Home | Trips | Trail Running | Blog | FAQ | Links | About

Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

Area: Escalante, Utah
Course: Loop (see details below)
Terrain: Sand and Rock and Slot Canyons
Distance: 3 miles RT
Map: Yes
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 return.

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, be careful!

The Trail
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. You’ll be in a side canyon that soon joins Dry Fork Wash. As you hike down canyon you’ll almost immediately come to the mouth of Peek-a-boo. You’ll 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. You’re 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.

Trip Reports
Have a trip report? Post it here.

Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon with double arch

Spooky Slot Canyon