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Arizona is one of the most beautiful, landscape-diverse places on this magnificent planet we inhabit. White Pocket is without a doubt among its crown jewels.
Located on the Paria Plateau in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, White Pocket makes one feel as if on a different planet.
It's unique rock formations, with all kinds of different sizes, shapes, patterns and textures, are highlighted by brush strokes of vibrant colors that come alive during the early as well as late hours of the day.
During the monsoon season, the many "pockets" in the rock formations present throughout this otherworldly place fill with water, creating a collection of reflective pools ranging from puddles to large ponds. When the wind is not active, the resulting reflections of the surrounding stone sculptures make for an unforgettable experience.
White Pocket is not easily accessible; a high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle, and a certain degree of knowledge on driving in deep sand are required to access this remote area.
The complete lack of nearby accommodations, as well as no on-site facilities, make White Pocket a destination that is not for the faint of heart.
If one is to explore this area, and wants to experience the beauty of both sunset as well as sunrise, the only option is to camp, and one must bring all the water, food and camping equipment needed for the duration of the visit.
This is truly one of those becoming-one-with-nature adventures!
From a photographic standpoint, it took me three visits to this magical place in order to not be so completely overwhelmed by its sheer range of beauty and photo opportunities , and be able to see the smaller scenes.
On my most recent trip I managed to stay for five days and four nights. It was summer in Arizona, and even though at a higher elevation of 6100 feet, or 1800 meters, the heat did present a bit of a challenge, both for sleeping and during the cloudless times of day.
With all of its challenges, this unique landscape makes all the hardships of visiting it worthwhile. For photographers, this is no doubt a utopian paradise.
Should you decide to pay White Pocket a visit, please do so in an informed and prepared fashion. One recommendation would be to hire a local guide, many of which offer fully catered overnight trips.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor