White Pocket will impress even the most adventurous explorer with its abundant colors and a varied landscape. It’s worth every second of the long drive on deep, sandy roads, but make sure you have a high-clearance vehicle with four-wheel-drive. With more than 100 people applying daily for a permit to visit the nearby iconic Wave in North Coyote Buttes (the BLM awards 10 permits per day), White Pocket is an excellent option if you are unable or unwilling to get a permit.
Located to the east of the more touristy spots, White Pocket has amazing terrain similar to that of the Wave, but with a fraction of the foot traffic. Rugged and gnarly, White Pocket is a photographer’s paradise, this definitely needs to be on your must-see list.
The directions are too lengthy and complicated to include here, so stop at the Kanab Visitor Center or the BLM office for detailed instructions. It’s also a good idea to have a GPS with you, both for the drive, and for the hike.
Once you get to the trailhead, a sandy trail of about 100 yards leads you to the first sandstone formation. From here, explore in solitude, with no clear directions of where to go except for where your curiosity leads.
An Edward Abbey quote comes to mind: “There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who’s always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details.”
And the details here are worth observing. The variety of formations at White Pocket is surreal, a spectacle on the Paria Plateau.
Indeed, slow down here.
Parking and trailhead: 36.57.328, -111.53.734
* Image by John Fowler Flickr User Snowpeak via Creative Commons