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How To See White Pocket, An Amazing Alternative To The Wave


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Agneta Taylor



Welcome to the enchanting world of White Pocket, an incredible natural wonder that offers a mesmerizing alternative to the famous Wave formation. Tucked away in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona, White Pocket is a hidden gem that promises a unique and awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


This otherworldly destination is renowned for its fascinating rock formations, surreal landscapes, and vibrant colors. With its twisting and swirling patterns, resembling a masterpiece painted by Mother Nature herself, White Pocket has become a favorite spot for photographers, hikers, and those seeking a truly unforgettable escape from the mundane.


Unlike its more well-known counterpart, the Wave, accessing White Pocket does not require participating in a lottery or obtaining a permit. This makes it an excellent alternative for those who were not fortunate enough to secure a spot at the Wave or for those who are looking for a more secluded experience. Discover the magic that awaits as we guide you through everything you need to know to make the most of your visit to this extraordinary destination.


What is White Pocket?

White Pocket is a geological marvel nestled within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona, USA. It is a remote and pristine landscape that offers a surreal and otherworldly experience. The area gets its name from the unique white-colored sandstone formations that dominate the terrain.


Unlike the Wave, which is well-known for its undulating sandstone patterns, White Pocket boasts a variety of geological features that will leave you in awe. Here, you will find swirling shapes, wave-like formations, and intricate details etched into the rocks by centuries of wind and water erosion. The colors of the formations range from stark white to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a stunning visual spectacle.


What sets White Pocket apart is the surreal nature of its landscapes. It feels like stepping into a different world, as if you’ve landed on another planet. The unique and intricate rock formations, combined with the vivid colors, give this place an otherworldly feel.


One of the reasons White Pocket is a popular alternative to the Wave is its accessibility. While the Wave requires a limited number of permits obtained through a lottery system, there are no such restrictions for visiting White Pocket. However, it is important to note that even though no permits are required, the area is relatively remote and off the beaten path, so some planning and preparation are necessary for a successful visit.


Whether you are a photographer looking to capture stunning images, a hiker seeking a one-of-a-kind adventure, or simply a nature lover eager to experience the beauty of Arizona’s unique landscapes, White Pocket offers a truly extraordinary experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


How to Prepare for the Trip

Preparing for a trip to White Pocket requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are some essential steps to help you get ready for your adventure:

  1. Research and Learn: Start by researching information about White Pocket to gain a good understanding of what you can expect during your visit. Look for tips, guides, and images that will provide insights into the area’s terrain, weather conditions, and recommended gear.
  2. Season and Weather: Consider the best time of year to visit White Pocket. The weather in this region can be extreme, with scorching summers and chilly winters. Spring and fall tend to offer milder temperatures, making them ideal seasons for exploration.
  3. Physical Fitness: White Pocket involves moderate hiking and scrambling, so it’s important to assess your physical fitness level and ensure you can handle the demands of the terrain. Regular exercise and building stamina in the months leading up to your trip can help prepare your body for the adventure.
  4. Permits and Regulations: While no permits are required for White Pocket, familiarize yourself with any regulations or restrictions set by the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Respect the fragile environment and adhere to any guidelines to help preserve this natural wonder for future visitors.
  5. Pack Accordingly: Prepare a comprehensive packing list that includes essentials such as sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, and plenty of water. Snacks and meals should also be included, as there are no amenities or food services available in the immediate area.
  6. Navigation and Maps: Ensure you have reliable navigation tools and maps to help you find your way to White Pocket. The area is remote and can be challenging to navigate without proper guidance. GPS devices, offline maps, or guidebooks can be invaluable resources.
  7. Emergency Preparedness: Prioritize safety during your trip by having a first aid kit, emergency supplies, and a way to communicate in case of emergencies. Cell phone reception may be limited in the area, so consider alternative communication methods such as satellite phones or walkie-talkies.
  8. Leave No Trace: White Pocket is a pristine and fragile landscape. Practice Leave No Trace principles, which involve carrying out all trash, respecting wildlife and vegetation, and leaving the area as you found it. Help maintain the beauty and integrity of the site for future visitors.

By following these steps and making thorough preparations beforehand, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to White Pocket. It’s time to embark on an adventure of a lifetime and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of this extraordinary destination.


Getting to White Pocket

White Pocket is located in a remote area of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona. While it may be off the beaten path, the journey to this extraordinary destination is well worth the effort. Here are the main options for getting to White Pocket:

  1. Self-Drive: One popular option is to embark on a self-drive adventure to White Pocket. From the nearest town of Kanab, Utah, it takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the trailhead by car. The journey involves driving on unpaved roads, so having a high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended. You should also ensure you have a full tank of gas and a spare tire.
  2. Guided Tours: If you prefer not to drive or navigate the remote and rugged terrain on your own, joining a guided tour is an excellent alternative. There are various tour operators in the region that offer guided trips to White Pocket. These tours usually provide transportation, knowledgeable guides, and a wealth of information about the area’s geology and history. It’s a hassle-free way to explore White Pocket while leaving the logistics in the hands of experienced professionals.
  3. Hiking: For the more adventurous and experienced hikers, there is an option to reach White Pocket on foot. This involves a long and challenging hike through rugged terrain, so it is only recommended for fit and experienced hikers who are prepared for a multi-day trek. It is crucial to plan and prepare accordingly, carrying all necessary supplies and navigation tools.

