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The Vermilion Cliffs to The Grand Staircase

Arizona Strip & Southern Utah Wanderings | Day 3
Monday, October 8, 2012

On Monday morning we got up early and wandered over to The White Pocket again to catch the sunrise. We arrived plenty early to try and catch the pre-sunrise glow, which was amazing!

There’s sometimes an amazing glow that really brings out the colors in the sandstone about 10-20 minutes before sunrise. You can see it with your eyes, but a long exposure really brings it out in your photos.

Radiate by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Interesting shapes and lines in this formation and nice clouds in the sky. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions.

Awake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

White Pocket Butte lights up with alpenglow right before the sun comes up.

White Pocket Alpenglow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once the sun was up we spent the rest of the morning doing some more exploring and, of course, taking plenty more photos. There were some nice clouds in the sky this morning.

Red & White by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Flake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sentinel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

White Pocket Morning by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Butte by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Sandy Pocket by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

White Mountain by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After spending a few more hours photographing The White Pocket it was time to pack up and move on to our next destination.

Leaving the White Pocket by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once our camp was packed up and loaded back into the Jeep we went searching for some ruins and rock art before leaving the Arizona Strip and heading back into Utah.

At our first stop we found plenty of potsherds scattered on the ground.

Three Types by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We found this one faint petroglyph nearby.

Faint Lizard Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This small ruin and a large foundation was found on the ridge above the potsherds and petroglyph.

Ridgetop Ruin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

While hiking to another ridgetop ruin we came across another area that was covered with potsherds.

Pottery by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We made one last stop at the Wiregrass Reservoir to find some very faint petroglyphs.

Wiregrass Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As we were driving back into Utah on the House Rock Valley Road, I just had to stop for a photo of my Jeep parked where I got stuck in quicksand last month. It looks a bit different now…

Not Stuck by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We decided to grab some dinner in Kanab before heading into the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument via Johnson Canyon and the Nephi Pasture Road under the White Cliffs. We ended up taking a rough Jeep road near our planned hike for the next day and setup camp shortly before sunset. Unfortunately, this area was in a thick Pinyon and Juniper forest, so there was really no great place to take sunset photos from.

Part of The White Cliffs at sunset over the tops of the trees.

White Cliffs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I liked the way the branches on this dead tree kind of matched up with the clouds in the sky.

Branches & Clouds by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Just a photo of our campsite for the night shortly before the sun went down and we went to bed.

Vermilion Camp by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> The Vermilion Cliffs to The Grand Staircase Photo Gallery


  1. Jonathan King
    Jonathan King October 21, 2012

    Great pix and report, as always. Hey, what’s that elevated tentlike contraption in the last photo? Something prudent for snaky areas, or an innovation in comfort I’ve not heard about?

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat October 22, 2012

      It’s a tentcot. I use it when solo camping out of my Jeep. It’s great! Very comfortable and quick to setup and take down.

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