Page Type: Trip Report
Arizona, United States, North America
36.95606°N / 111.89627°W
Nov 14, 2007
Created/Edited: Nov 18, 2007 / Nov 19, 2007
Object ID: 357815
Page Score: 79.78%
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|Entrance into White Pocket Overview from White Knolls
White Pocket is sometimes considered to be a part of South Coyote Buttes, although it is separated from the classic South Coyotes of Paw Hole by over 5 miles of rolling juniper country of Poverty Flat. It is actually quite a bit closer to the South Rim of Buckskin Gulch. No permits are required to visit White Pocket, but its remote location and treacherous roads mean that this whimsical place sees very few visitors.
Multi-colored towers and domes of White Pocket
Jasmine at White Knolls Looking out to the West from the saddle of White Knolls
We drove in from Lone Tree Reservoir turnoff and returned to Pine Tree Road; either way, if your vehicle can't negotiate deep sand and rocky steps, it probably won't make it there (or back). A good test section of the road is the first mile past Paw Hole trailhead (or approximately 3 miles from House Rock Road), with a long uphill section of soft sand followed by a rough rocky stretch. It is about as bad as it gets later on, but quite a bit closer to the civilization.
View West from White Knolls View North-East from White Knolls
The next couple miles, to the wind-powered water pump at Poverty Flats crossroads, were kind of better. The road to White Pocket continued at the base of the windmill and up a hill to the water tank, and then it was an unmistakably main roadtrack all the way to the trailhead, cutting a wide loop East, then North, and finally West to a sandy bowl at the base of a large juniper, serving as a parking lot. The sheer white cliffs of the Pocket's West edge loomed in the distance.
Plateau 6,128, the high point of White Pocket. Vlad is setting his tripod at the White Knolls below.
A wave at the source of the Slot Looking down from the rim of the Slot
The scariest section of the drive was a long downhill section two or three miles short of the TH, with a gully of a dry creek at its low point. It wasn't comforting to think that we'll have to climb up this hill on the way back, with the gully preventing us from using the momentum of speed.
Little Meadows and Tricolor Butte
The wall of the canyon In the little slot
Once we hiked out of sand and into the slickrock, it was the kid-in-a-candy-shop kind of feeling, and we couldn't stop exploring the White Pocket nooks and taking pictures. Since there are no pictures of the area on SP at present, we are going to be quite liberal with uploads for this TR.
Pink Bowl, View South
Jasmine on the ridge North of Little Meadows Max on the ridge North of Little Meadows
The West end of the Pocket is en enormous cliffy island-in-the-sky. Towards the East, there are tall red cliffs. In between lies a wide bench which is the home for most of the unusual rock formations. The White Knolls are at the South end of the bench, the rounded crossbedded Navajo sandstone domes. A little canyon slot cuts through this area and empties North to a string of little meadows of the Pink Bowl, which is a more gentle expanse of crossbedded sandstone of rosy hues.
Fish Eye Tricolor Butte
Striped sandstone "Waves Crashing" at the East side of Pink Bowl
Further North, beyond the Tricolor Butte, is the North Bowl, the last cluster of weirded-out formations. We were particularly amazed by the uniform fields of round volcanic pebbles, and by a perfect square naturally chiseled out of crossbedded sandstone.
Rim of the North Bowl Twin Buttes near the North end of White Pocket
White Knolls and Guardian Towers of the Slot Hiking on the Red Band of Tricolor Butte
On the way back, we chose a supposedly-better road back from Poverty Flat Windmill, a four-mile connector to Pine Tree Road towards the South-West. While this road is marginally better than the Paw Hole thoroughfare, it is still very slow and overall, twice the distance to Lone Tree Reservoir Junction. But if you prefer to exit to US 89A, then Pine Tree road may make sense. From the Pine Tree - House Rock junction, it is nearly 20 miles North to the pavement of Route 89, but only about 10 miles South to 89A.
Where is Jasmine? West Rim of the North Bowl
Pebble Field Perfect Square
The biggest obstacle we met on the way from Poverty Flats was a bull standing in the track and seemingly intent on goring the radiator. A blast from the horn solved the confrontation, and once it was over, then little Max started to growl. For the humans, it kind of felt good to know that the sand traps and sharp rocks are over, too.
Time to return if we everhope to make it back over the sand hills! Jasmine waiting for us at the Red Band of Tricolor Butte, silhouetted between the Guardians