Whichever option you choose, it is essential to plan ahead, check road conditions, and be well-prepared for the journey. Keep in mind that cell phone reception may be limited or non-existent in the area, so having alternative means of communication and navigation, such as a GPS device or offline maps, is crucial. Always notify someone about your plans and expected return time, especially if you are embarking on a solo adventure.


Before setting out, it is also advisable to cross-check the latest information and permit requirements with the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument website or visitor center. This will ensure you have the most up-to-date details and can enjoy a safe and rewarding trip to White Pocket.


Exploring White Pocket

Exploring White Pocket is like stepping into a surreal and mesmerizing landscape. The intricate and awe-inspiring rock formations, combined with the vibrant colors, offer endless opportunities for adventure and discovery. Here is a glimpse into what you can expect when exploring White Pocket:


Rock Formations: The main attraction of White Pocket is undoubtedly its unique and intricate rock formations. From swirling patterns to wave-like shapes, the sandstone formations create a visual spectacle that is unlike anything you have ever seen before. Take your time to wander among the curves and crevices, marveling at the incredible geological wonders that Mother Nature has crafted.


Hiking and Photography: White Pocket is a paradise for hikers and photographers alike. The area offers various hiking trails that range in difficulty, allowing you to explore the landscapes at your own pace. As you wander through the formations, keep your camera ready to capture the ethereal beauty at every turn.


Wildlife and Flora: While exploring White Pocket, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this area home. From desert reptiles like lizards and snakes to small mammals and bird species, the region offers a unique opportunity to observe nature up close. Additionally, plant enthusiasts will delight in the variety of desert flora that thrives in this arid environment.


Stargazing: White Pocket’s remote location away from light pollution makes it an ideal spot for stargazing. As night falls, the expansive desert sky unveils a breathtaking display of stars. Set up a cozy campsite and spend the evening marveling at the celestial wonders above.


Quiet Reflection: White Pocket’s secluded and tranquil atmosphere makes it the perfect place for quiet reflection and relaxation. Take a moment to sit amidst the stunning landscape, allowing the serenity and grandeur of the surroundings to wash over you. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature.


When exploring White Pocket, it is important to stay on designated trails and be mindful of the fragile environment. The delicate formations can be easily damaged, so always practice Leave No Trace principles and tread lightly.


Prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary beauty that lies within White Pocket. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a photographer, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, a journey through this enchanting landscape is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


Essential Tips for Visiting White Pocket

A trip to White Pocket requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when visiting this mesmerizing destination:

  1. Carry Ample Water: White Pocket is situated in a desert environment, so staying hydrated is crucial. Carry enough water to sustain you throughout your visit, especially if you plan on embarking on hikes or spending extended periods exploring the area.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are recommended for the hot desert climate, while layered clothing is advisable for cooler temperatures during the early mornings or evenings.
  3. Protect Yourself from the Sun: The desert sun can be intense, so be sure to apply sunscreen regularly, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and seek shade whenever possible to protect yourself from UV rays. A lightweight, long-sleeved shirt can also provide additional sun protection.
  4. Stay Alert and Prepare for the Elements: White Pocket is a remote area, and cell phone reception may be limited or non-existent. Be prepared for unexpected weather changes by carrying appropriate gear such as rain jackets or windbreakers. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to take shelter if necessary.
  5. Respect the Environment: White Pocket is a fragile and delicate ecosystem. Please exercise caution and avoid touching or climbing on the rock formations to prevent damage. Stick to designated trails and follow Leave No Trace principles by carrying out all trash and leaving the area as you found it.
  6. Plan for Limited Facilities: There are no amenities or facilities available at White Pocket, so come prepared. Pack enough food for your visit and carry out any waste. Additionally, there are no restroom facilities, so plan accordingly for bathroom breaks.
  7. Be Prepared for a Remote Experience: White Pocket is located in a remote area, so don’t expect to have easy access to services or communication. Have a fully charged phone or a backup power source, and inform someone about your plans and expected return time. It’s also advisable to carry a map or GPS device for navigation.
  8. Allow Sufficient Time: White Pocket is a place to be savored and explored at a leisurely pace. Allocate enough time to fully appreciate the beauty of the area and engage in activities such as hiking, photography, and simply immersing yourself in the stunning surroundings.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit to White Pocket, ensuring a memorable and safe experience in this extraordinary destination. Prepare well, respect the environment, and get ready to be captivated by the enchanting beauty that awaits.



A journey to White Pocket is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and witness a landscape that seems to defy the boundaries of imagination. This hidden gem within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument offers a captivating alternative to the famous Wave formation, with its swirling rock formations, vibrant colors, and ethereal beauty.


Whether you choose to embark on a self-driven adventure, join a guided tour, or tackle the challenging hike to reach White Pocket, the journey is well worth the effort. You’ll be rewarded with a surreal and awe-inspiring experience that will leave a lasting impression.


As you explore White Pocket, take the time to appreciate the delicate balance of this remote ecosystem and practice responsible travel. Respect the surroundings, tread lightly, and leave no trace. By doing so, we can ensure that White Pocket remains a pristine and cherished destination for future generations to discover and enjoy.


Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other, where you can capture breathtaking photographs, hike through otherworldly landscapes, and find solace in the serenity of this remote natural wonder.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or simply a lover of extraordinary landscapes, White Pocket offers an experience that will ignite your sense of wonder and leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, set out on an incredible journey, and let White Pocket’s captivating beauty and surreal charm transport you to a world unlike any other.