The Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a three hundred thousand-plus acre plateau bordered by thousand foot cliffs and containing dozens of valleys, buttes and mesas covered with towers, teepees, spires and brain rocks.
Deep sand keeps this Monument largely unexplored and unvisited. if you attempt it on your own be sure to bring a high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle as well as a shovel, a jack, some flat boards and plenty of water. Cell phone coverage is spotty.
Soap Creek/Rainbow Rocks
No permit required. Our new and improved (we found more great stuff) Soap Creek Tour is really good. To get there, you get to see lots of formations on the way through Pinnacle Valley as well as Joe’s Ranch – like White Pocket with an ancient ranch house and outbuildings in front of it. Soap Creek itself is a huge area of rainbow-colored brain rocks with some fins, balanced rocks and odd formations punctuated with big ponderosa pine trees. It is right on the edge of the plateau with stunning edge views looking down on the beginning of the Grand Canyon. We also visit an area with a lot of colored detail and painted cliff faces that is exceptional.
This tour is really remarkable and an alternative to the increasingly crowded White Pocket area. Lots of photo opportunities. Two or three miles hiking.
Pinnacle Valley Area
No permit required. Hiking required. May visit lots of colorful seldom-visited formations with hiking/driving in between. Lots of colorful formations and some great detail shots. We’ll show you as much as we can of what we’ve found so far.