Sand Hills/Vermillion Cliffs NM hoodoos & brainrock


May 18, 2012
Wondered if any people with a high clearance 4WD is interested in joining 2 of us in a 2nd car to visit the Sand Hills (Vermillion Cliffs National Monument) heading out early Aug 24, returning mid-morning next day (weather permitting) - although you could stay on if you wanted to see Whitepocket. Two vehicles seems sensible as roads are sandy & it’s remote/few visitors.

The aim is to focus solely on exploring an area of teepees, hoodoos, brainrocks & coloured log rocks around Lower Reservoir, the Cowboy Hat, Middle Reservoir & Twin Tanks all within a radius of about 5 miles, & camp at a nice spot for some sunrise/sunset photos. It will be hot but it will be short hikes where you can go in a straight line to look or walk around as far from the car as you like, We won’t have permits for Coyote Buttes & it’s highly unlikely we’ll visit Whitepockets although as we are going out via the same half of the loop road & Big Sink (that also has nice rock formations) so you could turn off and visit Whitepokcet the 2nd afternoon and you are likely to bump into others. You could even go to Paw Hole or try for a CBS permit

As Coyote Buttes and Whitepocket are rather photographed to death, although I've seen some photos in Kelsey's book of the above places, the aim is to perhaps find some nice surprises maybe as he said this is the 3rd best area on the Sand Hills, (The loop road and slight detour roads pretty much pass by most of these places - but it seems Twin Tanks may be a 1.6 mile each way hike, so perhaps that might be one for as eaarly as possible the second morning when it's cooler in which case we'd probably camp somewhere in that area. Anyone interested I can send a map and/or pics from Kelsey's book. Or click here and scroll down to the map