The Wave, December 2010


Aug 9, 2007
December 2010

After failing to get permits at least a dozen times, I was finally able to visit Coyote Buttes North last weekend. We made it to the Wire Pass trailhead around 8:30am and spent pretty much the whole day out there, we didn't get back to the truck until after sometime after 4 (and still made it out to White Pocket before dark!). It's kind of funny, everyone gets so worked up about seeing The Wave but we probably only spent 30 minutes there, the rest of the area is really incredible, The Wave was just one small thing to see out of many.

Here is a map with some key points around The Wave including how to get to Sand Cove.

The first two and a half miles is a mix of sand slogging and really enjoyable slick rock wandering. This shot is taken during the latter.

As we arrived at the sand hill leading to The Wave we were catching up to a couple of people so we decided to head up the wash to Sand Cove instead. It was a really nice, warm day out but as soon as we got into the shade things were icy cold.

The canyon that leads to Sand Cove was really fun. It slotted up a few times and even had a dry fall that head to be negotiated.

After the little hike through the narrow sections, the canyon opens up to Sand Cove, a truly amazing place. We wandered up to near the top of the canyon where a spring fed a nice grove of trees. The next few pics are from Sand Cove.



The view from the spring near the top of Sand Cove

And zoomed in a bit

From Sand Cove we found a route up some beautiful multi-colored slickrock and onto the bench where the Wave is found. This is a view on the route up.

Once we were on the bench we made our way north to the area of The Wave, stopping to see the various formations and pools along the way.

We finally got to The Wave around 1:30pm. Kind of late in the day for this time of the year. Most of it was in the shadows but I still had to try for the classic Wave shot. I liked it better in black and white.

And here's a few other shots from The Wave




Very nice. Even though we made it out over the notch area, we still don't know the route back to our friggin' campsite. We ended up all the way back at the regular TH, which worked out good because both of our cars were there anyway :).

We went up and over via your "Near the top of sand cove" picture where you see that low-lying area on the terrain map. It's so funny how low it looks on the map, but we had to do some serious hiking just to get up to that point.
The Notch route is the pass that is directly west of my furthest south blue marker, right?

Yes, that's it. Coming down it was VERY sketchy. Lot's of route finding around cliffs, dry falls, etc. It was an adventure though I could have done without the 70 mph wind gusts!
It would be cool without the wind, for sure. It's just odd coming over because you think you're further south than you actually are. If you were wanting to get back to the trailhead, it's not a bad option, although I'd venture to say that returning on the same trail is more scenic the whole way back as opposed to the notch route; once you're down the other side you're just following a shallow wash with a lot of cow manure.
It looks like you guys were probably following the wash just on the other side of that tiny ridge right next to the road, right? Would it be better if you could just go straight west over that and not go northwest in the wash?