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The Wave, Arizona | Place looks like another planet

"The Wave" is a wonderful sandstone rock formation located in the high desert region between Arizona and Utah. The rock faces swirl and roll and undulate, hence the name. “The Wave” consists of intersecting U-shaped troughs that have been eroded into Navajo Sandstone of Jurassic age. It is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged, trackless hike required to reach it.


"The Wave" is difficult to reach.  It is a very remote desert area south of Lake Powell, accessed only via a long dirt road. Once you're on foot, there is no marked trail for most of the way, about three miles across open desert and sand dunes. It is not a place for inexperienced desert hikers or people who can't find their way very well.


It's a photographer's dream. The colors and shapes are wild, like swirls of candy or the fossilized remains of some incredibly large alien beast. An ideal time to photograph "The Wave" is the few hours around midday when there are no shadows in the center, although early morning and late afternoon shadows can also make for dramatic photos. After a rain storm, numerous pools form which can contain hundreds of tadpoles and fairy shrimp. These pools can be present for several days.

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