Inspired Travel: The Wave in Arizona

by  Amanda Black | Apr 11, 2013
The Wave, Arizona
The Wave, Arizona / Avi_Cohen_Nehemia/iStock

Hikers and photographers across the States are drawn to The Wave in Arizona's Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Iron deposits and the unique Navajo sandstone explain the mixture of orange, yellow, and red coloring characteristic of The Wave. Some have claimed the rock formations actually date back to the Jurassic period.

A select number of people are allowed in the park that leads to The Wave each day so plan ahead to get a permit. It's 5.5 miles (or around six hours) hiking round-trip to The Wave, but it's obviously worth the arduous trek. There's no actual trail so hikers are encouraged to bring along GPS equipment or keep avid track of the landmarks that aid in ultimately discovering The Wave. The best time of year to go is generally in the spring or fall as it can get extremely hot during the summer. The sandstone is actually very soft, so hikers are encouraged to walk carefully so as not to break off pieces.

Years ago, the stone was generally eroded due to water flowing through the troughs, but nowadays, erosion is mainly due to the wind.

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