The Wave January 2019

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S.O.S!!! I have a permit to hike the Wave January 2018. Was very happy that i got so lucky, but have a different feelings now. What should i expect with government shutdown condition? Do they have control on how many people entering that area? Would i see a crowd of people and mess everywhere just like in Yosemite? I am specifically selecting remote and not overcrowded areas for my hikes. If you been there recently, please advice - to go or not to go.
 

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#2
Law enforcement rangers are keeping an eye on that area....there have been citations given. But I'm sure people are sneaking in and not getting caught....but that happens even without the government shutdown.
 

Nick

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#3
Just go. Like Randy said, law enforcement is watching it, and if there were a few sneaky folks, it's not going to ruin your experience. The biggest consideration is House Rock Road. The storm last night dropped snow in the area. Not a big deal if it stays frozen but if it gets really wet and muddy that could be a problem.
 
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Thank you Randy! I have two people with me who didn't have much hiking experience, that what make me nervous.
 

Titans

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#6
Thank you Nick! That road would be a scary place for me )))

@alenakl - I don't think, you will see crowds of people in that area (rangers still patrol the area and fines are steep). The toilets at the trailhead might be more dirty during shut-down and there might not be any toilet paper, but there won't be a mess on the trail or at the Wave.
You might actually be very lucky.... because there could be 10 people LESS than normal, because it's not possible to get a permit the day before, as long as the shut-down is active. In addition, some people with (!) on-line permits don't show up on the day of the permit. There are always people who need to look over their shoulder all day long, because they don't have a permit. We certainly saw a couple doing just that 2 years ago.

The biggest concern during the shut-down is perhaps, that it might be challenging to get a reliable up-date of the winter condition of House Rock Valley Road. Sometimes that dirt road is cork dry and in those dry situations, it's no problem to drive the 8 miles to the Wirepass trailhead - OR - in the worst case, the road could be impassable (!) after snow, rain and it is very expensive to get towed out (think $700-$1000).

If you think the road would be a "scary place for you" : why don't you consider hiring a tour company / guide to take you all to The Wave? It's very expensive, but you will not have to worry about driving 8 miles in on House Rock Valley Rd. And more important - you will not have to worry all day about driving out again when the road is no longer frozen, like it was early morning.

We hired a tour/guide company a few winters ago to take us to The Wave. Of course the road was cork dry on that particular winter day, so we could easily have driven to the trailhead and we have no problems navigating to The Wave. But you know what? We had an absolute mega perfect and worry free day at the Wave. The tour company has the proper vehicle to get you there (also when House Rock Valley road conditions are not ideal), they have the experience to drive in less than ideal road conditions and the guide will take you and your friends to the Wave and maybe other interesting places close by.
Expensive : yes. Regrets - none.

Alternatively - if possible, arrive 1-2 days early, check out road conditions ahead of time, so you know before the day itself, if it's dry or if you need to hire in a tour company or figure something else out.
 
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#8
Thank you Nick! That road would be a scary place for me )))
True story...a few years ago, we had visited white pocket and were headed back towards UT-89 on House Rock Valley Road. As we were approaching the parking lot at wire pass, a brand spanking new lexus ls model pulled out in front of us. I couldn't believe someone had actually drove a luxury sedan down that road. The road was bone dry but rough as a cobb. I told my wife it had to be a rental.
 
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@Titans, Thank you so much for the detailed response! I am looking for a private guide right now and hope we will enjoy this trip.
True story...a few years ago, we had visited white pocket and were headed back towards UT-89 on House Rock Valley Road. As we were approaching the parking lot at wire pass, a brand spanking new lexus ls model pulled out in front of us. I couldn't believe someone had actually drove a luxury sedan down that road. The road was bone dry but rough as a cobb. I told my wife it had to be a rental.
We dedicated one "all wheel drive" for the roads like that. It is only 3-year-old but looks warn out already. The road to Mineral King canyon and some Big Bend roads were rather memorable and left many marks on this car. Rental might be a good idea!
 

Titans

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True story...a few years ago, we had visited white pocket and were headed back towards UT-89 on House Rock Valley Road. As we were approaching the parking lot at wire pass, a brand spanking new lexus ls model pulled out in front of us. I couldn't believe someone had actually drove a luxury sedan down that road. The road was bone dry but rough as a cobb. I told my wife it had to be a rental.
Or people rent a Jeep, but they don't how to put it in 4-wheel drive, they get stuck, have to call a towing company and pay $700. Just heard that story a few weeks ago from a woman who's boyfriend has a towing company in Kanab. She went with him, the Jeep was not in 4-wheel drive! That was at Coyote Butte south, down past that last hill after the parking lot and the wooden sign with a warning about deep sand ahead- don't proceed.
 

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blueeyes

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#11
I have hiked the Wave twice in the winter. Once was in January after a good rain/snowstorm for the area. Temps the night before were in the high 20s so the road was frozen. We started our hike at the trailhead at 7:00 AM. I noted the temp before starting our hike it was 31F. We arrived at the Wave around 8:45 am, we explored until we were tired of being sandblasted and head back to the car. We were off the road by noon. The road was muddy but still passable before noon. It wouldn't have stayed that way much longer. So just pay attention to the temps if the road is expected to be muddy, go while it is frozen and be sure to be off the road before it warms up.

I was out there another time with a friend, when we drove out the road was bone dry. It started raining while we were out there just a light drizzle, we almost got stuck. That road is awful when muddy.
 
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So just pay attention to the temps if the road is expected to be muddy, go while it is frozen and be sure to be off the road before it warms up.
If the road is muddy you can always just drive out to the south (or drive in for that matter). It's a longer drive around, but the road that direction usually doesn't have that problem.
 

Titans

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#13
If the road is muddy you can always just drive out to the south (or drive in for that matter). It's a longer drive around, but the road that direction usually doesn't have that problem.
I was very surprised to see it @IntrepidXJ , but somehow the condition of HRVR was actually much, much worse for several miles just south of the AZ/UT state line in early December. It had the "muddy and very deep ruts look" and it was clear people had been slipping and sliding all over the place just south of stateline. The road was fine north of Wirepass TH. I dont understand why- because I have always heard (like you write) that in the worst case one can drive out southbound from Wirepass TH. I remember your TR where you arrived to Wirepass TH from the south after experiencing problems crossing the river up north.
(Going to Coyote Butte South or White Pocket, we preferred coming in and out from the south. There is much more gravel on the initial southern part of HRVR)
 

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