Coyote Buttes North Tour


Jan 17, 2012
Monday, December 29, 2014

On Monday morning we got an early start and drove back to the Wire Pass trailhead so we could spend the day in Coyote Buttes North and visit the Wave. While I have been here plenty of times over the past couple of years and had no intentions of returning this year, Diane had never been here before and really wanted to visit the Wave. I managed to get a pair of permits for today and that's the main reason we planned this end of the year trip to Page. The last few times I have been to Coyote Buttes North I barely stopped by the Wave and instead I explored other areas that are less visited, but this time we hiked straight to the Wave and waited until it was in good light. While waiting for the sun to crest over Top Rock and light up the Wave I explored more of the area above and took a few photos under Top Rock Arch. While the temperature outside wasn't too cold this morning, it was pretty windy all day and that kept us pretty chilled, especially when we were in the shade.

Entering the Wave. We were the first ones here today.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There are some really great colors in the sandstone up above the Wave and below the Black Crack. The colors are especially nice when the sandstone is in the shade and there is light reflecting off of the buttes across Sand Cove Wash.

Ledge Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I'm calling this area Crazy Corner, named after Crazy Hill in the Valley of Fire State Park that also has a lot of color.

Crazy Corner
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Crazy Color
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

More interesting designs and colors. Such a great place to explore the little details.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before the Wave was all in the light, I made sure to check out the reflected light in the Passage.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

In The Passage
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Striations and color everywhere you look.

Around the Corner
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It was pretty cold in the shade, especially when the wind was blowing. Diane made sure to keep bundled up and warm.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Into the Passage
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Almost out of the shadows.

Shadow Wave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane in the Wave when the shadows finally disappeared.

Diane in The Wave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just another classic Wave photo.

Classic Wave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

An iPhone picture of Diane and I taken by another friendly visitor. Even though I counted about 30 people in Coyote Buttes North today (including Diane and myself...where's a BLM Ranger when you want one around?), pretty much everyone we ran into was very nice and friendly, which is better than I can say about some of my other visits.

Diane and I in The Wave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After taking a few photos of the Wave we decided to head over to the Second Wave so Diane could see it and so I could see if it would be in the light this early.

On the way I took this photo, which is probably my favorite from the entire day. I love the warm tones that are reflected from across the canyon contrasting with the cool tones on the top of the ridges.

Soft Lines
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Second Wave was just emerging from the shadows when we arrived.

Second Wave Top
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After hiking around in the shade for a little while, Diane was happy to be in the warm sunlight again!

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Reflections on the ice.

Icy Reflection
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Next, we went back down through the Wave so we could hike up Sand Cove Wash and visit part of Sand Cove. We hadn't been gone very long and already the left side was in the shadows. You don't get a long period of time without shadows at this time of the year.

Core of The Wave
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another Classic
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Such vibrant colors!

Painted Rock
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sand Cove Wash was a sheet of ice through the narrow section, but enough sand had been blown onto it that it was easy to walk across without slipping.

Rock & Ice
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Icy Slot
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sand & Stone
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I thought this sandfall (sand + waterfall) was interesting.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Rock Garden
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We hiked as far as The Racetrack before starting our hike back to the trailhead.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Of course, we made sure to go back a different way from Sand Cove so Diane could experience as much of the area as possible. We started out by climbing up to The Boneyard.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Diane says this looks like a ham bone.

Ham Bone
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We stopped to find the dinosaur tracks.

Dinosaur Tracks
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As always, plenty of beautiful scenery all around.

Sandstone Temples
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before finishing the hike back out to the trailhead, we made a detour to High Heel Arch since it's a place I had not visited before. I'm glad we did since this arch appears to have suffered from a recent partial collapse. Who knows how much longer it will survive? I think I like the look of the arch now as opposed to before the collapse.

High Heel Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Not much left holding it up there now!

What's Left
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After reaching the trailhead we drove back to Page, had some dinner and then relaxed in our hotel room for the rest of the night. It had been a good day and Diane was happy to finally visit Coyote Buttes North and the Wave.

>> Coyote Buttes North Tour Photo Gallery
>> The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

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Nov 11, 2014
Nice pictures as always, have to try see the Arch before it's gone, however like Landscape Arch it may take many more years.
Never been to CBN in the more quiet winter period, but the area is wonderful any time of the year.
When we pass there we always try to get that permit, last april we were lucky the 4th morning, there is so much to see and do between Kanab and Page that some waiting for the permit is hardly a problem, but i preferred the time that you could get it almost any day you tried even in april or may.
The rest of the area is also already suffering from the closure of the road to the Wahweap Hoodoos and the white slot canyons.
I wonder when access to White Pocket will become more restricted as well.


Searching for a paradise....
Dec 28, 2014
Awesome reports man. I always like to read your post. You're photography is beautiful! Thanks for sharing, definitely gets me excited to get that permit and do the wave.


Jul 5, 2014
Thanks Randy. I just read the several pages on the BLM website with the lottery rules, FAQ's and the 20 min video you are required to watch before you can access the actual lottery application. Sounds like if I send it in I'll have about a 4% chance. This is all a bit of culture shock to me. I'm used to pulling up to trailheads and seeing 3 or 4 cars on a Saturday.
Last edited:
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