When Arizona Highways PhotoScapes takes you into White Pocket you are given access to photograph surreal, strange, and interesting rock formations in one of the most unique landscapes in North America.
White Pocket requires driving on miles of rough and rugged routes and sandy “roads” only marked by vague descriptions of arroyos and pinion pine trees. At the end of this road is a paradise!
The mind boggling and ludicrous rock formations of White Pocket will fill the senses (and memory cards) beyond your wildest imagination! Exploring the swirling, twisted, multicolored outcroppings is a photographic adventure that cannot be duplicated.
The myriad of formations there have been described as looking like boiling cauliflower heads, brain rocks, swirling caramel ice cream, and giant oyster shells. From the complex there are the most incredible views all the way to Escalante, and you can see so far over the plateau that you can even make out the pink cliffs of Bryce Canyon!
A few years ago, White Pocket was relatively obscure, known only by local ranchers and a handful of adventurous photographers. Amazing images from this area have been featured in Arizona Highways Magazine as well as National Geographic and photography guidebooks of the Southwest. Since then there has been a surge of interest, and today White Pocket is on the bucket list of every photographer wanting to capture the unique magic of the Southwest.
Our photographer, Suzanne Mathia has been photographing White Pocket and the surrounding areas for many years. She will show you all the classic formations and some “super secret” spots and vantage points. She will share with you formations such as Lollipop Rock, ET, Star Wars, Whimsical Hill, Stegosaurus Ridge, Rock Garden, and the Alcove Hanging Garden as well as what Suzanne refers to as the Oyster Beds. They are so many places to explore, create amazing unique images and hone your photographic skills. Each morning, we will be up early to catch the first rays of light as they fill the complex with warm golden light. As we are only a few hundred feet from our camp area, you can wander the complex to your heart’s content. We will even learn to shoot in the potentially harsh light of midday concentrating on shape form and luminosity with the intent of converting to black and white. We will watch the light change as the sun sets in the West and dips below the horizon, and the landscape takes on subtle pastel tones of blues and pinks. After a hearty dinner, Suzanne will show you how to capture images of the night sky and do a little “light painting”.
The remoteness of White Pocket, its difficulty to find, and the need for expert driving in high clearance 4WD vehicles make this area inaccessible to most photographers. We have arranged for an expert local outfitter to transport us to White Pocket, set up our camp, and provide us amazing home-cooked meals, toilets, chairs and tables, campfires, tents, and sleeping bags. All you need to worry about is creating amazing images and having fun!
- Photographic instruction
- 4-wheeled roundtrip transportation from Cliff Dwellers at the Vermilion Cliffs.
- One night lodging at Cliff Dwellers, based on single occupancy.* Individual tents and sanitized sleeping bags are provided by the outfitter for our two nights on the Plateau. Should you wish to bring your own tent and camping gear, please let us know immediately so that we can accommodate the extra load.
- All meals will be provided by outfitter during our camping excursion.
- All applicable entrance, park, permit, and tour fees
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes obtains permits with BLM and Glen Canyon Recreation Area
*Double occupancy permitted for two participants traveling together. A discount will be provided.
Please be aware that the shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on weather and lighting conditions. We want to give you the best photo opportunities.
Day 1 – Wednesday, May 4, 2022
- Group will meet at the hotel at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge at Marble Canyon at 1:00 pm for Suzannes’s presentation and orientation on White Pocket.
- Depart late afternoon for a sunset shoot at Navajo Bridge and the surrounding area.
- Return to Cliff Dwellers for dinner and download.
Day 2 – Thursday, May 5, 2022
- Up early for sunrise photography at Lees Ferry and Lonely Dell Orchard.
- Return for brunch and if time allows an image critique.
- Meet our outfitters at 1:00 pm to pack up gear and head to White Pocket.
- Arrive at the campsite, outfitters provide orientation.
- We will then head out to various locations and shoot through sunset.
- Return to camp for dinner, relaxation, campfire chats, and night photography.
Day 3 – Friday, May 5, 2022
- Up at first light to capture the sweet light at White Pocket and capture the many interesting rock formations.
- During the harsh light, photographers can explore or sit back and relax at camp
- Mid-afternoon we are out once again for more great photography. We’ll stay out through sunset and return to camp for another delicious camp meal.
- Then it’s time to relax, unwind, share stories and enjoy shooting some stars.
Day 4 – Saturday, May 7, 2022
- Last early rise to catch the sunrise on the Plateau and explore more intriguing rock formations.
- Back at camp for breakfast.
- Pack up mid-morning for our return to Cliff Dwellers.
- Arrive at noon.
- Workshop adjourns.
Strenuous Rating: Moderate to Slightly Difficult.
Short hikes up to 2 miles RT on uneven terrain. Distance is at your own discretion. Some scrambling on rocks. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots recommended. Slight elevation changes.
As our outfitter puts so eloquently….“We’re stoked to have earned the opportunity to host you! Keep in mind that our hikes take place in the 4,000 – 8,000 ft. elevation range, which can take adjustment for those who are acclimated to sea level. For the sake of maximizing enjoyment for yourself and the others who subsequently join the trip, if you have known physical difficulties please be more conservative and carefully consider the activity level. A guided tour will not fix your bad knees or make you young again. Physical inability can become a serious problem in the wilderness. Also, while we do everything we can to moderate hiking routes to fit our groups’ abilities, sometimes groups with mixed abilities require patience and understanding on both sides and with our guides. Have a fantastic time!”
The Workshop will Begin and End at Cliff Dwellers in the Vermillion Cliffs
Cliff Dwellers Lodge
Marble Canyon, AZ 86036
Tel: (928) 355-2261
We’ll spend our first night at the Cliff Dwellers Lodge at the Vermilion Cliffs. The first night is included in your workshop fees based on single occupancy. Double occupancy permitted for two participants traveling together. A discount will be provided.
Dreamland Safari Tours
During our back-country excursion, Dreamland Safari will transport us via 4-wheel vehicles into White Pocket on the Paria Plateau. Campsite, gear, and meals will be provided by Dreamland Safari. Outfitted services are included in your workshop fee.
- 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
- 90 days full payment is due
- 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $100 administrative fee. The voucher is good for 18 months.
- * 60 days or less until departure – No refund.
* If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less the $100 administrative fee.
NOTE: Workshop bookings including, but not limited to, outfitters, permit agencies, lodging and more are requiring firm financial commitments at 90 days. Therefore, in order to continue to bring you to great destinations, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined above. We recognize cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable that is why securing a Travel Protection Plan is highly encouraged.
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions. Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits. If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date. Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.
Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.
PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit. Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure. Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.