White Pocket

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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I rushed over to the Paria Canyon Ranger Station again for the daily Coyote Butte North permit lottery. There were even more people today than yesterday. Again, I was not one of the lucky few.

I was planning on driving up Cottonwood Canyon Rd. but when I mentioned to a ranger that I was interested in going to a place in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area called White Pocket that's at the end of miles of roads with very deep sand at some point during my visit she suggested that since it rained in some areas around here two days ago that I should go check the condition of the roads today before they get any drier. That sounded like good advice so I headed for White Pocket.

I don't have any equipment for getting unstuck from sand so I intended to be careful. I had a map of the BLM roads in the area but the map wasn't very good and the roads are poorly marked. In fact, in some cases it's hard to decide whether something is even a road or just an old cow path or something.

I came across a gate and was trying to decide whether I was allowed to open it and drive through when another vehicle came up behind me. We started chatting and the driver obviously knew much more about the roads and White Pocket than I did. They were going there too. He suggested I let him go first. That sounded fine with me. Then after I had moved out of the way he suggested I come with them. That sounded even better, so I did.

The people I joined turned out to be a guide from Sedona and three customers he was taking out to White Pocket to take pictures. White Pocket is a relatively small area with some very strangely marked and contoured sandstone. It was just as good as I had hoped and I was quite happy to have gotten there without risking getting stuck myself. We spend a couple hours there before heading back to my car.

After being dropped off at my car, I made it back to the paved roads OK and then went back to my hotel.
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