Arizona: The Wave, the last frontier with special access

The Wave in Arizona is one of the most fascinating and unusual places we can find on our beloved planet

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Arizona: The Wave, the last frontier with special access

The Wave in Arizona is one of the most fascinating and unusual places we can find on our beloved planet. It is a wave that cuts through the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, where rock and sky seem to touch. its unique shapes and striking colors make the Wave a destination for photographers, hikers and tourists.

But the biggest curiosity is how to access the area.

Four months before your trip you must register on the official website of the Bureau of Land Management and apply for a lottery. You choose 3 dates in order of priority, enter your personal details and pay a $ 5 deposit by credit card.

The lottery takes place on the first day of the following month, and for each day, 10 people are drawn. The lucky ones receive an informative e-mail, before receiving permission at home by post. Visitors can also arrive by 9 am at the Visitor Center at the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, in Kanab.

The rangers assign a number to each group present before proceeding with the extraction.

What is the Wave?

The Wave is located in the state of Arizona, United States and forms a part of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness desert, with a landscape of wavy shapes like a wave in orange and red colors.

Originally it was a series of dunes that over time turned into solid rock. The erosion of the wind and rain have created this unique landscape. The rhythmic and cyclic alternating laminae represent periodic changes in the prevailing winds during the Jurassic period as large sand dunes migrated across a sandy desert.

The thin ridges and ribbing seen within the Wave are the result of the differential erosion of rhythmic and cyclic alternating grainflow and windripple laminae within the Navajo Sandstone. In some areas the Wave exposes deformed laminae within the Navajo Sandstone.

These laminae were deformed prior to the lithification of the sand to form sandstone. Judging from their physical characteristics, this deformation likely represents the trampling and churning of these sands by dinosaurs after their deposition.

Dinosaur tracks and the fossil burrows of desert-dwelling arthropods, such as beetles and other insects, have been found in the Navajo Sandstone.