Coyote Buttes North (The Wave)
Paria Canyon / Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
ALL Permits are NON-REFUNDABLE and NON-TRANSFERABLE
Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) and Coyote Buttes South are a small part of the 112,500-acre Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness and have some of the most visually striking geologic sandstone formations in the world.
Coyote Buttes permit areas are within a backcountry, undeveloped wilderness area and do not contain any developed trails or facilities. To preserve wilderness character and limit damage to the fragile area, the Bureau of Land Management limits visitation to Coyote Buttes through a permit system. You must have a permit to visit Coyote Buttes North and Coyote Buttes South.
Visiting Coyote Buttes North (The Wave)
The suggested route to The Wave is a strenuous 6.4-mile round-trip hike in a wilderness area which requires visitors to cross challenging terrain and use way finding skills. Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should consider the physical abilities and fitness level of all group members when trip planning.
Forty-eight people or 12 groups (whichever comes first) each day are awarded permits through an online lottery four months in advance.
Sixteen people or four groups (whichever comes first) per day are awarded permits through a next-day, walk-in lottery located at the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 180 E. 100 North in Kanab, Utah, Utah, one day in advance. Learn about the walk-in lottery in response to COVID-19.
Read more about permits and lotteries in the FAQ section below.
Along with your permit, we'll give you a map with photo points directing you to The Wave. There is no trail, and only a few signs, so you'll need to follow the landmarks on the map.
- You must have an advance permit for day use.
- There is no overnight camping allowed in the Coyote Buttes permit area.
- You can get day-use permits online, or at the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 180 E. 100 North in Kanab, Utah, the day before you wish to hike. See times below in the FAQ section.
- We issue permits every day of the year, but changing conditions mean that getting to Coyote Buttes is not always safe or possible. Consider likely road conditions and weather before applying.
Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Permits cannot be rescheduled, even when conditions are poor. If you receive a permit for a day with unsafe conditions, you must choose whether to use the permit or forfeit it.
- Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- Campfires are prohibited.
- Dogs are allowed, but you must include them in the permit and keep them under control at all times. You must pack out their waste.
- If your group exceeds the group size limit, you may be cited. Joining with people on a separate permit to exceed 6 people is prohibited.
- Pack out all your trash, including toilet paper.
- Use of public land for business or financial gain requires a special permit.
- Wilderness is closed to motor vehicles, mechanical transport, and motorized equipment.
- Launching or landing drones is prohibited in wilderness areas. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones are aircraft as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration, and are therefore not allowed to take off or land in BLM wilderness areas. 43 CFR 6302.20
- If BLM staff ask to see your permit during your hike, your may need to show government identification for permit verification.
- Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
The permit website can only process transactions that use a credit card for payment. For more information, for answers to permit questions, you can call 435-688-3200 or email us. We cannot return calls from international phone numbers.
The road to reach the permit area is unpaved and minimally maintained. Most of the time, two-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles can get to the trailhead. However, four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles may be required when the road is wet. During the rainy season and the winter months, the road may become impassable for all vehicles, even those with four-wheel-drive.
House Rock Valley Road: House Rock Valley Road in Utah from U.S. Highway 89 to Stateline Campground is not maintained. We recommend high clearance four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles to navigate rough, rocky and sandy roads. The road is impassable when wet.
Expect the wild! There are few route markers, no drinking water sources, and only occasional contact with other visitors and BLM employees. To protect yourself and the wilderness experience, please take the following precautions:
- Check weather, hiking, and road conditions before you set out.
- Carry and drink at least one gallon (3.75 liters) of water per person per day.
- Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you plan to return, so that someone can alert authorities in case of an emergency.
- Cell phone service is unreliable in the wilderness. You may be able to call 911 from certain locations, but there is no guarantee.
- Bring a map and compass or GPS, and know how to use them.
- Plan for heat and sun. Bring sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, and a lightweight long-sleeved shirt and pants.
- Make sure you have enough food, water, and clothing to stay overnight if you run into problems. Keep extra supplies in your vehicle.
- Do I need a permit?
You must have a permit for hiking in Coyote Buttes North. The fees are $7 per person per day. Dogs must be included on the permit, and the fee is $7 per dog.
- Can I get a self-pay permit at the trailhead?
No. Self-pay permits are only available for day-use within Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon, and Wire Pass. These permits do not give you access to Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) or South. You must purchase permits for Coyote Buttes North in advance, either through the online lottery or at the in-person lottery.
- How do I get a permit online?
For Coyote Buttes North, you will need to enter the lottery to obtain a permit four months in advance. Detailed lottery information can be found below.
Apply... for a permit during... Lottery runs at 9 am Mountain time Jan. 1-31 May Feb. 1 Feb. 1-28 June March 1 March 1-31 July April 1 April 1-30 August May 1 May 1-31 September June 1 June 1-30 October July 1 July 1-31 November Aug. 1 Aug. 1-31 December Sept. 1 Sept. 1-30 January Oct. 1 Oct. 1-31 February Nov. 1 Nov. 1-30 March Dec. 1 Dec. 1-31 April Jan. 1
- How many permits do you issue online?
Limits are based on people and groups visiting the area each day. A daily maximum of 48 people or 12 groups (whichever comes first) is awarded through the online lottery system.
- Why is there an online lottery, and how does it work?
Coyote Buttes North is an internationally renowned hiking destination. In order to make it fair for everyone, we use a lottery system. The lottery works like this:
- You must apply four months in advance.
- You have an entire month to apply.
- (For example, you can apply January 1-31, and the online lottery would occur February 1 for permits to visit The Wave in May.)
