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Hike the NEW Wave in Page, Arizona (No Permit Required)

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You’ve probably heard of the elusive permit-only Wave in North Coyote Buttes, but did you know you can hike to The New Wave just outside of Page, Arizona? The New Wave features similar shapes and textures to the Wave. Though not quite as grand, the New Wave is an awesome hike to see unique sandstone buttes and vortices. Even better, no permit is required.

Tim and I decided to hike this trail the day before hiking the Wave (ha!) so we were able to get a taste of what it would be like to visit the New Wave instead. We loved this hike! There are so many cool photo opportunities and rock formations to explore.

So, if you tried and failed to get a permit for the Wave, or if you just want to check out a cool, short hike in Page, then the New Wave Trail is for you! Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles: plan your hike in advance, stick to designated trails, carry out all your belongings, dispose of waste properly, leave natural areas untouched, minimize the impact of campfires, show consideration for fellow hikers, and avoid approaching or feeding wildlife.

New Wave Trail At-A-Glance

  • Location: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona
  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation Change: 141 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • AllTrails Link

What is the New Wave Trail?

The New Wave Trail is a hidden gem just within the borders of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona. What makes this trail special is that it offers hikers a chance to see unique rock formations reminiscent of the famous Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, without having to win a permit.

The New Wave features stunning undulating rock patterns, sculpted by natural forces, making it a must-visit for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

We loved this hike for its unique textures and formations, including dragon-skin-like rock surfaces and circular vortices. The landscape is truly like something out of a sci-fi novel!

The New Wave Trail has become a popular alternative to the original Wave in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The original Wave is located in North Coyote Buttes and requires a permit to visit. The permit is notoriously difficult to obtain by random lottery. We applied 25 times before finally winning!

So if you don’t win a permit to the original Wave, consider a hike to the New Wave in Page as an alternative destination where you can get a sense of the swirly textures on the petrified dunes.

Where is the New Wave Trail?

The New Wave Trail is located near Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam, just a short drive from Page, Arizona. The trailhead can be found off Highway 89, directly across from the Wahweap Marina entrance. Even better, you do NOT need a 4×4, making it one of the easiest hikes to get to in the southwest.

Coming from Page, you’ll turn left across from the Wahweap Marina entrance, driving towards the Beehive Campground. The official trailhead and parking area is located across from the campground.

Put these GPS coordinates in Google Maps to go directly to the trailhead: 36.93796627449672, -111.49667906507025.

Tip: The New Wave Trail is also called The Beehive trail. In fact, if you search either The Beehive Trail or The New Wave Trail on Google Maps, you will get the same result.

How was the New Wave formed?

The New Wave was formed over millions of years by the erosive forces of wind and water. The unique patterns and shapes of sandstone buttes and spires are the result of sedimentary rock being gradually worn down, creating the wave-like formations that give the area its name.

How long is the New Wave Trail?

The New Wave trail is short and sweet at only 1.4 miles and 141 feet of elevation gain. It took us about an hour to hike the entire loop with stops for photos and videos!

This makes it an ideal stop for those looking to experience the beauty of the area without committing to a long or strenuous hike.

How hard is the New Wave Trail?

The New Wave Trail is an easy hike. The terrain is mostly flat with a few gentle inclines, making it suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels. The total elevation gain is only 141 feet, meaning you won’t be tackling any big uphill climbs on this trail. This is a great choice for newer hikers, kids, and experienced hikers alike!

Entrance Fee for the New Wave Trail

There is no fee to hike the New Wave Trail, although technically the trail is within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area boundaries.

What to Expect on the New Wave Trail

Once you park your car at the trailhead, you will head up a small but steep hill to the trail. Don’t worry, this is the most climbing you’ll have to do!

The New Wave trail is clearly marked by rocks on either side, guiding you across the barren slickrock. It’s pretty easy to follow. Just stay between the rocks lining the path. We hiked the trail counterclockwise, so that is what I’ll describe here!

