Jack Bonner Blog: Visiting Arizona’s Wave

Jack Bonner is an outdoorsman – the type who’d drop everything he’s doing and go on a hike for days. He’s also a native of Arizona, and because of this, Jack Bonner has explored much of the state, including its mountains, deserts, rock formations, and canyons. Today, he writes about the most striking rock formations that can be found in the state of Arizona.

Image Source: mysterywonders.com

As a life-long Arizona resident, I’ve always had a thing for the outdoors. Growing up in the Phoenix area, I could see Camelback Mountain from our kitchen window, and I was just ten years old when Dad started taking me on hikes. I’ve gone on over a thousand hikes and climbs since the first one, and I never seem to get tired of the sights and sounds of the desert and mountains. The rock formations, too, are unlike anything else in the world, and below, I try to describe the best rock formation that I’ve visited in my home state.

The Wave

Don’t let the name fool you – Arizona is land-locked, and the closest sea is nearly 700 miles away. This sandstone rock formation is closer to Utah than it is to Arizona, but is considered one of the state’s foremost landmarks. The wave-like appearance of the Wave comes from the intersection of troughs that were formed through the gradual wind erosion of Jurassic-age sandstone, which is further accentuated by alternating light and dark bands. If you’re lucky, you might also find dinosaur tracks in the sandstone.

But because the sandstone is very old and fragile, the Bureau of Land Management is very strict about letting people into the Wave. Access to the rock formation is granted through a series of lotteries, and only twenty permits are granted each day. So if you’ve been given a permit to visit the Wave, consider yourself a very lucky person.


For more information about the Wave and similar rock formations in Arizona, keep the Jack Bonner at A2W blog in your bookmarks.