Peek-A-Boo & Spooky Slot Canyons: Escalante, Utah
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons in Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, Utah are an out-of-this-world adventure that your kids will always remember. You will feel like you are on a different planet as you traverse the rock formations of Peek-A-Boo and skim through the narrow walls of Spooky. This is a slot canyon adventure your family will never forget.
Fun: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (out of 5)
Difficulty: Very Easy Easy MODERATE Hard Very Hard
Distance: 3.5 - 5.5 miles depending on the parking lot
Elevation Gain: 700 ft
Terrain: Desert, rocks, sand, exposed trail, slot canyons
Time: 3 to 5 hours
When to Go: Spring or Fall
Vault bathrooms at trailhead
THINGS TO BRING
Plenty of water, 1 to 2 liters per person
Good hiking shoes
Download all trails map
Small hiking backpack, a large backpack wont fit.
Peek-A-Boo and Spooky are my kids favorite hikes so far. Such a fun adventure! We hiked with an 11, 10, 7 and 2 year old without any problems. Our 2 year old hiked 90% of the slots on his own, barefoot (his shoes wouldn't stay on!). You don’t need to bring a rope or special climbing equipment.
This adventure may not be for everyone. If you are overweight or have a larger frame, some of the slots in Spooky may be too tight for you. It is only about 10 inches wide in some places.
Peek-A-Boo on the other hand is wider and should not be a problem for most people. You can do Peek-A-Boo and then turn back the way you came if you are not able to do Spooky.
Slot Canyon Safety
It is very important to check weather conditions before attempting to hike any slot canyon. Flash flooding can happen creating a dangerous situation in slots. Before hiking any narrow canyons we check the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/slc/flashflood for Flash Flood Potential. We only attempt to hike if flash floods are not expected.
Peek-A-Boo and Spooky slot canyons are located within Grand Staircase Escalante Monument. You access these slot canyons via Hole in the Rock Road outside of the town of Escalante.
The dirt road is very bumpy and impassable if there is rain. A 4x4 is recommended, but not required. We have a truck and it was a bumpy ride, but doable. I saw a couple of cars that were attempting the drive that were doing fine, just drive slow and make sure to have a spare tire just in case.
There are two different trailheads, both located off of BLM 252. We didn't know this at time of hiking and ended up at the trailhead that makes the hike longer, closer to 5.5 miles. Both trailheads are accessed from from Hole in the Rock Road, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) road 200. There are bathrooms at the Dry Fork Traildhead we parked at but no water. Pack plenty of water beforehand. The second trailhead is located a bit further up BLM 252 and cuts at least 1.5 miles off the hike from what I can tell from google maps.
The hike is an out-and-back combined with a loop. The first and last miles of the hike are the same trail just opposite directions and are completely exposed in the desert. We ended the hike the first week of June around 1 pm. This was hot! This last mile of the hike was not enjoyable.
Despite the desert heat of the last mile we still loved this hike. I recommend this hike in the spring and fall. The slots are nice and cool, but the beginning and end along with the trail between Peek-A-Boo and Spooky slots are completely exposed.
The first mile has beautiful views of the desert and then descends down some slick rock. Follow the trail markers.
Once you level out again you will come to a ravine and then an opening with a sign.
From this sign, dry fork canyon will be to your left, Peek-A-Boo will be ahead slightly to your right, and spooky will be to your right about 0.6 miles.
We were too tired to do Dry Fork Narrows by the end but I walked down for a few minutes and snapped a few pictures.
Peek-A-Boo and Spooky form a loop. You can choose which direction you want to hike. I recommend doing the loop clockwise starting with Peek-A-Boo. By hiking clockwise first, the narrow spooky slot will be mostly downhill.
If taking the loop clockwise, you will need to scramble/climb up the entrance to Peek-A-Boo. I climbed the Peek-A-Boo entrance first and then helped the kids up as needed from the top while my husband helped at the bottom.
As you enter Peek-A-Boo you will feel like you are on a different planet - so many amazing rock formations. We loved exploring the red rock and climbing over and under the sandstone. Around each corner was something new and fun.
Peek-A-Boo ends by ascending upward slightly to a desert plateau. Follow the trail markers (stacked rocks) for about a half mile.
You will then descend down a sandy path to the entrance of Spooky.
Spooky starts wider and then gets more narrow as you go further into the slot. We stopped for lunch in an open area at the beginning.
In Spooky you will come to some large boulders which look impassable.
However, as you descend you will find a rope you can use to slowly lower yourself down to continue on the trail.
I would recommend at least 2 adults if hiking with kids to help with this area. I helped the kids as they used the rope to lower themselves. I passed our 2 year old down to my husband.
This kids loved adventuring through Spooky's narrow walls. I had to turn sideways to fit through some of the slots. We brought a child hiking backpack carrier which was too wide when we needed to fit through sideways. I ended up just holding it out in front of me when I needed to walk sideways.
After Spooky you will take a left and head the 0.6 miles in Dry Fork back to the sign, finishing the slot canyon loop. You then hike out of the ravine the way you came. Make sure you have water left for this exposed last mile. If you parked at the closer trailhead, this section will be a lot shorter and more enjoyable.
PROS & CONS
Super fun slot canyons
Fun for all ages
No water at trailhead
Accessed via bumpy dirt road
Exposed trail at beginning and end
Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons are located within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, about 33 miles south west of the Town of Escalante Utah. It is about an hour drive from Escalante due to road conditions. Heading west on Highway 12 from Escalante take Hole in the Rock Road for 26 miles.
Hole in the Rock Road is bumpy and sandy. We went 30 to 40 MPH on this road in a truck with 4 wheel drive. We saw a few cars and smaller SUVs drive this road. You may just need to take it slower. Do not attempt to drive on this road if it is muddy. After 26 bumpy miles on Hole in the Rock Road, turn left onto BLM road 252 and follow this to one of the two trailheads. There is also an overflow parking area not far off of the Hole in the Rock Road as you drive to the trailheads.
The trail is marked with trail-markers, however I read reviews of a few people getting confused between spooky and Peek-A-Boo slots. It might be a good idea to download the All Trails map for this hike onto your phone before attempting.
OTHER NEARBY ADVENTURES
Petrified Forest State Park (1 hour)
Kodachrome Basin State Park (1 hour 45 mins)
Hole in the Rock Road (3 mins to 1 hour)
Bryce Canyon National Park (2 hours)
Lower Calf Creek Falls (1 hour 15 mins)
Anasazi State Park (1 hour 30 minutes)
Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.
My goal is to inspire you to get outside and create your own amazing memories as a family. Life is precious and there are too many adventures to be had to spend life on the couch or in front of a screen.
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