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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Epic Excursion To White Pocket

Joanne suggested today that we go to the White Pockets, that requires miles of off road adventure, and not accessible when the House Rock Ballry Road is bad from moisture between AZ and UT.  

Today was the day to try with the weather bright and no rain in s few days.  The BLM Offive in Kanab, UT tells everyone that he road may not be passable when wet.  If it is you will need 4x4 with high clearance.

After about 2.5 hours we arrived at White Pocket.  That’s about 1 hour from Page, AZ to the southern end of House Rock Valley Road and then about 1.5 hours on Southern end of House Rock Valley Road in Arizona, then a long time in 4x4 narrow roads to arrive.  The mud on House Rock Valley Road wasn’t too bad with mud but had heavy ruts that were now drying.  The wilderness roads were narrow and damp in spots with some rock crawling, but all went well. 

Here’s Joanne’s Jeep in the parking lot of White Pocket.  You can see spots of mud in the poor drainage spots.

There are a number of pockets here that have water.  A few have dams to hold water back.  I’m guessing they were put there for cooling off in the summer.

There are spots here that are reminiscent of “The Wave”, that is located a few miles to the northwest.

I look at these waves in the layered sandstone and enjoy the colors that nature gives us.

As with many of my adventures, I can only give you a sample of what is available to see.  The important thing is to climb and change your view to see what is different.  Susan who also came with us, and Joanne didn’t climb where I went to find the above colors.  Wen we met up later I took them to see this formation.  I can’t stress enough that you must go looking to find what I see and take pictures of.

Here I am sitting on swirling sandstone.  I don’t get tired of seeing these formations.

Here is an excellent example of the sand layering.  I can’t get my head around what happened way back when these layers were formed that caused the various colors.

As I said I have many more phots but it’s time to move along in this blog.

We drove back to House Rock Valley Road with the assumption that we may make it back to Page by going north to US89 as it was shorter.

The road goes north and it got increasingly more difficult with mud rutted sections where the Jeep’s axle was riding in the center ridge as we couldn’t ride the ridge as it was too slippery.  We went past the state line into Utah.  We went past the trailhead for “The Wave”.

We continued on and met a couple in a AWD car heading south.  They were trying to get to Kanab by going north.  We couldn’t believe they make it all the way through the ruts we went through.  We couldn’t believe that they were to try to drive back through them.  They told us that the river washed out the road and couldn’t get through.

Joanne didn’t want to drive back through the mud we just came through.  She brought up that if we turned around, and this car got stuck in front of us, we may not make it past. We decided to go to the river.  It was the river to Buckskin Gulch.  The main road was washed out with 12” deep ruts leading to the river.  The river drop was 2 feet on either side!  The river was flowing fast and about 12” deep we guessed!

We found a second crossing about 200’ down street that had less of s drop.  We tossed stones to check the depth and Joanne’s tried the depth by walking into it. We decided it was worth trying.  We did it!!!

We found more mud and ruts going north after the river.  Above is an example of some of what we went through.  This is not dry, but wet and slippery.  It fills every crack in your tires do you loose tracking to turn or climb your way through this mud and ruts,

Above is our dirt road track from the south at US89A in AZ to US89 in UT to the north.  The line to the right off the main road was our trip to White Pocket.  Yes that’s right 66.5 miles of driving some tedious 4x4 roads.  Also 5.5 hours of driving.  This is why I say it was an epic trip.

The three of us look back now at it and say it was a great day.  Joanne has accomplished a lot of off road leaning since we started.  She is getting very experienced.

The BLM will not come help you out of your problem.  They say a wrecker, if they can make it to you starts at $2K.


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