White Pocket X-Factor

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The largest and best-known formations in the Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness are the Coyote Buttes in the northwest corner of the plateau, including the famous Wave. The second most visited site – White Pocket – is located six miles southeast of the Wave.

“Discovered” by photographers 15-20 years ago, the name White Pocket actually refers to two areas. On the topo map, there is a tall 500-foot high butte often referred to as the White Pocket Monolith or Butte. Conversely, photographers use the term White Pocket to refer to the area of white and coral-colored cauliflower (aka brain) rock to the east of the White Pocket Butte. This area has many water pockets which account for the name. White, or light grey is the dominant rock color, in contrast to the red of the Coyote Buttes, but the general features are similar – swirling, thin-layered strata, adjacent layers of contrasting color, and curious erosive features.

This fascinating rock formation is one of the many intriguing extra-terrestrial-looking shapes you will find anywhere on the planet. Twisted swirls of coral rock intertwined with white rock topped by dollops of grey cauliflower (aka brain) rock.

Location: White PocketVermillion Cliffs Wilderness area.