This Gorgeous US Spot Hikers Rave About Has Some Seriously Dangerous Qualities

We're all chasing clout on social media these days, and pics and videos of a beautiful and famous hike are sure to get us some. However, there is one hiking spot near the border of Arizona and Utah (on the Arizona side) that may be too dangerous for the casual hiker to take on. This stunning place is called The Wave and is part of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. As you can see from the pictures, it is one of those places that look like they're not of this world. The area is filled with beautifully-colored sandstone and is run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. 

As gorgeous as it is, if you plan to go here, there is a lot you have to take into consideration for your safety. In addition, to keep this area unspoiled by humans, there is a lottery that you have to go through to even get a permit to visit. There is very little cell reception in the area and few signs. You're going in blind outside of the information packet you'll be given beforehand that includes navigational pictures and compass points. Still interested? Here's all you need to know about The Wave, getting a permit in the first place, and how to keep yourself safe in this area that has caused numerous deaths. 

What to know about The Wave

The Wave is a small part of the 112,500-acre Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Don't let the beauty fool you, though. This hike is not for everyone. We'll get to the safety part, but you should know that in July, the average temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also drop below freezing in the winter. There were three heat-related deaths at The Wave in 2013 and another in 2018. 

To keep the area in good condition, only 64 people are allowed permits per day from two separate lottery drawings. The first is the daily lottery, which allows 16 people in. You do this on a cell phone only, two days before your visit. You must be in the local area (there is a map on the website to determine if your location qualifies) and apply between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. If you get in, you'll be told that night at 7:15 p.m., and you'll be required to take a safety briefing the day before at 8:30 a.m. 

The second lottery awards 48 people access per day. To try your luck, you need to apply four months beforehand, and you find out on the first day of the next month after you apply. Make sure you read everything on the website before you apply because there are lot of rules, including a permit for your dog if you choose to bring one. 

How to keep yourself safe if you hike The Wave

Keep in mind that there is little directional information to go on in this area. It's on uneven ground in extreme conditions. There can be flash floods with few escape routes, intense heat, and unpaved roads that can trap your vehicle. (It's recommended that you use a four-wheel drive and a high-profile vehicle, while also bringing a shovel in case you get stuck.) You can also hire an authorized guide (again, consult the website when you sign up). We cannot stress enough that cell service cannot be relied on.

It's also suggested that you bring sunscreen (and you absolutely will need it because there is almost no shade), salty snacks, and at least a gallon of water per person. We would also suggest bringing powdered electrolytes. Dehydration is a real danger here. Remember: By the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. You may find streams in the area, but the water must be filtered and treated before drinking, so bringing your own is essential. 

Animals are another danger, with rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, and scorpions common in the area. If you stop to rest and take off your shoes or clothing items, you should shake them out before putting them back on. If you happen to encounter a flash flood, get to higher ground as fast as you can. They can last 8-10 hours, and sometimes more. Finally, do not go on this hike alone. As magical an experience as this can be, it's not worth your life.