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White Pocket Tour

Fully Guided Tour

Photography Paradise!

Interesting Geology!

Single Travelers & Private Tours

We can always accommodate single travelers via private tours.  Often times, we are also able to combine a single traveler with other scheduled parties; please give us a call at 435-644-5506 to discuss the latter option.

Private Tours are available to be booked online.

We go out of our way to open the wonders of the West to EVERYONE.

We are permitted, licensed, and insured.

Dreamland Safari Tours holds Special Use Permits from the Grand Staircase Escalante National MonumentGrand Canyon National Park, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument/Paria WildernessKanab Bureau of Land Management and Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management.

Don’t see your preferred departure date or time available via online booking? Give us a call. 

For sunset or sunrise at our more remote locations, we recommend a scheduled or custom overnight or multi-day tour – and we are happy to work with you to develop an itinerary that meets your needs.

All listed tour durations and pickup times are approximate. Please allow 10-20 minutes of pickup time flexibility for unforeseen circumstances and varying pickup logistics. Water and snacks are provided on all tours. A lunch meal is included on all tours of 6+ hours. Vegetarian option available.

We reserve the right to fill all empty seats on non-private tours. Cancellation / Reschedule / Weather policy applies.

Please familiarize yourself with our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  before contacting us.

Contact us

To contact us with other specific questions or begin Making Reservations click the “Book Now” Button on each tour page or click Contact Us for info on how to give us a call or shoot us an email.

See all tours at a glance with our

White Pocket Tour Guests say it is as if they have entered a fantasy landscape on an alien planet. That’s just how striking the natural rock features are to behold. Our guides will show you some of the best angles for photography.

Price

Adult $189

Private Tour Upgrade Available?

Yes

Tour Length

9 Hours

Departure Times

8am, 9am, 10am

Difficulty (1-10)

3

Recommended abilities

Uneven footing, and small elevation changes make this terrain slightly difficult. The distance is short and at your discretion 1-2 miles.
No special permit is required for this tour.

Location

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Attractions

White Pocket

Special Interests

Geology, Photography, Wildlife, Flowers

These FAQs are specific to this tour. If you would like to view our general FAQs CLICK HERE.

1. How much hiking will I have to do at White Pocket?
We usually walk 1-2 miles at White Pocket. This trip is easy to customize where less challenging routes can be chosen while those who are more adventurous may hike on steeper sections of rock or scramble to the tops of buttes. There is no marked trail at White Pocket. We will be walking on uneven sandstone so good balance and surefootedness is needed. At the very minimum, guests must be able to walk 250 yards across soft sand to get to a view of the formation. There is no way to see White Pocket from the car.

2. How much time is spent driving vs. hiking at White Pocket?
This is a 9-hour tour and the drive to White Pocket takes between 2-2.5 hours from Kanab. We spend 3.5-4 hours at White Pocket hiking and eating lunch. We may also make brief stops along the route at viewpoints and places of interest.

3. How does White Pocket compare to the Wave?
White Pocket and the Wave are only 6.5 miles apart as the raven flies, and both are shaped from the same 190-million-year-old Navajo Sandstone formation. White Pocket offers a much broader expanse of sandstone at 20 acres and it has a bigger variety of shapes, colors and features. Hikers or photographers can spend hours exploring its nooks and crannies. The features here are very condensed, meaning there is a lot to see without having to hike very far. The Wave requires a minimum 6.5-mile hike just to get to the Wave and back. The Wave itself is about 1 acre in size. To be fair, there is more to see besides the Wave at North Coyote Buttes, but more hiking and route finding is required. To learn more about how the two sites compare, read our blogpost.

4. I am staying in Page. Where can we meet?
We offer pick-up service to any hotel or vacation rental in Kanab, Utah, but we do not pick up in Page, Arizona. If you are staying in Page, we can arrange a meeting point halfway between Page and Kanab. Normally, this meeting point is at the intersection of Highway 89 and House Rock Valley Road, which is about 45 minutes west of Page, and is right on the way to White Pocket. Occasionally, we have to change this meeting point when the north end of House Rock Valley is muddy.

