The Wave is located within the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. This wilderness is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, part of the United States Department of the Interior. A day-use permit from BLM is required to visit The Wave.
BLM limits access to the North Coyote Buttes Wilderness Area to just twenty permits per day. Ten of the permits are available in advance by an on-line lottery that is conducted four months before the month for which the permit is sought. The remaining ten permits are made available by lottery the day before one's intended hike. Year round the lottery is held at the ranger station on the east end of Kanab. The lottery for the walk-in permits takes place at 9:00 in the morning. Spring and autumn are the most popular times of year to visit, but the popularity of The Wave is such that the chances of obtaining a permit by either advance lottery or the day-before lottery are much less than 50% from March through November.