The Wave (Sunday Sermonette)

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The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona, near its northern border with Utah.

The formation is situated on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau. 

It’s not all that far from the Pink Coral Sands State Park in Utah, which is also worth a visit. You can take your quad there and run the dunes – bright pink sand.

The White Wolf Mine and the Mogollon Rim mark the very southern extension of the Colorado plateau. The Wave is farther north on the plateau, north of Grand Canyon. I’ve spent a lot of time in the general area exploring. “Technically”, you can’t drive in to The Wave. There is a walking trail and you need to hike it. That’s the official word from the Federal folks.

Lat/Long 36.995468, -112.007804

LL, keeping the guys headed in the right direction on the back way to
The Wave. Somebody has to be in charge, otherwise we’d devolve from
a mob into a herd.

There is a back way in (lawfully), where you can get closer and make it a much shorter walk if you know the shortcuts. The shortcut brings you up from the south through Black Valley, and much of it has no recognizable ‘road’. 4×4 and high clearance rigs only, bring spare parts for when you break your ride. This country must have been hard on horses, because there is a lot of rock, and you’d wear out horse shoes on the surface (hot in the summer). If you’re running solo, bring a sat phone.

The vista can not fail to inspire painters and photographers.
LSP, you need to take Juliette to The Wave 
because it’s a mecca for art philosophers and
I would think for parsons as well.
There are different components to The Wave and you
can walk them all in the course of a day if you bring
water with you. No lemonade stands here in this place.
The walk into The Wave is a sermonette
all it’s own. At least it is to me. Your experience may differ.
The area was sacred to the Piutes and to the Apache. It’s the
far northern range for Apache, far southern range for Shoshone
and the Utes. It was a place for medicine men to receive visions
in the years before whiskey dulled their senses.
Settlers came and tried to raise crops along the Pariah River
a day’s ride northwest from here – equally sacred ground. And
the Indians kept killing them off and burning them out. In time
they stopped settling in sacred ground.
It’s a maze in its own right. That is
certainly part of the charm of the visit.
A long time ago, these were sand dunes. Then
they became rock. 
Your visit to The Wave can’t last 
forever. The goal is to leave no trace.
The journey has a beginning and an end, 
and if that’s a sermonette, so be it.

20 thoughts on “The Wave (Sunday Sermonette)

  1. WOW. Love it. Perfect for art philosophers and good JuJu!

    I will visit it at some point in my life but in the meantime please may I steal these pics for photoshop overlay?

  2. It's not THAT far from Bryce Canyon National Monument, Zion's National Monument, Capitol Reef, Arches and the other national monuments in the area, it's just a lot less visited, and not that well known.

  3. Spent a bit of time in the Four Corners country some years back and did a bit of exploring. One thing that I noticed was just how quiet it was there, and the complete lack of people when you got away from the roads. You did occasionally find signs of them. At one point, I happened across an abandoned half-track. How it got there and why it was left, I can only speculate on.

  4. Beautiful photos. I grabbed a few and added them to the wallpaper collection for my PC. Thanks.

    I see you blouse your pants when off road. So do I.

  5. YOW!

    Bucket List item, definitely. Wonder if my "Trail Rated" Grand Cherokee could get in and out of there…..?

  6. When Patton's Fourth Army was exercising in the desert prior to Operation Torch, they left a lot of stuff behind.

    The pioneers used to say that the quiet could kill…drove some of them mad.

  7. You might want to revisit skid plates, buy a hi-lift jack and sliders (metal bars that bolt to the outside of your Jeep to prevent rocks from smashing in the doors, etc. Buy a WabFab jack attachment (not expensive) that can hook onto the sliders in the event of a flat. Make sure you're running 8+ ply tires.

  8. Uhhhh…yeah, about all that stuff….

    Can I just meet at the rally point and navigate for somebody??

  9. That's always possible too.

    If you're going to drive standard unimproved roads, the Jeep "trail rated" vehicles are fine. The same is true for Toyota and anybody else who makes "trail vehicles". Running around the Southwest beyond those dirt roads (not necessarily 'rock crawling') begs the need for more gear to make sure that you're able to come home.

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