The Wave Facts
- The Wave represents a truly lovely and magnificent geological formation that remains managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
- The amazing site in North America remains well-known among photographers, due to its incredible color patterns and undulating forms. Dedicated hikers love the region for the extreme difficulty in simply reaching it.
- This entire region in which this marvel of Nature formed, the North Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area, remains so fragile that special permits must be applied for in order to visit it.
- To protect the area as much as possible, the number of special passes issued to allow visiting the area remains strictly limited to only 20 per day.
The Wave Composition and Formation
The Wave remains a visually stunning formation composed primarily of sand dunes that slowly changed to sandstone 190 million years ago.
The startlingly unique visual pattern formed by the accumulation of subsequent layers of windblown sand deposited atop existing layers. These later also clung to the sandstone.
The two major troughs measure roughly 62 ft. (19 m) wide by 118 ft. (36 m) and 7 ft. (2 m) wide by 52 ft. (16 m) long, respectively.
The Wave and Erosion
This fabulous site straddles the border between Utah and Arizona, in the United States.
The troughs originally eroded by rainwater. However, the basin that fed the rainwater through the area has long since shrunk below the point of being able to continue the process. Now the process continues through wind erosion.
Being a sandstone formation, the ridges and ribbed areas remain so fragile, that they will crumble underfoot, so authorities discourage hiking along them.
This little-known site can be accessed only by an arduous 3 mile (5 km) hike over the extremely rough terrain. It is located in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness area.