About halfway through the loop, as you begin to round the bend, you’ll be able to see Radio Tower Rock to the east. It’s so-called for its resemblance to – you guessed it – a radio tower!

And, unfortunately, you’ll also be able to see real radio towers along the hike as well. It can be tricky to get photographs without them, but you can use Lightroom to edit them out.

About 3/4 of the way through the hike, you’ll pass the New Wave formation to your left between two buttes.

Once you’ve had your fill of exploring the New Wave formation, return to the trail and continue along the loop back to your car.

New Wave Trail Map

What to Bring to Hike the New Wave Trail

What to Wear:

What to Pack:

  • Hydration: At least 2 liters of water per person; reusable water bottles or a hydration bladder. >>>Here’s my favorite Osprey backpack with hydration bladder.
  • Snacks: High-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, or fruit.
  • Navigation Tools: Map of the trail or a GPS device; compass (if you’re familiar with how to use it).
  • First Aid Kit: Band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications. >>>This is the medical kit we carry on every hike.
  • Multi-tool or Knife: Useful for various small tasks and emergencies.
  • Emergency Whistle: For signaling in case you get lost or need help.
  • Camera or Smartphone: To capture the stunning scenery.
  • Trash Bag: Leave no trace—pack out all your trash.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp: In case your hike takes longer than expected and it gets dark. >>>This is the headlamp we use.

Where to Stay in Page, Arizona

There are many hotel options in Page suitable for any budget!

We’ve personally stayed at the Courtyard Page at Lake Powell by Marriott and enjoyed it! There’s a nice outdoor pool area and the interior decor evokes the desert landscape. We like staying at Marriott branded hotels because the quality is reliable and we can use our Bonvoy reward points for free stays (which is what we did here!).

Here are some more options for places to stay in Page:

You can use the map below to search for accommodations in Page, Arizona:

Best Time to Hike the New Wave Trail

The best time to hike the New Wave Trail in Page, Arizona, depends on your weather preference and how comfortable you are with varying temperatures. Here’s a season-by-season breakdown to help you plan your visit:

Spring (March to May):
Spring is one of the best times to hike the New Wave Trail. Temperatures are mild, usually ranging from the mid-60s to mid-80s°F (18-29°C). The weather is generally pleasant, making for a comfortable hiking experience.

Summer (June to August):
Summer can be quite hot, with temperatures often exceeding 100°F (38°C). If you choose to hike during this season, it’s best to start early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the extreme heat. Make sure to bring plenty of water, wear sun protection, and be prepared for the intense sun. Since this hike is entirely exposed without any shade, we generally do not recommend hiking the New Wave in summer.

Fall (September to November):
Fall is another excellent time to hike the New Wave Trail. Temperatures start to cool down, ranging from the mid-60s to mid-80s°F (18-29°C) in September and gradually dropping to the 50s and 60s°F (10-20°C) by November. The weather is generally stable, making it a great season for hiking.

Winter (December to February):
Winter is the off-season for hiking in Page, but it can still be a great time to visit if you prefer cooler temperatures. Daytime highs typically range from the mid-40s to mid-50s°F (7-13°C), while nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. While it might be chilly, the cooler weather can be refreshing, and the trail is likely to be less crowded. We hiked the New Wave Trail in January and found it to be a perfectly pleasant temperature!

Is the New Wave Trail worth it?

We loved hiking the New Wave Trail. The landscape is unique and getting to see the vortices in the rock was really cool. That said, the New Wave itself doesn’t really compare to the original Wave formation. If you’ve hiked to the Wave and are expecting something equally grand at the New Wave, you will be disappointed. But if you hike to the New Wave and appreciate it for what it is, you will love it!

We hiked the New Wave the day before hiking to the original Wave, and while both are awesome, the original Wave would definitely win in a contest against the New Wave.

But if you don’t get a permit for the original Wave or just don’t have time for a longer full-day hike, the New Wave is a great option that is suitable for the whole family!

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