White Pocket

Categories: Arizona

White Pockets, in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, has in recent years become one of the most popular places in Utah for guided photo tours. For whatever reason I tend to avoid those types of areas but White Pockets is famous enough I knew I’d have to go sometime. I’d heard the road was terrible but I had no problem getting there (it is many miles of deep sand and high clearance 4WD is a necessity) but I was shocked at the almost two dozen cars and vans in the parking lot when I got there in the early afternoon. The whole place was a complete zoo with multiple photo groups and multiple drones flying low overhead.

It was also disappointing to see how worn down and dull the rocks are. There are actual trails worn into the solid rock from from people and cattle. It was the ultimate example for me not to reveal how I get to the more pristine wilderness areas that I’ve been lucky to visit. Even with the crowds and destruction, the area is still fun to explore, for now.

White Pockets is known for really crazy psychedelic rock formations like this one, which reminds me of the giants from Attack on Titan.

I happened to get there on a day when the weather did not really behave as forecast. It got more overcast as the day went by.

Some nice pools.

After the crowds, the second thing that really surprised me was just how small White Pockets is. The main area, where 90% of photos are taken, is maybe only 200 yards long. Pretty small for a two hour drive. This is the back end from the parking lot, after which is a long stretch of boring, open sand and sage if you are interested in going anywhere else.

I was getting very annoyed with the endless drone activity overhead, so it wasn’t long before I decided to walk over there and see if I could climb that peak, which I believe is called White Pocket.

It took about 1/2 an hour to get started on the peak.

Looking up the steep, textured slope at 5 “fingers”. It reminded me of the “God Hand” (not something you want to ever see) in the Berserk manga. I half hoped to see a demon hovering above the tip of each finger, just so that I could ask them to strike down the drone that was STILL following me around.

A hidden sand dune high up the peak!

The sand is very steep so it’s definitely a good idea to leave it undisturbed and climb up the rocks next to it.

The top of the peak was really nice and after I’d been up there a while another couple showed up.

On the way down and looking towards Cobra Arch. You can see pictures from that trip HERE.

Time to head back over to the people area.

By the time I got to this point and was eating my dinner, I realized I did not have my phone any more. I had left it on the top of the mountain in the distance. There was nothing to do but go back over and climb up there all over again. That ate up an hour of my day, pretty much using up most of the time i had left before sunset.

Finally back over from getting my phone I pushed a little farther to look at some southerly outcrops of the white rocks.

This was a  cool old juniper tree that had lifted up the rocks surrounding it.

I think my personal favorite area in White Pocket is called “The Second Tree”. Very geometric and all white stone pictured above and below.

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