North Coyote Buttes, UT/AZ, "The Wave," May 21, 2012

We did this hike the day after the annular eclipse with Xavier Jubier. Xavier had been here before, wanted to show his dad Alain and customer Jean-Michel and this was the date that fit his ambitious schedule of May 18-29 all over the southern Utah/northern Arizona natural wonders. Larry Stevens from Iowa joined the group at the eclipse and was going to be with them for the rest of the week in Escalante, Capitol Reef and Arches before heading back to Iowa.

"You Are Here" is the Buckskin Gulch trailhead. From the trailhead Buckskin Gulch is just a wash for awhile.

Buckskin Gulch eventually becomes the longest slot canyon in the world at 12 miles until it ends at the Paria River. The Paria River was completely dry upstream where it crossed Hwy 89. But after not much more than a mile we leave Buckskin Gulch and climb up some rocks to the right.

From there we get a view of the landmark vertical crack in the rocks at a distance.

The Wave is under that crack so it's best to keep walking along the rocks in that direction. There's some interesting scenery along the way.

Jean-Michel here with our objective in clearer sight.

The walk up that sand can be a workout so Xavier guided us up the rocks then into the sand just below the choke point.

Closer view of the Wave above the sand.

Off to the left are buttes with the same rock patterns as the Wave.

At last we made it!

It was about 11:15AM (Arizona time) and maybe 90F. But it was comfortable with no humidity and Liz commented that admin and spouse should have come with us.

The walls close in a bit here.

I explored a side canyon to the north.

The rest of the group soon followed.

This led to walking along the side of the rocks.

The rock ridges were occasionally narrow so Xavier helped us past some sketchy parts.

More views along the rocks north of the Wave.

Climbing higher

Bird shaped rock formation

We reached a high saddle behind the landmark rock with the vertical crack. Perhaps these are the Coyote Buttes to the south.

Jean-Michel at the highest point we reached, Xavier spotting below.

It's steeper than it looks and I decided I would be nervous coming down from there.

We exited to the south and had lunch in the shade of some cottonwoods about 1:15PM. Some interesting rocks shortly after lunch as we headed around the backside.

It's now the predicted 97F though up high there's an occasional breeze.

Cactus flower in the rocks

Careful descent on the north side.

There a slot canyon down there and some dinosaur tracks for more ambitious hikers.

We work our way around to a direct descent into the Wave.

Center section of the Wave

We're in a branch to the south

"Let's go surfin' now..."

As we leave the Wave Liz (who was a college DJ) had us pose for the "Album Cover" shot.

At 97F the sand descent was blazing hot. It was more comfortable when we got back on the rocks and we even caught about 10 minutes of shade as a stray cloud passed overhead.

The hike back was from 2:45-4:30PM. With the heat I was sucking down the water at least twice as fast as before and we just finished draining 2 camelbaks by the time we got to the car. Larry finished off his water a bit earlier but fortunately got a Gatorade bottle from another hiker. We felt fine after we got back to Page and soaked in the pool for awhile. Larry never held us up on the hike but said at dinner that he was really wiped out.

The Wave is a unique spot. I can't remember a report where it's been so difficult to edit pictures down to a reasonable number.