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    • Back in November, when I was camping in Zion and got to the Ranger station on a Wednesday because during the off-season they gave out permits for the forthcoming Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, your chances increased dramatically (4x) but this particular Friday my application would only be good for Saturday, May 25th. Not surprising, the room was full and it turns out there were a total of 48 applications and 148 people hoping to get to hike The Wave.

      I had arrived to the BLM office with only two minutes to spare and I was given #47. As the numbers were called out, one winner was Kathy from SoCal and she had put four people on her application but announced she really only needed two. Permits 1-9 were quickly announced with one remaining LUCKY WINNER – ME!

    • Kathy was with her buddy John and we collectively hired a guide to do the hike the following day. I was excited but equally excited to setup my camping spot @ Wawheap and get out adventuring around Lake Powell.

      After making arrangements for our guide the following day, I hightailed it to Lake Powell and pulled into the small town of Big Water with the first gas station available as I was running on fumes. Hauling a cargo box, kayak on top and a mountain bike reduced my MPG such that 350-400 miles on a tank is the norm – with all my gear was dry after 260 miles. The good news was that gas was affordable here at around $3.05 gallon.

      After setting up my base camp I checked out the Resort and gandered at Lake Powell and Lone Rock. It is a massive piece of rock. A local parks employee commented how due the overwhelming snowpack in Utah and Colorado, Lake Powell will be raising their water levels up 80′. YES, EIGHTY FEET! Good news for us in Lake Mead!

    • With overnight temperatures in the mid-50’s, tent camping was perfect but I knew 4:30am was going to come quickly. I needed to rendezvous with J&K Enterprises (John & Kathy) and Lad, our guide for the day. A quick hustle into Denny’s for breakfast, coffee and a quality bathroom break before hitting the trail.

      Alpha team was punctual and we headed out on House Rock Valley Road to the Wire Pass parking area. After two days of mixed weather and rain, quickly the mud had hardened up and the parking lot was pretty full by 9am. We, the proud permit holders for The Wave were in the minority but Wire Pass is a fav launching point for many exceptional hikes in the Coyote Butte area.

    • Many or most people that are lucky enough to win the permit lottery do not hire a guide service but with the recent weather, hiring a guide was the best course of action for many reasons:

      1)Lad, our guide is a Kanab local…grew up here and knows the terrain
      2)We were able to hike in other areas that un-guided hikers would probably miss
      3)Lad was able to share quite a bit of history of the area making it more enjoyable. And, he brought lunch!

      Before the hike, the BLM provides permit holders a 30-minute debriefing on what to expect, gear, water, etc. They recommended good hiking shoes with ankle support and at least a single walking pole. Both items comfortable parked at home in the garage. I ended up doing the hike in my Pearl Azumi mountain bike shoes with metal clip-ins which made traction on some of the steeper slick rock difficult. A walking pole would have also made that easier as well. Word to the wise – BRING and use the recommended gear…it will make your life much easier for this unassuming 10k hike roundtrip.

    • Once you clear the trails “saddle” the macro and landscapes views are breathtaking. As Lad continued to remind us, we are hiking in an area that has experienced huge metamorphic changes over the last 300+million years.

      In fact, the trail that Lad brought us through had fossilized dinosaur foot print. We all imagined what it would have been if Lad met a dinosaur on the trail. LOL

      The rock layer enclosing the fossils is a sandstone and conglomerate bed of alluvial or river bed origin known as the Morrison Formation from the Jurassic Period some 150 million years old. The dinosaurs and other ancient animals were carried by the river system which eventually entombed their remains in Utah.

    • The closer we got to The Wave, we were being teased with so many other great visuals there was no hurry. After seeing the “Boneyard” and John’s naming for the Cowpie-Five, we were finally in the middle of The Wave and it did not disappoint.

    • I have some peculiarities as a photographer..I sort of have very little respect for the trade and certainly shooting iconic subject matter that has been taken a million times. I respect painters much more. So, with my FF Sony and 12mm Zero D lens...at some point it seems you just captured this shot and I was ready to head back. I understand how many photographers would want to setup a tripod and spend hours here but the BLM requests that you respect the area when other people are around. Which they don't. They leave their backpacks around and so someone like me shooting an ultra wide angle picks up all that. But, it was all cool.

