|Area: Escalante, Utah
|Course: Loop (see details below)
|Terrain: Sand and Rock and Slot Canyons
|Distance: 3 miles RT
|GPS Route: not available
This route is a great
three mile loop. It gives you some absolutely stellar veiws and some
gnarly trail between two amazing lot canyons, Peek-A-Boo which is a
slot and corkscrew and Spooky, a narrow slot canyon, if you are overweight
at all you won't make it through (I am 6'3" and 190lbs and barely
made it and had to take off my camelbak to get through, see video and
photos. I don't recommend doing it at night, we did so as we didn't
get off work and didn't let the dark stop us from checking it out and
bagging both of them. I am not fond of rattlesnakes at night.
Travel East on Scenic Highway 12 from Escalante, Utah to the Hole in
the Rock Road. Take a right on Hole in the Rock Road and travel 26.2
miles to a signed turnoff for the Dry Fork Trailhead on the lefthand
side of the road. Keep left at the fork and follow the road to the trailhead.
The Hole in the Rock Road is a graded dirt road and can be rocky and
sandy in spots. Although 4x4 vehicles are recommended, mostpassenger
cars do fine on the road but may scrape bottom in some sections. The
canyons are best visited in spring and fall or early in the morning
during summer months. Always be aware of the weather
conditions and never enter a slot canyon during stormy weather. Although
flash floods can happen anytime of the year, hiking in July, August,
and September carries the greatest risk. Do NOT drive the road in the
rain, it can be very sketchy. Clay and mud on this road are a major
issue if it rains, and ya you'll be 26.2 miles from the pavement if
you do get stuck, the identical distance of a marathon.
Always hike with
plenty of water in the desert and keep an extra supply of water and
food in your car. Let someone know when you leave and when you are to
Watch for rattlesnakes,
we came upon two great basin rattlesnakes in the slots (July 2010),
these can be fatal and be a major medical issue as you are 2 hrs from
your car and yet another hour from pavement in the event you get bitten,
Moderate scrambling is required
to get into down into Dry Fork Wash. There are cairns along the route
but it is difficult to follow them. Just find a way off the cliff and
down the sand dunes. Youll be in a side canyon that soon joins
Dry Fork Wash. As you hike down canyon youll almost immediately
come to the mouth of Peek-a-boo. Youll see hand and foot holds
cut into the rock to help you scramble up into the canyon. Hike up Peek-a-boo
until the slot ends. About 3/4 the way up the canyon becomes shallow
and you wonder if you are there. Youre not. Keep going to the
very end, until you come to a juniper tree. Rest there in the shade
and then look for the trail and cairns that lead to the right, around
a hill and into the top of Spooky. Spooky will be wide at the entry
point but soon slots up. Hike through the Spooky slot and then continue
down canyon until you find the main Dry Fork Wash. Then hike up Dry
Fork, past the mouth of Peek-a-boo, until you find the trail back up
the cliff to the trailhead. Total hiking time is 3-4 hours.
Also, you can pickup
free maps of the area all around at the visitors center in Escalante,
I found them very helpful.
NOTE: Take a solid
car (ideally a truck) and let others know where you are going and when
you are to return. You are off the 'beaten path' and would not want
to have car trouble out that far. Also, don't forget to bring your camera.
Have a trip report?
Post it here.