Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heading Home to Colorado via The Wave, AZ

Lafayette, CO - Christmas is quickly approaching and we have a ton of visitors coming out to stay with us in the next few weeks. So, I figure I better finish up the posts from our September trip to the southwest before all hell breaks loose.

This set of photos all come from our drive home. We set out from Zion on October 4th and worked our way somewhat slowly through the Four Corners Region and back into Colorado.

The highlight of the trip home had to be The Wave.

We had planned on heading to Lake Powell, but the weather was not cooperating. It was sprinkling when we woke up and full on raining by the time we got the truck packed up. After a run in with some local wildlife (see slideshow), we headed east towards Page. On the way we decided to stop in at the backcountry permit office for the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness to check on information regarding future trips we'd been thinking about (Buckskin Gulch, The Paria River, and The Wave). Even with the rain, the permit office was still packed. After a bit of a wait, we finally got to ask the ranger a whole bunch of questions, including how the heck you go about getting permits for the Wave. The Wave is a sandstone formation in the Coyote Buttes, just south of the Utah/Arizona border. The place has become quite popular with European tourist since its appearance in a German film called "Faszination Natur - Seven Seasons". Well, we learned that the BLM only offers only 20 permits per day, 10 of which are reserved months in advance. The other 10 are handed out by a lottery system at 9:00 am the day before. Anyway, they aren't that easy to get.

Just as we turned to go along our merry way, the Ranger stopped us to tell us that two people had just decided not to use their permits due to the rain. She then asked us if we would like to use them. Yes Please! 40 minutes later we were at the Wire Pass trail head pulling out our rain jackets.

The Wave is about 3 miles from the road and there is no real trail leading there. The BLM, however, provides a good set of directions telling you how to find it with photos of landmarks. It's not a huge formation, but it is one of the most fascinating chunks of sandstone I've ever seen. Here are some photos we took.

The Wave

From there we continued home via Lake Powell, Monument Valley, Cortez, Highway 145, & Telluride. Along the way the fall colors (the yellowing Aspens especially) blew my mind. Just Beautiful. The whole region is amazing.

Lake Powell

On the Road in Arizona

Monument Valley

Telluride, CO

Check out the slide show here:

The Wave and our Trip Home to Colorado


Freckles and Frogs said...

Karl, I've done quite a bit of exploring in the moab area and I've never even heard of this place. IMPRESSIVE! Thanks for the great pictures! I'm in awe! Happy Holidays! Susan

Somehowlost said...

Yeah... I would highly recommend it to anyone heading to the area. Very cool. Glad you enjoyed the pics.