Chronicle of Lake Powell | Bureau of Land Management Designates Page as Wave Permit Location

PAGE – Beginning March 15, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is ending its in-person lottery for Wave permits and implementing a new lottery system for recreation enthusiasts seeking hiking permits the next day to the world famous hiking destination. The change could be a big extra boost for Page’s tourism and its economy.

Under the old method, the BLM issued online permits for 20 hikers per day four months in advance, and they issued four more permits to recreational enthusiasts in person the day before the day the permit was used. Each in-person permit could have between one and 10 people listed on it. The old system required hikers to come to the BLM’s Kanab field office in person each morning to apply for the permit, and each morning at 9 a.m., BLM officers pulled four permit numbers from the hopper.

Under the new system, trekkers no longer have to apply in person at the Kanab field office for permits the next day. Starting March 15, they will be able to apply for next-day permits from their cell phone or tablet, as long as they are within a certain geographic area that the BLM calls a “mobile geofence.” The mobile geofence system will be hosted by Recreation.gov.

The geofence area will include Page, Greenhaven, Marble Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs, Jacob Lake, White Sage, Fredonia, Moccasin, Big Water, Paria, Johnson Canyon, Kanab, Mt. Carmel, Orderville, Glendale and East Zion.

Wave applicants will need to be inside the geofence perimeter when applying for the permit, but once they have entered the lottery they are then free to roam outside of it. ci and they will be able to receive notifications if their permit application was successful.

Those who earn a Wave permit will still need to pick up their permit in person at a BLM-designated location in Kanab or Page, where they will also receive orientation, maps and safety instructions.

Starting March 15, the BLM will suspend its walk-in lottery system. The number of Wave permits granted will remain the same under the new system.

The idea behind the new geofence lottery system is to allow visitors to the region vying for a Wave permit to have more freedom in their travel plans while still being close enough to take the hike if their permit number is drawn.

Under the new permit system, Page will become one of two places permit winners pick up their permits.

Page has been trying to get designated a Wave permit location since 2019, when the Page Lake Powell Chamber opened The Hub, said Judy Franz, the chamber’s executive director.

“When we launched The Hub, it was one of our areas of work,” she said, “and I think it will be great for the city, our businesses and our economy. Everyone wants wave. It’s nationally known. It’s one of the wonders of the world. People stayed in Kanab day after day trying to win the Wave lottery.

Under the old system, the Kanab field office pulled permits at 9 a.m. People who did not earn a Wave Permit would then have a free day ahead of them and would most often spend the day doing other area tours and activities. .

“I know a lot of these people would come to Page for the day to visit Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend or Lake Powell, but they would often come back to Kanab for the night to be there for the next day’s Wave drawing,” Franz said. “But now they can spend the night here. This means staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants. And if they get a permit and want a guide, we have several guide companies operating here who can take them. We hope people will want to stay in Page because there is so much to do.

The new permit system will also be great for the people of Page, Franz said.

“Our locals will be able to apply online, any day if they wish, and if they get a permit they can pick it up here,” she said.

Now acting as a Wave permit collection site, The Hub will now be open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

The new system will work like this: if you apply for the permit on Thursday, you will be notified that evening if you have won. If you win, you will have to pick up your permit the next morning, Friday, and hike to the Wave the next day, Saturday. Winners can pick up their license at Kanab or Page at the Hub. When picking up their permit, hikers are also required to do an orientation. Orientation is at 8:30 sharp. If permit winners miss the orientation, they lose their permit. During orientation, hikers will view a 30-minute slideshow outlining what to expect on their journey to the wave. They will also receive maps and safety information.

“We can answer any other questions they might have,” Franz said.

Franz said that in the days and weeks to come, the Chamber and the City of Page will be adding information to its website and putting up signs throughout the area notifying visitors that Page is now a Wave Permit location.

The BLM said the new system will be a win-win for local businesses and travelers.

“Additional gateway communities will benefit economically as the new system will expand the permit application area and provide visitors with additional options to pick up permits and stay overnight for the next day’s trip in multiple communities,” said the District Manager of Paria River, Harry Barber. .