Photo Diary: The Wave Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

We’re so excited to finally share our Wave photos! The Wave is a sandstone formation in Coyote Buttes North part of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Northern Arizona. It has been popular among photographers and hikers and is now becoming more and more popular with the rest of the world. They only allow 20 people in to see it per day (see tips on how to win a permit here).

This is every landscape photographer’s dream destination, and in fact, many say you’re not a real landscape photographer unless you’ve photographed this place. Does that mean I can officially call myself one now? :P

We hiked out at sunrise and arrived alone to the Wave. It had mixed lighting when we got there and since the Wave is a depression, the whole thing doesn’t get lit up until several hours after sunrise. This was approximately 2 hours after sunrise:

It can be a difficult process getting those permits, but once you’re out there, it’s so nice and quiet. We sat patiently and enjoyed the peaceful views and our balanced breakfast. On our drive / hiking days, we’ve been drinking Soylent for breakfast and lunch, which was developed by a fellow GT alum! If you want to give them a try, they’ve been awesome enough to give 50% off your first order if you use this link.

The Wave area is actually quite small but Coyote Buttes North has so much more to explore. You can go on to see the Second Wave (right) and Third Wave or Sand Cove (left).

You can also find dinosaur tracks, which you can read more about here.

This is Fatali’s Boneyard, which was made popular by a photographer named Michael Fatali. He’s also known as the photographer who burned Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Did anyone ever hear what happened?


We met another photographer who had been here 10 years ago, and he told us how the colors have changed so much over the years. We’re so glad we had the chance to see and photograph this place. If you’re entering the lottery, we wish you the best of luck and hope you get to see it too!

This road trip is part of the Endless Caravan. Join us by going out on the road and using #EndlessCaravan.

This Post Has 9 Comments

    1. That’s so insane! All for the sake of getting the shot….

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