White Pocket, Arizona, USA by Barry Guthertz

Picture Story

Within a 100 -mile radius in northern AZ and southern Utah there are literally dozens of other worldly places to visit and two of them, that are neighbors are my favorites to visit: The Wave and White Pocket.

The Wave you need a permit to visit because it is a protected wilderness area maintained by the BLM, only 10 permits are given out in a day through an online lottery system. The first time I entered the lottery I didn’t win but a guide I had called told me about another area that was even more unusual called White Pocket where you don’t need a permit to enter. I was skeptical at first, thinking I was being sold a bill of goods for a tour… but it turned out that I fell in love with this place dramatic and unconventional sandstone landscapes.

We hired a guide with high clearance 4 wheel drive each time we’ve gone because once you leave the main highway it takes over 1½ hours of driving in deep sand on unmarked roads to get there. It is known as a ”Pocket” because it’s topography is so different then the surrounding areas. Rather than the red sandstone that Coyote Buttes is known for, you have white or light gray as the dominant color. Under this layer of different sandstone, you have multi-colored chaos of swirling and twisting reds, yellows and oranges that create some very unusual formations of domes, hoodoos and gullies topped with (what looks like) brain coral. Some local guides are now offering overnight camping trips to White Pocket and I would think it very special to catch the unique light of dawn and dusk.

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