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There are as many metaphors to describe what locals call 'down in the Buckskin' as there are people who have been there. I choose the word 'in' because you are literally inside the walls of the world's longest slot canyon. According to the Bureau of Land Management ('BLM') website, Buckskin Gulch is 16 miles long (around 26 km) from the Buckskin Trailhead to the Paria Canyon and over 500 feet (around 150m) deep at its confluence with the Paria River. There are places in the Buckskin where you are able to touch both canyon walls at the same time. Buckskin Gulch is a photographer's and hiker's Mecca. Every corner you turn is changing continuously; the cliffs are water-and-wind-sculpted patterns of colors, light and shadows. You may also marvel and puzzle at the meanings of the rock writings (petroglyphs) from the early Archaic period (some are as old as 9,000 years). It was voted one the top 10 hikes in the world by National Geographic Adventure Magazine a few years back.
White Pocket is a place so remote and amazingly unique that it can feel like you have stepped into another realm where geology decided to bend the rules. White Pocket's geological formation is made of a thin layer of white sandstone lumped up into mounds and cracked into polygonal shapes, somewhat like dried out whipped cream. Under this thin white layer reigns a chaos of yellow, orange and red swirls twisting upon each other. If you are lucky enough to hike there after a summer thunderstorm, you will enjoy a myriad of reflection pools, creating beautiful mirroring effects and infinite opportunities of otherworldly pictures. It is definitely a visual paradise!
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