Recently the Bureau of Land Management proposed a change that would raise daily visitor limits from 20 people to 96 people at The Wave, near the Arizona-Utah border.
As of late, permits to hike The Wave at Coyote Buttes North at the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness are hard to come by.
According to federal data, less than 5% of the 150,000 who wanted to hike the trail last year were actually able to hike it.
As photos of the colorful, wavy sloping bowl-like sandstone basin have gone viral over the past few years, the number of permit applications have skyrocketed.
According to Travel + Leisure, the site is one of “strangest natural wonders on Earth” and one of the most colorful places in the world.
Along with the monthly online lottery that requires four months’ advance notice, there are daily walk-in drawings at the Kanab, Utah, visitor center for a $7 per day permit.
The Bureau of Land Management planned to hold three open meetings in early June to hear public concerns about resources, access, recreation and anything else that could be considered as relevant
The BLM released a letter that outlined issues that have affected the wilderness area, including physical damage to geologic features from hikers, human and animal waste left behind, and heat-related illnesses among visitors
“Increasing the number of permits available would increase the likelihood of getting a permit, increase the number of encounters with other visitors on the trail, potentially decrease opportunities for solitude, and potentially increase impacts to other resources,” the letter read.
A Belgian tourist died of heat-related causes last summer while hiking at the location.