Sunday, October 31, 2021

White Pocket (Day 1)

Road trip time, and we were off to a spot Susan has had her eye on for several years - White Pocket in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Northern Arizona. On previous trips we had been all around this remarkable geological feature - The Wave, South Coyote Buttes, and others. Each has its own special beauty. White Pocket is small, only about a square mile of incredible geology to explore, plus some interesting side trip features that we would hike to in our two days there. As of 2021, there is no permit required to visit White Pocket, unlike some of the other famous locations nearby. I should point out that under absolutely no circumstances should the road in to White Pocket be attempted in an standard all-wheel drive SUV (and don't even think about a 2WD car). The road is DEEP sand for miles and suitable only to high clearance 4X4 vehicles. Okay, I've done my part to keep you from getting stuck to the axles in sand, and paying for a very expensive tow truck trip... For those who want to visit, but don't have the transportation to make it happen, there are lots of guide services in Kanab who will take you in. Just do a search.

Our good friend BJ joined for the trip. There is primitive camping at the end of the road and we stayed two nights to thoroughly explore. White Pocket is a unique geological feature that even the best geologists haven't completely explained yet. Like the surrounding countryside, it is a mix of Jurassic age sandstones. But the upheaval and twisting of these sandstones is unlike anything in the area. Add in the sculpting from erosion and time and it is quite unique and fascinating. Our early drive in from Kanab, UT took a couple of hours, leaving us the rest of the day for exploration of the main feature. We didn't walk far, but didn't need to - every turn of a corner presented a new and amazing sight. We stayed out that first day until sunset watching the changing light effects on the look of the colorful rocks and features. Below is just a fraction on the photos I took that will hopefully give you a feel for this amazing location. And this is just Day 1 of our trip, lots more to come!

Approaching Vermilion Cliffs National Monument from the south

Our little camping spot