Monday, December 29, 2014
On Monday morning we got an early start and drove back to the Wire Pass trailhead so we could spend the day in Coyote Buttes North and visit the Wave. While I have been here plenty of times over the past couple of years and had no intentions of returning this year, Diane had never been here before and really wanted to visit the Wave. I managed to get a pair of permits for today and that’s the main reason we planned this end of the year trip to Page. The last few times I have been to Coyote Buttes North I barely stopped by the Wave and instead explored other areas that are less visited, but this time we hiked straight to the Wave and waited until it was in good light. While waiting for the sun to crest over Top Rock and light up the Wave I explored more of the area above and took a few photos under Top Rock Arch. While the temperature outside wasn’t too cold this morning, it was pretty windy all day and that kept us pretty chilled, especially when we were in the shade.
Entering the Wave. We were the first ones here today.
There are some really great colors in the sandstone up above the Wave and below the Black Crack. The colors are especially nice when the sandstone is in the shade and there is light reflecting off of the buttes across Sand Cove Wash.
I’m calling this area Crazy Corner, named after Crazy Hill in the Valley of Fire State Park that also has a lot of color.
More interesting designs and colors. Such a great place to explore the little details.
Before the Wave was all in the light, I made sure to check out the reflected light in the Passage.
Striations and color everywhere you look.
It was pretty cold in the shade, especially when the wind was blowing. Diane made sure to keep bundled up and warm.
Almost out of the shadows.
Diane in the Wave when the shadows finally disappeared.
Just another classic Wave photo.
An iPhone picture of Diane and I taken by another friendly visitor. Even though I counted about 30 people in Coyote Buttes North today (including Diane and myself…where’s a BLM Ranger when you want one around?), pretty much everyone we ran into was very nice and friendly, which is better than I can say about some of my other visits.
After taking a few photos of the Wave we decided to head over to the Second Wave so Diane could see it and so I could see if it would be in the light this early.
On the way I took this photo, which is probably my favorite from the entire day. I love the warm tones that are reflected from across the canyon contrasting with the cool tones on the top of the ridges.
The Second Wave was just emerging from the shadows when we arrived.
After hiking around in the shade for a little while, Diane was happy to be in the warm sunlight again!
Reflections on the ice.
Next, we went back down through the Wave so we could hike up Sand Cove Wash and visit part of Sand Cove. We hadn’t been gone very long and already the left side was in the shadows. You don’t get a long period of time without shadows at this time of the year.
Such vibrant colors!
Sand Cove Wash was a sheet of ice through the narrow section, but enough sand had been blown onto it that it was easy to walk across without slipping.
I thought this sandfall (sand + waterfall) was interesting.
We hiked as far as The Racetrack before starting our hike back to the trailhead.
Of course, we made sure to go back a different way from Sand Cove so Diane could experience as much of the area as possible. We started out by climbing up to The Boneyard.
Diane says this looks like a ham bone.
We stopped to find the dinosaur tracks.
As always, plenty of beautiful scenery all around.
Before finishing the hike back out to the trailhead, we made a detour to High Heel Arch since it’s a place I had not visited before. I’m glad we did since this arch appears to have suffered from a recent partial collapse. Who knows how much longer it will survive? I think I like the look of the arch now as opposed to before the collapse.
Not much left holding it up there now!
After reaching the trailhead we drove back to Page, had some dinner and then relaxed in our hotel room for the rest of the night. It had been a good day and Diane was happy to finally visit Coyote Buttes North and the Wave.