If you book a 9 a.m. tour, that is the time the tour departs Kanab, Utah. We would leave at 9 a.m. and meet you at 9:45 a.m. at House Rock Valley. Keep in mind that Page is in Arizona, which does not observe daylight savings time. So from spring through fall, the time in Arizona is one hour earlier than in Utah, where our company operates. So if our tour left Kanab at 9 a.m. (Utah time) and met you at 9:45 a.m. (Utah time), this would be 8:45 a.m. Arizona time during daylight savings time, which starts sometime in early March and usually runs to the end of October.

5. Is there a bathroom at White Pocket?
There are no facilities of any kind at White Pocket. Depending on the route we take to White Pocket, we may stop at a flushable toilet or a pit toilet on our way there and on the way back to Kanab. Once at White Pocket, you may duck behind a tree or bush for privacy whenever necessary. Bury all solid waste. Guides carry toilet paper, hand wipes and plastic bags in each truck. Do not leave any trash on the ground. Paper must be bagged up and can be discreetly discarded into the trash bag at the truck.

6. Do you offer sunset tours at White Pocket?
Sunset tours are considered on a case-by-case basis, so call us at (435) 644-5506. We know sunset photography at White Pocket is world class. But White Pocket is 2.5 hours from Kanab, making sunset tours unfeasible for us for a good part of the year. They are much easier for us to accommodate in late fall, winter or very early spring while days are short. Consider our White Pocket overnight trip that allows for sunrise, sunset and even night photography.

7. Are drones allowed on this tour?
Yes! There is opportunity for incredible drone footage at White Pocket. When operating a drone on tours, please be mindful of other guests on the tour and other hikers who may be in the area. People seek remote locations for the solitude. Please do not fly drones close to other people and limit the amount of time the drone is in the air. Always follow instructions from your guide.

To read more FAQs that are common to all of our tours, visit our FAQs page.

Guest Experiences on the White Pocket Tour

Steve was an awesome guide and we had a great time hiking White Pocket (Vermillion Cliffs) with him. He customized our hike and planned a great route for us. Since we liked birds he stopped at the California Condor viewing area for us. We got to see 900 year old drawings and then amazing views of the white pocket are from different angles. Lunch was yummy with fresh veggies, fruit and meat. Fantastic Day, highly recommend.

DABEDB – May 20, 2019
TripAdvisor

Best tour ever. Such a beautiful natural wonder! The journey there and back was also amazing. Andrea was an excellent guide pointing out all kinds of interesting features of the landscape. Her driving was swift and safe in a well maintained all wheel drive vehicle. I would not want to attempt this trip on my own even with a adequate all wheel drive vehicle. White Pocket itself is simply stunning. I would recommend this tour to anyone who appreciates natural wonders.

I8990KDrobertr – May 16, 2019
TripAdvisor

Took a tour of White Pocket with Dreamland at the end of April with Andrea as our tour guide. It was a great experience. White pocket is very difficult to get to – both in terms of terrain and directions. Having a guide to get you there safely, as well as give some interesting history and facts on the area was great. Would definitely recommend!

Jamie U – May 12, 2019
TripAdvisor

Bailey did a great job for our small group. My wife and I enjoyed everyone’s company as well as the good lunch prepared for us. It takes a while to get out to White Pocket, but you will be glad you made the effort to see this fascinating area.

Departure68316626825 – May 10, 2019
TripAdvisor

Just completed a truly wonderful visit to White Pocket on a photo safari with Dreamland and AZ Highways Photo Tours. Dreamland’s outfitters were outstanding. Food was almost too good and plentiful. Their service and attention to detail is outstanding. Not sure when my next trip is with them but I’m already looking forward to it!

Terry G – May 7, 2019
TripAdvisor

Single Travelers & Private Tours

We can always accommodate single travelers via private tours ($799).  Often times, we are also able to combine a single traveler with other scheduled parties; please give us a call at 435-644-5506 to discuss the latter option.

Private Tours are available to be booked online.

Unique compositions are literally found every few steps in this world-class photographic wonderland. You won’t want to leave.

