Encompassed by the Glen Canyon and Kaibab National Forest’s recreational center are a few of the most interesting geological formations in the entire northern Arizona region. It took centuries for nature to create this masterpiece popularly referred to as the Vermillion cliff waves.
To access this phenomenal destination and see the wonderous cliff waves for yourself, you’ll need a special wave permit which can only be issued through a legacy walk-in lottery system.
The area the cliffs are located in is so remote and away from human activity that they were designated as the site that would later be used to reinstitute the California condor. Keep reading to get to know the Vermilion Cliffs better.
There is a little bit of formality required before anyone can be allowed to venture through the house rock valley road into the magnificent Vermillion cliffs, but when it’s all said and done, an intimate view of this spectacular geographic formation is well worth it.
The Vermillion Cliffs which can be seen beyond the Jacob Lake were formed by centuries of water and wind eroding on the ancient sandstone surfaces, this spectacular rock formation features gigantic sinewy slot canyons, 3,000-foot cliffs, and enormous formations protruding from the Earth’s surface.
When visiting the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, remember to keep an eye out for petroglyphs as well as dinosaur tracks left on the sediment and wire pass trailhead.
The cliffs are located in the Coyote Buttress and in this area, a walk-in lottery system is used to decide who gets to go on the excursion, as well as the total number of hikers permitted for the day. To access Coyote buttes south monumental cliffs, a short-distanced hike to the wave is required through the bumpy and stony terrain.
Some parts along the Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs wilderness are also admissible to permit holders who have been granted access to hike the sand cove and Vermilion Cliffs area.
Some of such areas include the Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and the Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon which is deemed by many as the longest slot canyon and one of the best hiking spots in the whole south Coyote Buttes region.
To set up camp for an overnight stay in the Paria Canyon National Park an official permit is also required. Visitors who would like to camp around the position of the Vermillion Cliffs are free to do so in either of the two developed campgrounds once they acquire a permit from the bureau of land management in the Paria Canyon.
If you’re lucky enough to be among those granted access to see the amazing cliffside waves, the next thing on your mind should be how to prepare for your visit.
It’s important that you get yourself ready for the wilderness area and the bulgy dirt roads in the Coyote Buttes North area if you hope to enjoy the excursion. Aside from this, you’ll also need to evaluate your stamina and strength since you’ll be on the move for quite some time.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Vermillion Cliffs and Arizona desert are located far away from the city, as such you’ll most likely have to drive for several hours before you finally get to the outpost. This shouldn’t deter you from making the trip, since it can be quite an exhilarating adventure driving through the windy sand dune roads.
If you have a passion for hiking, the great outdoors, and nature, then you’ll most certainly love hiking on Arizona’s Vermillion cliff waves.
This popular vacation resort is renowned for its Paria plateau, the distinct deep sand dunes on the desert floor, the marble canyon, the Paria River, and its unique and massive rock formations. A glance at the surroundings is more than enough to understand why it has continued to attract photographers and hikers all over the country.
Located in the Coyote North Slopes, the Vermillion Cliff hike makes for a great heart-pumping adventure although it can be a bit challenging to inexperienced hikers. To get to the Vermillion cliffs, you’ll not only need a map but some basic navigation skills.
Mid-day is undoubtedly the best time to take photos of the Vermillion cliff waves. Pictures of the cliffs taken during this time come out the best because the shadows won’t be cast at the center of the shot.
For photographers who prefer their shots to be a bit more dramatic, late afternoons are the perfect time to snag some pics of the monument. If you aim your shot a little to the west of the waves, you should be able to see and capture the middle wave, also referred to as the second wave.
To be allowed to see the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, you’ll have to obtain an official permit which can only be acquired if your name is among the ones chosen after registering on the online lottery system.
According to standard procedure, you need to acquire the online permits 4 months before the time you intend to make the trip. As soon as your permit is approved, you’ll be sent details by the Paria contact station or (BLM Visitor Center) about the hike and a map will also be forwarded to you.
The advanced online lottery system only issues out a total of 48 permits each month through the official website – Online North Coyote Buttes Permit Lottery. The daily geofences lottery, on the other hand, issues a total of 16 wave permits which are grouped into 4.
Getting to the natural wonder known as the cliff waves means you’ll have to hike through the dusty and scorching dirt road. To make the journey as convenient as possible, it’s best to go with at least one gallon of water in case you start to feel parched along the way.
The trails leading to the cliff waves aren’t properly marked and you’ll also find that there’s no working cell service in the area, so ensure to take your GPS and a functioning communications device.