Sci-Fi and Yoga at White Pocket, Arizona


White Pocket, Vermilion Cliffs Nat’l Monument in Arizona—C.Helbig

Part 2 of our extraordinary day at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona continues at White Pocket. If you missed Part 1, check out my post on South Coyote Buttes. I doubted that anything could match up to the geological wonders we saw at South Coyote Buttes. But then… there was White Pocket, another beautiful freak of nature. I’m really happy we saw both places on our combo excursion with Kanab-based Dreamland Safari Tours. I still can’t decide which one I liked better. Take a look…

As I mentioned in my previous post, South Coyote Buttes and White Pocket (only 5ish miles away) are hellishly difficult to get to. The 50 miles roundtrip driving (after the pavement ends) on deeply rutted and sandy roads is impossible for most people’s cars and driving skills. Trust me, leave it to an expert.

The good news is that unlike The Wave and South Coyote Buttes, a permit is not required for White Pocket. Also, once you get to the trailhead parking (about a 2.5 hour drive from Kanab, Utah) the hike to the rock formations is only about .5 miles and super easy. At the end of the sand path, there is no fixed trail, just a vast expanse of crazy nature that begs for exploring, playing, and letting imaginations run wild.


Navajo sandstone with polygonal cracks at White Pocket—C.Helbig

White Pocket is very close to South Coyote Buttes so I was surprised that the geological structures and colours are quite different. As the name implies, there is an abundance of almost white Navajo sandstone. To me, it looks like elephant skin, but I looked it up and the correct term is polygonal cracks, the result of weathering and expansion. “Pocket” refers to the beautiful little indentations that are filled with water during certain times of the year.


Water-filled “pockets” at White Pocket—C.Helbig

I love the scene below. Doesn’t it looks like an alien planet that Captain Kirk might have beamed down to? The pink striations and swirls are caused by the oxidation of iron-bearing minerals.


White Pocket is an otherworldly place—C.Helbig

Speaking of otherworldly, check out what I call the “rock vortex”. We might have missed this brilliant piece of erosion without Marjorie, our guide.


Entering “the vortex” at White Pocket—C.Helbig


Engulfed  in “the vortex” at White Pocket—C.Helbig

The striation patterns provide some very cool optical illusions. In the photo below it looks like I’m crouching on a ledge at the edge of a steep slope. In reality, there’s no ledge and just one continuous, extremely gentle slope.


Optical illusion games at White Pocket—C.Helbig

There was something about White Pocket that brought out the playfulness in us. As I looked over to a gorgeous wall of orange-hued sandstone, Mike was engaged in a spontaneous yoga session. I soon joined in. Our poses are a bit wonky, but don’t our blue shirts look fetching against the stone? It wasn’t planned that way, really.


The Godess at White Pocket—C.Helbig


The Dancer at White Pocket—C.Helbig


Gorgeous late day sun in White Pocket—C.Helbig

Our fabulous day at South Coyote Buttes and White Pocket was over way too soon. It had me itching for more. Marjorie read my mind when she told me about Dreamland Safari multi-day excursions with camping at White Pocket. Hmm, now that would be dreamy!


White Pocket parking and trailhead—C.Helbig

For more information about logistics and permits, please see my South Coyote Buttes post.

Upcoming posts will feature hiking in Bryce and Zion national parks.

Categories: Activities, Hiking, Places, United States | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Sci-Fi and Yoga at White Pocket, Arizona

  1. Pingback: Yant Flat, Dixie National Forest, Utah: Sandstone Drama | Writes of Passage

  2. mindblowing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Beautiful freak of nature”–love that phrase; I’m going to have to adopt that one. Absolutely stunning! I keep staring at that optical illusion photo, trying to convince myself (unsuccessfully, I might add!) it’s not a ledge. Thanks to you, the list of places I hope to experience someday grows longer and longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Best of Hiking, Ambling, and Driving in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona | Writes of Passage

  5. It look so unreal – ARIZONA

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a magnificent place. I would love to go exploring there. Wonderful photos Caroline – they make me want to go there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alison. The US Southwest is such a spectacular part of the world. It never fails to awe and surprise me. There’s all the magnificent big name parks and so many more equally fabulous state parks/forests and monuments. We’ll be back for sure. Cheers, Caroline

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely stunning. Did you feel like you were on another planet ? I like the dance moves Caroline. 🙂

    Sounds like your cold weather has set in, the USA cold weather featured on our evening news. Guessing you are getting much the same. Have a great Christmas. Louise

    Liked by 1 person

    • For sure Louise…I expected some little green men to come out from the rock formations! It really does look otherworldly. I debated about adding in the yoga photos, but hey, why not.
      It has been cold and snowy for Vancouver standards (our precipitation usually falls as rain in the city, but we’ve been under a blanket of white for 2 weeks). I’m enjoying it but those who live inland and at higher elevations where temps are in the -20/-30 C range are not too happy.
      Merry Christmas and best in 2017! Caroline


  8. Oh wow, that looks like such an amazing place. Those formations are pretty great. Glad you had such a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brian Foster

    Nature sure is a great artist. Super pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. These are such beautiful photos of incredibly dramatic landscape! I love the one of you in the vortex and the yoga ones. Your blue tops match the brilliant blue of the sky against the pink and peachy colors of the sandstone.

    Remindful of a trip we took to Northern Argentina where the sandstone rock formations were rust and pinky red against the sky and I remember that the guide book compared the landscape to that of Arizona.

    Really gorgeous post and photographs. Simply fabulous!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Peta. Our yoga doesn’t quite match up to what I’ve seen with you guys but we had fun playing around (not that it’s supposed to be competitive haha). I’m intrigued by the place you mentioned in northern Argentina and will have to look it up (another country that is on our growing list). Cheers, Caroline

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Anonymous

    looks very enticing! Thanks Caroline!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I want to go here so bad!! We have been putting in for a permit to do the north hikes and see the wave and haven’t drawn out yet! ☹️ these pictures look amazing! How fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since we weren’t successful with The Wave permit either, I can’t compare the two. But I can’t imagine anyone not loving White Pocket, it is so great. Hope you get there and hope you’re successful at some point with the north hikes. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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