White Pocket Photo

Our White Pocket Tour in extreme Northern Arizona guides you through a gnarled expanse laid bare right at the transition between the white and reddish orange sandstone. It has twists, multi-color striations of white, yellow, red, orange, and pink, pock marks and pools that sometimes fill with water, mushroom like protrusions, strange bulges that look like brains, polygonal fracturing, and wave-like features. The processes that have given yield to these bizarre rock formations stump even expert geologists. Some think that the area was liquefied in an ancient earthquake which distorted the sandstone layers while they were still soft, before they were buried under the oceans for 100 million years and turned to stone under the enormous heat and pressure.

The White Pocket Tour guides you to one of the most photogenic places in the Vermillion Cliffs N.M., Northern Arizona, and perhaps the entire Southwest, rivaling the Wave in size, variety, and complexity. To find out more about how White Pocket compares to the Wave click ahead to read our BLOG.

Fully Guided Tour

Photography Paradise!

Interesting Geology!

We go out of our way to open the wonders of the West to EVERYONE.

We are permitted, licensed, and insured.

Dreamland Safari Tours holds Special Use Permits from the Grand Staircase Escalante National MonumentGrand Canyon National Park, the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument/Paria WildernessKanab Bureau of Land Management and Arizona Strip Bureau of Land Management.

Don’t see your preferred departure date or time available via online booking? Give us a call. 

For sunset or sunrise at our more remote locations, we recommend a scheduled or custom overnight or multi-day tour – and we are happy to work with you to develop an itinerary that meets your needs.

All listed tour durations and pickup times are approximate. Please allow 10-20 minutes of pickup time flexibility for unforeseen circumstances and varying pickup logistics. Water and snacks are provided on all tours. A lunch meal is included on all tours of 6+ hours. Vegetarian option available.

We reserve the right to fill all empty seats on non-private tours. Cancellation / Reschedule / Weather policy applies.

Please familiarize yourself with our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  before contacting us.

Contact us

To contact us with other specific questions or begin Making Reservations click the “Book Now” Button on each tour page or click Contact Us for info on how to give us a call or shoot us an email.

See all tours at a glance with our

About White Pocket

White Pocket has gained notoriety only recently as a photographer’s playground and world-class hiking destination. It is the perfect alternative to the Wave in North Coyote Buttes and White Pocket lies less than 6 miles away from that famous feature. The colorful stripes and otherworldly rock shapes provide infinite opportunity for photography, and the hiking is much easier than at the Wave. The White Pocket formation itself is 0.7 of a mile across, which doesn’t sound very big, but the gorgeous striations are quite condensed. And it is much bigger than the actual Wave, which is about 2 acres in size.

At White Pocket, the view changes constantly and curious hikers will want to peer around every corner and climb up onto each high point. Those who really appreciate natural beauty have spent a full day exploring White Pocket and felt like they barely scratched the surface. Our guides still uncover fascinating details after scores of trips there.

The Grand Staircase provides a vast and gorgeous backdrop for White Pocket’s intense swirls and white polygonal brain rock. Look out past White Pocket to the brilliant red sandstone of the Coyote Buttes, the Cockscomb, the landmark known as Molly’s Nipple, the Kaibab Plateau and the colorful layers of the Grand Staircase.

Getting to White Pocket

The Jurassic age sandstone formation is situated on the remote and rugged Paria Plateau in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, less than three miles from the Utah border. Its remoteness ensures you won’t encounter crowds here. In fact, on most days there are only a handful of cars at the trailhead. It’s easy to find a secluded spot at White Pocket where you will hear and see no one.

Roads on the Paria Plateau are unmaintained and are comprised of deep sand with rocky sections scattered throughout. A four-wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance and off road tires is a must. Some experience driving in deep sand can really come in handy, especially in summer when the sand is dry, soft and deep. It takes at least 2.5 hours from Kanab or from Page to get to White Pocket. On our tours, we try to make a loop drive out of the trip when we can, depending on road conditions, weather and our pick up locations. On our preferred route, we take 89A out of Kanab heading through Jacob Lake and then we enter House Rock Valley from the south, where we stop at a California Condor release site to look for the endangered raptors. Soon after visiting the condor site, we turn east and head up onto the Paria Plateau. This is where maintained roads end. When we reach Pine Tree Pocket, we veer north and traverse about 10 more miles of sandy roads to White Pocket.