- You can choose up to three entry dates per application. If you are a successful applicant, you will only be authorized one trip.
- There is a non-refundable $9 administrative fee to apply per application.
- There is no age limit to apply, but there must be adult accompaniment for the hike.
- We will notify you on the first of the month via e-mail if your application was successful or not.
- See the "Lottery Example" below for a more detailed explanation.
Online Lottery Example
Let's say you want to visit Coyote Buttes North in April. Here's the procedure you would follow.
- Go to the Permit Page between December 1 and December 31.
- Follow the directions, choosing up to three possible entry dates. If successful, you will only be authorized one date.
- You will be notified via e-mail the first day in January whether your lottery application was successful or not. If you do not receive a notification, call 877-444-6777. You must check whether your application was successful. If your application was successful, you must accept your permits by the 15th of the month or your permits will be relinquished.
- After being notified, you will have 14 calendar days to pay for your permit. You can pay online with your credit card. Your e-mail notification will contain a link to a secure web page, where you can pay and submit the remainder of your trip information.
- We will mail your permit to you four to six weeks after you have paid your fees.
- How do I enter the walk-in lottery?
The walk-in lottery location and procedure have changed in response to COVID-19. Check details on the Utah Current Operating Status Page
If you missed the online lottery and are visiting the southern Utah/northern Arizona area, you can enter the lottery for a walk-in permit for Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) at the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 180 E. 100 North in Kanab, Utah. Sixteen people or four groups (whichever comes first) are awarded permits at the walk-in lottery, one day in advance.
From mid-March to mid-November, walk-in permits are issued daily. From mid-November through mid-March, we issue walk-in permits Monday–Friday, except for three federal holidays: Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), and New Year's Day (January 1). During this time, we will draw permits for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on the previous Friday.
Walk-in Permit Procedures
- For Coyote Buttes North (The Wave), go to the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 180 E. 100 North, at 8:30 a.m. Mountain time to submit your application. Be aware of posssible time changes as you travel. For example, the lottery takes place in Utah, which observes daylight saving time; Arizona does not observe daylight saving time. The lottery for Coyote Buttes North runs at 9:00 a.m.
- You must pay for walk-in permits with either exact cash or check. We cannot make change, and there is no ATM available. We do not accept credit cards.
- Only one person per group may enter the lottery. If more than one member from your group submits an application, your group will be disqualified from the lottery.
- You may be required to show government-issued identification.
Walk-in Lottery Example
Sixteen permits or four groups (whichever comes first) are available for the walk-in lottery. Here's an example:
- Seventy-five people show up on a Tuesday.
- The first to be drawn is a group of four.
- (12 people or 3 groups remain)
- The next to be drawn is a group of five.
- (7 people or 2 groups remain)
- Next drawn is a group of four.
- (3 people or 1 group remain)
- Finally, a group of five is drawn. This group will have a difficult decision: only three members of their party can receive a permit, or they can decide not to go that day. If this group decides not to take the permit, we will continue drawing until a permit is issued.
Gaming the System
Some people have tried to circumvent the process by having more than one person in their group enter the drawing. This is dishonest and unfair to those who follow the rules. Please respect your fellow hikers and the BLM staff. If more than one member from your group submits an application, your group will be disqualified from the lottery.
- Am I limited to one trip to The Wave per year?
No, but you cannot hold more than one permit for a permit area at the same time.
- Am I limited to one trip to The Wave per month?
No, but you cannot hold more than one permit for a permit area at the same time.
- Is there a daily limit on people in Coyote Buttes?
Yes. We allow up to 64 people per day into Coyote Buttes North (The Wave).
- How many groups may enter per day?
There is a maximum of 16 groups per day.
- What is the group size limit?
No more than six people per group. If you exceed this limit, you may be cited. Joining people on a separate permit to exceed six people is prohibited. Everyone, regardless of age, must be included on the permit. This includes infants that are not walking.
Dogs do not count toward the group limit, but there is a charge for dogs.
- Once I have my permit, can I change dates or group size?
There will be no changes or modifications allowed to permit dates, applicant name, alternate permit holders and group size following the application process. The only way to modify these details is to cancel the first application and submit a new one, which will require an additional payment of the $9 application fee. Once the lottery has run, no changes can be made.
If the primary permit holder cannot make the trip on the permit date, the permit can only be used by the alternate permit holders listed on the application. If a primary or alternate permit holder is not present, the permit is invalid.
- How long will it take to get my permit after I pay?
We will mail out permits four to six weeks after the online lottery has run.
We issue walk-in lottery permits following the lottery and a safety briefing.
- Are commercial guide permits available?
Yes, the BLM's Arizona Strip Field Office and Kanab Field Office authorize special recreation permits for commercial guide services.
- Do the required permits apply to the entire wilderness?
Permits for Coyote Buttes North are valid only for Coyote Buttes North, for the group size and date specified. They are not valid for other permit areas. Permit fees are charged for the Coyote Buttes North and Coyote Buttes South, Buckskin Gulch, Wire Pass and the Paria Canyon permit areas only. The rest of the surrounding areas are open to use without permits or limits.
There is no overnight camping authorized for any of the permits mentioned above. Visit Recreation.gov for information on Paria Canyon Overnight permits. For Paria overnight permits, you must apply for, obtain, and purchase a permit in advance and pick up your permit in person within 10 days of the start date of your trip.
- Can I get a "rain check" after I pay my fees?
No. Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable. We cannot issue "rain checks" for any reason.
- Can I get a refund for my fee?
No, fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.