    • The next day I was up early and I headed into Page for breakfast and to fuel up the adventure wagon. BTW....I heart my Volvo big time. It handled it all. I was too tired after the hike to kayak or mtb bike but damnit, I got the gear! lol

    • My last visit to Page while camping in Zion, I tried to park and hike the Horseshoe Bend overlook but, the traffic was too bad and parking was maxed out.  Horseshoe Bend parking lot safety concerns have forced Page City Council to pass an emergency ordinance. Before the ordinance, Page Police were limited in helping with traffic problems.

      The hike is only about a 1.5 miles each way with some grade but well worth it. I suspect as more idiots ignore the warning signs, people falling off of cliff edges and dying will force viewpoints like this to implement wire fencing which is photography -repulsive. It is a 1000′ dropoff. The rock walls of Horseshoe Bend contain humatite, platinum, garnet and other minerals.

    • Even though I had gotten a quick ride on the jet ski on Friday night, I was ready to really get out on the lake. BTW....this lake has BIG WATER. Meaning, between the normal waves and HUGE powerboats and houseboats, you had to really manage your riding. Pretty quickly I found Antelope Canyon/Creek and it was quite congested! lol

    • I was glad that my big waterproof housing for my mirrorless was not fully operational and I was just taking these photos with my TG5 - Such a great camera, huh @Chris ? Seems like the new TG6 is not really much of an upgrade. I cannot recommend this camera enough but most people just want to buy a Nikon or Canon off an end-cap at Costco so they feel like a photographer. This camera kicks butt and can take all the abuse.

    • This canyon runs out of water pretty quick so you can take a hike or most people use this as a bathroom break...lol

    • Of course Lake Powell is known for their gillion $$ houseboats...I guess if you have a gillion why not spend a gillion....but, it does look like fun where you could pilot a luxurious houseboat for days with a boat AND jet skis in tow.

    • Last but not least, I was looking for a notable quote of the area...and, maybe I had read of Katie Lee before, but, this Outside article makes me want to read more of her. Mad respect for her life and no doubt she made Glen Canyon and the planet Earth a better place for all of us.

      Until the next adventure....

    • Wow, what a trip report. I loved every word and photo (great as always) of it.

      I still can't get over my shock about how popular National Parks and monuments have become. All the places I never thought twice about visiting that hardly had any people — Half Dome, Mt. Whitney, the Wave — now require permits & lotteries. Imagine how insane it would be if they didn't. It's so counterintuitive to me that interest in these places has grown so much faster than the population at a time when we have so many more things to do like Netflix and video games.

      The article about Katie Lee was riveting! I never knew about her.

    • I pulled into the parking lot at 6am. This location has gotten absolutely insane with people...so, even though sunrise lighting might not be best (maybe 5am it was better?), and, guessing sunset would be better but I also suspect that after 8am even using the required shuttled parking area 1/2 mile away is full. Or, 5am to be sure. :)

    • Everything I have read about The Wave which could also parallel the other locations you mentioned are the up/downside to the Internet and Instagram. It is a different world nowadays and there is no going back. The good news is that as more people visit these wonderful places, I am hopeful the outdoors will effect peoples attitudes about everything. The bad news is that there will always be 10% of the visiting population that trash/thrash and disregard the beauty of any particular place.

      All I know, is I am going to keep exploring.....:)

    • Wow and Canada’s parks are booming too. I would never have guessed the park service would boom like this because of the Internet, but cool. Unintended good consequences.

    • So stoked. I outputed this image to 60" x 40" and pumped up the color a bit to make it better for resale....This will be fun to sell and see in various business lobbies here in the southwest.

    • My last film camera was the Nikon F100....and, I bet if I shot it with some Velvia100 it would be pretty spectacular...BUT, taking that to the lab and even printed to 20x30 would be literally 5x the cost of just uploading this file to my commercial printer. If I sent this file in for a backlit poster paper (3mil vinyl) at this size it would only cost me $20...hahahahahah So, from a resales standpoint if I can keep my costs under $100 for this size then you can put a reasonable markup and in the world of IPHONE photography you can still sell it for a decent price.