Today is the day!
Permits for “The Wave” are only available via a lottery either online 4 months ahead or in-person at the BLM office in Kanab for the next day. Only 64 people are allowed in per day. Marco played the lottery in July and got 4 permits for November 19th.
We invited Diane and Alan to join us, but when it became clear that Alans’ back would not allow him to do this hike, our friend Dennis happily jumped in.
It’s a good 3-mile hike to “The Wave” (about 5 km) and we wanted to be there at sunrise or shortly after to take advantage of the golden hour, so we left the hotel at 4am, drove to the trailhead and started our hike at 5:15am in the dark and at chilly 27 Fahrenheit (-3 Celsius). Although it’s a full-moon night we still need our flashlights to find the trail. Well, it’s actually only a trail in the beginning, the majority of it is just across rocks, through deep sand and up and down some steep passages. It is way more challenging than we had anticipated and it takes us almost 3 hours to get to “The Wave”. Still, we are the first ones there, have great morning light and feel like kids in a candy store. “The Wave” is simply amazing and breathtaking – impossible to put into words. We hike and climb around exploring the whole area for about 5 hours, we just can’t get enough of it. We realize though that we need to keep some fuel in our tanks for the long hike back.
We gather at around 1pm to make sure we can make it back before sunset, which is at 5:15pm.
Dennis who is a very fit 75 year old Vet has run out of steam and has to take it slow. The four of us make it eventually safely back to the car but it again takes us about 3 hours. We are all totally exhausted (some a bit more than others) and we just want to get back to the Hotel, for a hot shower. Too tired to go out for dinner, we get a BigMac from McDonalds and go to bed very early to get some well deserved rest (my AllTrails App shows that we hiked 8.6 miles/14km and mastered 1233 feet /375 meter of elevation gain).
An absolutely amazing day and well worth the strenuous hike.