Within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument you will find the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, an area of broad plateaus, tall escarpments and deep canyons. This area is in northern Arizona, north of the Grand Canyon and just south of The Grand Staircase. Ok, now stay with me. Within this wilderness area are the North and South Coyote Buttes. North Coyote Butte is home to an area known as The Wave, which has become known worldwide. Both North and South Coyote Buttes are restricted to no more than 20 people allowed to visit each day. These 20 people are selected through a permitting process, 10 of which are selected by random drawing on the day prior. This led us to be present in the BLM office in Kanab, UT, on Monday morning, September 28, 2015, at 9:00am for that day’s lottery to visit The Wave on Tuesday.
There were perhaps 125 people present that day, about 50 applications, each of which could list up to 6 people. This was for a permit to hike to the North Coyote Butte and The Wave. There were people there from China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, England and of course, various parts of the US. We didn’t get a permit. We then applied for the permit lottery to be held at 10:00am to enter South Coyote Butte. There were 5 applications submitted. We didn’t get a permit.
Both of these areas are remote and require a trip of several miles on a rough dirt road and a hike on a mostly unmarked trail. People have died while attempting these hikes due to the heat or by getting lost and succumbing to the heat or by just not being properly prepared. We had decided that should we be successful in obtaining a permit we would hire a guide to take us there.
So it was while speaking to one of the guides that leads people into these areas, Paria Outpost, we learned about the second drawing for South Coyote Butte. And they told us that if we were not successful in obtaining a permit that we might want to consider joining them the next day on a tour of another area near the Coyote Buttes that is every bit as interesting as The Wave but requires no permit.
And that led us to visit White Pocket.