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It's about to get easier to visit the Wave, one of the Southwest's iconic places

The Wave is one of the most famous red rock features in the Southwest, but permits to the popular hiking area on the Utah-Arizona border are hard to come by.

Visitors will soon have a more convenient option to getting one.

It’s possible to get a permit to visit The Wave through a lottery, months in advance.

The other option was to wake up early and stand in a long line. But in mid-March, the line is going away, and visitors will be able to get permits on their phones.

The advanced reservation system will remain in place, but a new system will allow visitors in the Four Corners area to reserve a spot through an app, says David Hercher of the Bureau of Land Management.

“But the beauty of it is, that, you apply, and then you go on about your business. I mean, you want to go to Four Corners? Go to Four Corners. You’ll get a notification if you’ve actually been awarded a permit,” Hercher said. 

Because service is spotty in northern Arizona, he recommends downloading the app before you travel.

For more information, visit blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-passes/lotteries-and-permit-systems/arizona/coyote-buttes-north.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct Hercher’s name.

Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.