The Wave Weekend

Friday-Sunday, November 4-6, 2011

The Wave, located just south of the Utah-Arizona state line in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, is one of those places that every photographer and hiker wants to visit. It’s hard to blame them because it is such a unique and amazing area. Unfortunately, because of it’s popularity, the BLM has a permit system in place that allows only twenty people per day the chance to experience this remarkable area. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you might know that I am averse towards any kind of permit when I go out exploring, so in the past I have usually avoided those places. This year I have made an effort to finally visit some of those places that require a permit, including The Maze and the White Rim. A few months ago I decided that I would try to get a permit so that I could hopefully visit The Wave this year, too. Since there are only 20 permits per day, it can be difficult to obtain one. For anyone not familiar with the Coyote Buttes North permit system, ten of the permits for each day are awarded in a lottery three months in advance and the other ten are distributed in person the day before. I guess I was pretty lucky since I managed to snag two permits in advance on my first try. Once I had my permits, Amanda and I decided to make a long three day weekend out of the trip.

We left early on Friday morning and drove down through Monument Valley since Amanda hadn’t been through there before. Shortly after passing through Kayenta we turned off the main highway so we could make a quick visit to Navajo National Monument. We took the short Sandal Trail to on overlook of the Betatakin Ruins. The viewpoint was still pretty far away from the large alcove containing the ruins so I’m glad I had my long lens with me. We were lucky that most of the ruins were all in the sunlight, so I didn’t have to deal with a large shadow in part of the scene.

Navajo National Monument by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This huge alcove contains the Betatakin Ruins.

Betatakin Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the ruins found here.

Betatakin Ruins by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a view of the large alcove in it’s canyon setting for a little better sense of scale.

Betatakin Overlook by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr