March 18, 2016
Bill loves to show off the beauty of the land in southern Utah so what could be better than sharing White Pocket with friends. In fact this is where he took me on our first “date.”
Pam and John were camping not too far away at Wahweap along Lake Powell so we made plans to meet below the Condor release site along House Rock Valley Road at 10am AZ time. Meaning 9am UT time. We left Kanab about 8:30am and made a stop in Jacob Lake to top off the tanks, truck and us as I picked up four of their famous cookies, chocolate chip my favorite, to share.
We hadn’t met before but I feel like I knew Pam and John from following their blog for a while. Yup, just like old friends, we got to talking and I finally said, hey lets go, we still have at least a 90 minute drive from here.
Every time I visit White Pocket it’s different, the people, the look, the light, the feel of the place.
Once crossing a short sandy trail, there it is, in all its glory. Contorted sandstone swirls like stirred ice cream with a whipped cream top.
Then there’s no trail, just lots of sand and slick rock beckoning to be explored.
I’ve posted previously about the geology so won’t get into that again.
This time we wandered around more and slugged through the sand, and over slick rock, to the towering wall with a small alcove.
Here is evidence of early human settlement that could date back 12,000 years. Now the only life around was ravens, packrats, and lizards. In fact the entire end of the alcove was a huge packrat nest and dripping white wash on the red rock showed where the birds hung out.
We saw petroglyphs of bighorn sheep, maybe deer, people and indecipherable shapes.
Also the charred ceiling from many cook fires. Plus artifacts like pottery shards and a corn cob untastefully stacked on a couple boulders. Grooves in the rock could be for sharpening tools. I had seen small pieces of agate-like rock that could be flakes from someone knapping arrow heads or spear points.
We had a fantastic time sharing this special place.
If you don’t know already, Pam is a dog whisperer, and Sasha took to her, and John, very quickly. Wonder if that bag of doggie cookies in Pam’s pocket had anything to do with that?
Our return drive took us further north on House Rock Valley Road so we could show where the parking and trail heads are located for Wire Pass.
I love this drive past the contrasting red cliffs and the rainbow colored bentonite hills.
White Pocket is located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona. The drive from House Rock Valley Road, and sometimes that road too, requires 4×4 to get through soft sand. Get good maps or go with someone who knows their way. Tours are available out of Kanab, Utah. Dry camping is allowed. This NOT the Wave located in Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness which requires a permit.