White Pocket & Buckskin Gulch, May 2012

Took a short weekend trip to the Vermillion Cliffs area this past weekend. Long haul from Phoenix for just a couple days, but wanted to take advantage of the nice weather before it gets too hot in a couple weeks. We headed in through Marble Canyon and worked up through House Rock Valley Road, before turning off towards Poverty Flats and on to White Pocket. The area was fantastic – smaller than Coyote Buttes South – but no less interesting. Lots of amazing formations and colors. Probably should have shot a little later in the afternoon than we did – but still very cool. Had a minor disaster when the howling winds broke one of the support braces in the tent – due to my failure to guy it out. Fortunately we were able to use the guy lines to support the tent so we didn’t have to scrap the camping. Grilled up some nice burgers for dinner, and went for a nice walk through the formations when the full moon rose.

On Sunday we broke camp, drove through Pawhole and moved up to the Wire Pass trailhead for a short day hike. We hiked through the Wirepass Narrows and into Buckskin Gulch. While we only walked a couple miles into the Buckskin it was simply stunning. Huge sandstone walls rising up on either side with only a few feet between them. With the sun high in the sky, we got great colors and shadows.

Wish we had more than a couple days to hike and explore – but definitely worth the drive.

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