On our way home, depending on weather, we may exit the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument through the north end of House Rock Valley where we catch the gorgeous Vermilion Cliffs and the brilliant East Kaibab Monocline (Cockscomb) in the soft, afternoon light.

It’s a long drive to White Pocket, there is no way around it, but the variety of scenery on the way is incredible and the feeling of remoteness in itself is a real thrill. These roads are remote, sandy and not clearly marked. We rarely bring guests to White Pocket who later say they would have been comfortable navigating the roads on their own.

White Pocket Geology

Rewind 190 million years and imagine a hot, dry desert with gigantic sand dunes stacking up in the brisk wind. White Pocket is comprised of Navajo sandstone that got its start as towering dunes back in the early Jurassic Period. Back then, the area was much closer to the equator than it is today. As the dunes were buried under more and more sand, they became saturated with groundwater. Slowly, groundwater minerals cemented the sand grains together, turning the dunes to stone. But that’s only part of the story. Something happened here, a major ground disturbance – perhaps an earthquake that triggered an underground landslide – that caused layers of sediment to separate, fold and become sheared while the sand was saturated with water and before it had turned to stone. Geologists call this soft sediment deformation. The result of the massive sand slide is wildly contorted and twisted rock. The specifics of how some of the formations came to be stump the most experienced geologists.

There are many shades of red, pink and yellow that are caused by the oxidation of iron-bearing minerals. Pink hues in the rock often indicate the presence of hematite, while limonite appears yellow or brown. The white coating over White Pocket is calcium carbonate.

There are several theories about how the polygonal cracks in the “brain rock” came to be, including thermal contraction, moisture cycles and drying processes of the sandy sediments and tensile forces. Similar cracks have been observed elsewhere on the Colorado Plateau and even on the moon. Guests sometimes say it feels like you’re walking on the back of a giant white dragon or strolling across the surface of the moon. Another “otherworldly” feature found at White Pocket is Moqui marbles. The marble-like concretion has a sandstone center encased in an iron oxide shell.  Scientists say iron was dissolved into ground water 50 million years ago and collected to form sphere shaped iron concretions. In 2004, two Mars rovers landed on the Red Planet and sent back images of BB sized formations similar to Moqui marbles. NASA scientists call them Martian blueberries. NASA studied Moqui marbles on the Colorado Plateau to learn how they form, wondering if this could provide evidence of water on Mars. Results are inconclusive. The Martian blueberries may have been caused by meteorites. But walking around the bizarre landscape at White Pocket, it’s easy to imagine a connection between it and Mars. Rock gathering in the national monument is not allowed.

Human History

Humans have probably been visiting White Pocket since the ice age when nomadic hunters wandered the expansive landscape in search of large game. The Paria Plateau is also home Native American ruins dating back to the Pueblo Periods from about 750 A.D to 1250 A.D. Pottery fragments and arrowhead flakes can be found in the sand surrounding White Pocket. Ancient corn cobs and petroglyphs depicting desert bighorn sheep and deer are found in a cave within walking distance of the White Pocket formation. More recently, ranchers settled and grazing began somewhere around 1840. On the dry plateau, ranchers often drew water from underground springs using pumps powered by windmills. One such windmill, now out of commission, is seen along Corral Valley Road at Corral Valley Pockets. The word ‘pocket’ is a ranching term for a place that holds water. That’s how White Pocket got its name. Way before we sightseers showed up with our cameras, cattlemen were watering their stock in pockets of water on the formation. They even built two concrete dams in 1929 to increase the water capacity of the water pockets. Today, we enjoy these reflective pools for their incredible photographic potential and for their fascinating wildlife. Fairy shrimp, tadpoles and triops are often spotted in the pools.

While ranchers no longer live on the plateau and the land is in public hands, cowboys can still occasionally be spotted rounding up cattle on horseback. One family has ranched the plateau for four generations. Most of the roads on the Paria Plateau were created by ranchers who needed to mend fences and water their cattle. Other signs of ranching are evident: corrals, old abandoned trucks, broken windmills, and cowboy graffiti are signs of a different time. Richard Faye Hamblin (1908-1976) is one cowboy who signed his name on the plateau, on a sandstone wall near White Pocket.

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