By BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Outdoor enthusiasts and landscape photographers hoping to land one of the elusive permits needed to explore the colorful, contoured landscape of a hike called The Wave in the U. S. Southwest will have a better chance under a federal plan announced Monday that allows more than three times the previous number of daily visitors.
The plan takes effect Feb. 1 and will allow 64 people per day to hike the popular rock formation near the Utah-Arizona border, the U. S. Bureau of Land Management said in a news release.
Fueled by a rise in selfies and pictures shared on social media, requests to do the hike more than doubled over the last seven years, to 215,500 through November 2020, when less than 4% who applied were approved for permits through online and in-person lotteries, government figures show.
Officials heard a steady chorus of complaints from people about how difficult it was to get chosen, leading the Bureau of Land Management to reexamine the limit, said Michael Herder, the bureau’s district manager in the Arizona strip.
In 2019, a Belgian man died from heat exhaustion after getting lost on the trail.