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BLM > Arizona > On-Line Recreation Permits > Paria Canyon Wilderness Area/Vermilion Cliffs National Monument > Paria Canyon Permit Area > Coyote Buttes Permit Area > The Wilderness Experience
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Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
Coyote Buttes Permit Area - The Wilderness Experience

The spectacular scenic beauty of Coyote Buttes is known nationwide. Hikers are drawn to its stunning, colorful, swirling masses of stone; its intricate and delicate display of complex geologic formations that lie exposed like no place else on earth.

Coyote Buttes wilderness area Expect the wild! No designated trails, campsites, signs, or facilities will be found within the wilderness boundary. The slickrock terrain is rugged and hikers should be in good physical condition.

Hiking conditions change in Coyote Buttes with the seasons. During the popular spring and fall seasons, temperatures can be pleasant and hiking conditions ideal. From mid-May to mid-September conditions can be brutally hot. The slickrock terrain that dominates the area absorbs and radiates the heat like an outdoor blast furnace.

While the majority of Coyote Buttes is not affected by flash floods, access to trailheads/access points can be impassable, and even dangerous during the summer thunderstorm season. Always check the forecast and stop by the Paria Contact Station before beginning your hike.

There are two trailheads/access points that offer access to the Coyote Buttes North permit area. Wire Pass is the main trailhead, and the one most commonly used to visit the "Wave." The Notch is an undeveloped access point and should be attempted by experienced hikers only.

What to Expect




the waveThere are three access points that provide entry to the Coyote Buttes South permit area. Lone Tree, Paw Hole, and Cottonwood Cove are all undeveloped access points. Lone Tree is accessible in dry conditions with a two-wheel drive high-clearance vehicle. Paw Hole and Cottonwood Cove are four-wheel drive only and should be attempted only by drivers experienced at driving in deep sand conditions.

There is no water in Coyote Buttes. Pack in all you will need for the day.  Plan on at least 1 gallon (3.75 liters) of water per person per day.

Are there visitor use limits in Coyote Buttes?

Yes, 20 persons total are allowed into each Coyote Buttes North and Coyote Buttes South. This is the total from all trailheads/access points for each permit area. Individual group size is limited to six individuals. If the group is larger than 6 people, the group will need to split into two groups of no more than 6 people each and each group is required to enter the area on a separate day and is not permitted to travel with, or enter or exit with, the other group. 

Why does the BLM limit visitor use in these areas?

High visitor use, combined with the fragile and delicate geologic features in the area, impacts the wilderness character of Coyote Buttes. Overcrowding can degrade an otherwise memorable hiking trip. The visitor use limits are intended to meet resource management goals while preserving a pristine wilderness experience for visitors to this unique and special place. 

How come Coyote Buttes has a North and a South? What's the difference?

They may be adjacent to each other, but the two permit areas are both unique. Coyote Buttes North is very popular and online lottery permits are issued months in advance. It contains the internationally famous "Wave", which has graced numerous calendars and coffee table books. Coyote Buttes South is remote, difficult to reach, and has some of the most beautiful and delicate geologic features found anywhere.

 Vermilion Cliffs National Monument 
Monument Manager:  Wayne Monger, Acting
345 E. Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790-6714
(435) 688-3200 
Hours: 7:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday 
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday 
Closed Sunday