Several years ago, my old diving colleague Paul Humann told me about a wondrous place his relatives had taken him. It was on the Arizona/Utah border, and was like walking on frozen ice cream swirl.

How could I resist that? I hired a guide, who took me on the murderous hike through deep sand for three miles out to The Wave. Hikers have died out there, so a guide is good insurance to have.Despite the hardship, it was worth it.

On our other days, he took me to Old Paria Town, a Mormon settlement from the 1800s, then to South Coyote Buttes and White Pockets elsewhere on the huge Paria Plateau.

He also dropped me off at the fabulous Paria Hoodoos while he did errands. I wandered far and wide, got lost and couldn’t find the route back up to the top of the plateau.

Also worth it.

Access to The Wave is strictly permit controlled (only ten per day). That protects the brittle stone and keeps away crowds.

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