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More hikers could soon get permission to hike to the Wave in Arizona

Jan. 17, 2021
3 min read
More hikers could soon get permission to hike to the Wave in Arizona
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated with additional information 

Hikers hoping to visit the Wave — a striking geological formation in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument near the Utah-Arizona border — might soon find it easier to do so. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is increasing the number of visitor permits starting February 1 from 20 visitors per day to 64 and/or 16 groups, according to Lonely Planet.

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Half of the permits to access Coyote Buttes North, where the Wave is located, can be reserved up to four months in advance via lottery. Each application is $9 and is nonrefundable (and non-transferable). The other 50% of permits will be reserved for walk-ups at a cost of $7 per person.

The odds of getting a permit to visit during the high season (April through June and September through October) were about 4 to 5% in 2013, according to the Bureau of Land Management, and the number of applications for permits has increased in recent years. People lucky enough to get a permit hike 3 miles each way through tall sandstone buttes and sagebrush in order to see the Wave.

During peak season, the BLM gets as many as 400 applications per day. The proposed changes would allow more hikers to experience this beautiful natural site that features a sloping sandstone basin in vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange.

But not everyone is in favor of allowing more people in.

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"It could mean more people in your photographs, more people walking off-trail onto sensitive soil, more wildlife disruption," Taylor McKinnon, a senior campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity in Northern Arizona, told USA Today about previous efforts to increase capacity. "The agency needs to make sure any user increase is compatible with environmental protection."

The Wave is said to be one of the most photographed places in the US, and it's also one of the country's most exclusive hiking spots.

As the BLM's website notes, some recreation sites have "changed operations or limited public entry to follow social distancing and related guidance from the CDC and local and state authorities" due to COVID-19. In general, the BLM recommends "visiting areas close to home while avoiding very popular or crowded locations where social distancing may be difficult, and limiting group activities to members of your household." Check with individual field and district offices for specific details about operations before you hit the road.

Featured image by Carlo
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023