it was just so perfect.

The Wave

Classic Wave photo with the group
The Wave The Wave We think this is the second wave about 0.25 miles away from the entrance.The WaveThe Wave The Wave


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