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Bureau of Land Management May Change Rules For Visiting The Wave Rock Formation

By Sarah Ventre
Published: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 5:45pm
Updated: Friday, August 7, 2015 - 10:52am
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Bureau of Land Management
"The Wave" rock formation is located near Kanab, Utah, close to the Arizona border.

One of the most popular and spectacular natural sites in the state is the geologic phenomenon known as The Wave, near the Utah-Arizona border. If you’ve never seen it, it looks sort of like striped layers of cinnamon and sugar, curved and swirled around into a Dr. Seuss-like prehistoric landscape.

In order to visit it, you have to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Land Management — and only about 10 percent of the 73,000 annual applicants get one. Now the BLM has suggested changes to the permitting process.

Right now, only 20 people a day are given permits to visit The Wave. Ten of those permits are given through an online lottery, and 10 are given by an in-person one, which means you have to actually go to Kanab, Utah, to participate to get a permit for the following day. Now the BLM wants to get rid of the in-person lottery and instead have just an online lottery 48 hours in advance.

"It allows you to plan your trip a little bit better," said Dennis Godfrey with the BLM in Arizona. "If you’re in the area and you’re looking at many of the choices that are available, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, other areas in southern Utah, and you’re in that area for the experience, you can plan now. Two days from now we have an opportunity to go to the Wave. You would know that in advance."

There’s some concern by folks in Kanab that because people head up there, stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, if the system changes to an online one people may not spend as much time or money there. We talked about this with Ken Gotsenberg, the director of tourism for Kane County, Utah, where Kanab is located.

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