Coyote Buttes South

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 South

Coyote Buttes South is not The Wave. To visit The Wave, you will need a permit for Coyote Buttes North.

You can enjoy exploring and discovering your own routes in Coyote Buttes South. This remote area offers opportunity for solitude where you will very likely see no one or have only occasional contact with other visitors. Most of your time in this area requires hiking in deep sand. There are no designated hiking trails or specific destinations in Coyote Buttes South. You should be in good physical condition and have good backcountry hiking and navigation skills.

Roads leading to the permit area have deep sand and sharp rock. Two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles are not sufficient for getting to the access points. You must have a four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle. Experience driving in deep sand is also important. Every year, groups get stuck and stranded after attempting the drive without adequate experience or vehicles.

Permits

  • You must have an advance permit for day-use. 
  • There is no overnight camping allowed in the Coyote Buttes permit area.
  • Half of each day's permits to Coyote Buttes South are available through an online calendar up to four months in advance. 
  • The other half is available in person, as a walk-in permit at the Kanab Center (in the gymnasium) at 180 E. 100 North, Kanab, Utah 84741, one day before you want to hike. See times below in the FAQ section.
  • We issue permits for 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 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 to forfeit it.  
  • Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Regulations

  • 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, you may need to show government identification for permit verification.
  • Violation of permit terms or other BLM regulations may invalidate an issued permit, requiring a group to terminate their visit.
  • Permits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

The permit website can only process transactions that use a credit card for payment.  For more information or for answers to permit questions, you can call 435-688-3200 or email us. We cannot return calls from international phone numbers.

Road Conditions

The roads to reach the permit area are unpaved and minimally maintained. Lone Tree is the only trailhead that may be accessible with a two-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicle when House Rock Valley Road conditions are good. However, accessing the permit area using this option adds an additional five-mile round trip hike through deep sand. 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 is not maintained regularly. We recommend high clearance four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles to navigate rough, rocky, and rutted roads. The road is impassable when wet. Lone Tree Trailhead is located on House Rock Valley Road. It is about 16 miles south of U.S. Highway 89 or 13 miles north of U.S. Highway 89A

Paria Plateau Roads: Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are required. Accessing Paw Hole and Cottonwood Cove involves driving on the Paria Plateau. These roads are all rocky and deep sand and the conditions vary greatly based on recent weather. Summer is typically more challenging than it is at other times of the year, as the sand roads are dry and powdery, requiring more clearance, more-rugged vehicles, and more experience driving in sandy conditions.

Safety

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 these 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.
  • Safety Tips to Beat the Summer Heat! Protect yourself and the wilderness experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a permit?

You must have a permit for hiking in Coyote Buttes South. The fees are $5.00 per person. Dogs must be included on the permit, and the fee is $5.00 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 South in advance, either online or as a walk-in.

How do I get a permit online?

For Coyote Buttes South, you can get online permits only by selecting available dates on a calendar. These permits are first-come, first-served and are made available up to four months in advance. If you are planning a trip less than four months in advance, you have two options: you can check the calendar on the permit page to see if any slots are available, or you can try to get a walk-in permit the day before you want to hike. 

We accept applications beginning at noon on for a permit during
Jan. 1 April
Feb. 1 May
March 1 June
April 1 July
May 1 August
June 1 September
July 1 October
Aug. 1 November
Sept. 1 December
Oct. 1 January
Nov. 1 February
Dec. 1 March
How many permits do you issue online?

We issue half of the available daily slots for Coyote Buttes South online. The total number of permits will vary by group size, but the total available slots for each area is 20 people per day. 

What are the odds of getting a permit online?

Permits for Coyote Buttes South are usually available if you are ready to go when the permit calendar opens.  Spring and fall fill up quickly; summer and winter will fill up but not as fast.

How do I get a walk-in permit?

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 calendar and are visiting the southern Utah/northern Arizona area, you can try for a permit for Coyote Buttes South at the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 20 N. 100 East in Kanab, Utah. From mid-March to mid-November, we issue walk-in permits seven days a week. From mid-November through mid-March, we issue walk-in permits Monday–Friday, except for three federal holidays: Thanksgiving (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 Friday. Please call 435-644-1300 or email us with questions. 

Walk-in permit procedures:
•    For Coyote Buttes South, go to the Kanab Center Gymnasium, 20 N. 100 East between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. Mountain time to submit your application. Remember this is in Utah, which observes daylight saving time; Arizona does not observe daylight saving time. Names are selected for permits for Coyote Buttes South at 10:00 a.m.

•    The Coyote Buttes South permits are distributed after the Coyote Buttes North Lottery, which is 8:30 to 9:00.

•    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 drawing. If more than one member from your group submits an application, your group will be disqualified.

•    Permit holders may be required to show government-issued identification.

Walk-in Permit Example 

•    Three groups show up on a Tuesday. One group of six and two groups of four

•    We hold a drawing with one potential permit available for each group

•    If the group of six and the group of four are successful, all 10 slots are filled

•    If the two groups of four are successful, there are still two slots remaining, and the group of six is then faced with a difficult decision, because only two members of their party can receive a permit.

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.

Am I limited to one trip 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 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 20 people per day into Coyote Buttes South. This is a cumulative total from all trailheads/access points.

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 in the permit. This includes infants that are not walking.  

Once I have my permit, can I change dates or group size?

You will not be able to change permit dates, applicant name, and alternate permit holders.

You may change trailhead, license plate, and the addition of dogs at the ‘My Reservations’ page on Recreation.gov. These modifications are allowed until the permit is printed. No changes may be made after permits are printed.

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 you have paid your fees.

Are commercial guide permits available?

The BLM Arizona Strip and Kanab Field Offices authorize special recreation permits for commercial guide services.

Do the required permits apply to the entire wilderness?

We charge permit fees for the Coyote Buttes North and 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. Permits for Coyote Buttes South are valid only for Coyote Buttes South, for the group size and date specified. They are not valid for other permit areas. They are not valid for The Wave.  

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.

Apply for Permits

Coyote Buttes South
(This is not The Wave. To visit The Wave, you'll need a permit for Coyote Buttes North.)

Contact Us

Arizona Strip District

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Hours: 7:45 am–5 pm 
Monday–Friday
Closed weekends and federal holidays