White Pocket, commonly known to the locals as Mars, is located 2.5 hours from Kanab, Utah via 89A across the Kaibab plateau. I am going to go ahead and recommend a few tour companies to get you there. The trail quickly turns to a maze of bottomless sand and sharp rock; with some small ledges and a few challenging cattle guards (you’ll see).
To access this area you must have a high clearance 4×4 with a compressor to air up your tires after you air them down. And you will air them down…
These are the tour companies I personally recommend. They will ensure your tour is amazing, stress-free and provide you with geological/historical information along the way. You simply cannot go wrong heading into White Pocket with a knowledgeable guide.
Kanab Western Adventures
White Pocket is one of the most stunning geological wonders I have laid eyes on. This area has baffled geologists for decades and inspired photographers for as long. The swirled sandstone looks like frozen waves of ice cream! Oranges, yellows, reds and whites in every hue mesmerize and captivate even the harshest of critics. (If there is such a thing as an outdoor critic). The whimsical formations are actually the product of intense temperatures, prehistoric earthquakes, ocean water pressure and a whole lot of physics. And what is cool: you can hike the area leisurely; at your own pace.
As always… pack plenty of water. The trail to the actual White Pocket area from the parking lot is a short hike in deep sand. But you will not want to waste time hiking back and forth for water. Once to the rock, start clock-wise and circle around. There are some places with steep drop-offs that can pose a danger to small children, etc. Walking sticks = NO METAL TIPS. The metal tips of walking sticks are scarring our beautiful sandstone areas and are now being fined by the BLM when used by visitors. Get rubber tips and preserve our lands! I highly recommend a visit to this area and will let my photos do the rest of the talking!
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DIRECTIONS: White Pocket trailhead is accessed from the House Rock Valley Road. Leaving Kanab, Utah head west through Fredonia, AZ via Hwy 89A. Up and over the Kaibab… not turning until you come to BLM road 1017 (13.5 miles east of Jacob’s Lake). Take a left on 1017, you will drive past an old homestead area with several vehicles, including a bus and chickens. There will be chickens.
Continue on 1017 for a total of 6.2 miles; along the way you will pass the Condor viewing area. This is your last chance for a civilized bathroom break for several hours… take it! After the 6.2 miles on 1017…Proceed northeast on BLM 1087. Continue on BLM 1087 until it splits into BLM 1086. Stay left to follow BLM 1086 to the White Pocket Trailhead. There will be a sign. Leave all gates as you find them. Leave NO trace as you travel.
BLM states: You are responsible for your safety. If you get lost while hiking, experience a non-life-threatening emergency, or if your vehicle becomes stuck or breaks down, it is your responsibility, not the responsibility of emergency services or BLM, to deal with the situation. The roads that access White Pocket Trailhead consist of deep sand and patches of sharp rock. Four-wheel-drive high-clearance vehicles are required. Every year, many groups get stuck and stranded on the way to this trailhead as a result of attempting the drive without enough experience or in inappropriate vehicles. If you are unsure of your vehicle’s capabilities or simply don’t want to assume the risk, BLM recommends hiring an authorized guide. Information about authorized guides may be found at BLM visitor centers or on our website.
**The popularity of White Pocket is leading to impacts in the form of exposed human waste and toilet paper, excessive campfire rings, and vegetation damage. Please do your part to keep these areas clean and natural. If you camp in the area, use existing campsites, and keep them small. Bury human waste 6” deep, and well away from the campsite. Pack out all your trash, including food scraps and toilet paper. To minimize impact, do not damage trees or collect firewood.**