Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

MODERATE 211 reviews

Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons is a 3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Escalante, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until November.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
459 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

muddy

scramble

no shade

no dogs

Awesome, seemingly endless slot canyons. Easy to moderate hike with absolutely amazing views. Hole in the Rock Road is generally passable except in heavy snow, but the spur road to the trailhead is often impassable for sedans. Camping is available, register at trailhead. Remember to bring lots of water as it is bound to get very hot during the summer and there is often little to no shade. Call (435) 826-5499 before setting out to check for current conditions.

5 days ago

Loved this hike! It was very challenging and worth every minute of that awful 26mi wash board road drive.

Go early, pack plenty of water, and wear a hat! I would rate this hard, but I'm out of shape so gauge accordingly.

hiking
15 days ago

Great adventure. Worth the 50 miles of bad road. The reviews do not do it justice. Keep in mind this is a physical endeavor. Bring plenty of water. Start with peek a boo and come down spooky. Spooky is very narrow. You will need to carry your backpack in you hands, walk sideways and shuffle your feet through most of it. One difficult point in spooky. When you come to the big boulder blocking the path you will need to go under it. Look for the white rock. There are two ways down. Choose wisely. A rope would help. Enjoy.

19 days ago

Great fun, kids loved it. It is tricky in a few spots due to drop offs that require you to help each other.

21 days ago

Make sure you take a map and find the trail BEFORE you start hiking. There are no signs and weird trail markers in random places. Take twice as much water as you think you need. It’s fun but they need better trail markers at the start.

24 days ago

Did this hike two weeks ago on a Monday. There were very few people which made it very fun and scary at the same time. My first takeaway is that this hike should be rated hard, not because of the actual physical excursion, but because of the somewhat dangerous rock scrambling and extremely claustrophobic conditions. That being said, those conditions are what give this hike a “wow” factor that is off the charts. I would put it right up there with Angel’s Landing for coolness factor. I read a bunch of reviews warning about getting lost and we still got lost. We ended up doing Dry Forks first, thinking it that it was Peek-a-boo. We ended up right back at the beginning realizing that we hadn’t even done the right hike!There were several other groups of hikers there that were lost and turned around as well. Also when you come out of the slot canyons you are plopped right into the middle of a beautiful but barren desert. Bring lots of water! The BLM could really do a service by upgrading the wayfaring signs. There also seem to be cairns everywhere. All that being said as long as you aren’t scared or anxious about the tight canyons, the feeling of being in a slot that is only as wide as your body turned sideways but is 30 to 40 feet high is very exhilarating. The hike back to the car was pretty brutal too.

hiking
24 days ago

We accidentally did Dry Forks thinking it was Peek-a-boo. We hiked the canyon all the way out and the rim back to where we started. It was beautiful and we enjoyed it a lot. But we where confused and got a little lost making our way back. There are a lot of trails going in lots of directions so watch your maps and be careful.

It was very busy when we went (May 27). Lots of kids as well as adults. Go the same direction as most people (peekaboo to spooky) or you’ll make it difficult for yourself and others!

Peek-a-boo was very fun and not too difficult. If you are only mildly claustrophobic, you would still probably be fine. But there is some climbing and dropping through holes and if it crowded it could be overwhelming. Our whole party made it and really enjoyed it a lot! I would absolutely recommend it!

Spooky is only 11in wide in some parts. If you are claustrophobic at all, it’s probably not for you. And make sure you really will fit through because backing out once you start is very tricky. One member of our party didn’t fit and another started feeling a little overwhelmed because of the tight space and the line of people in front and behind. But some of our party went all the way through and it is really cool! Unlike anything we had done before. It was like a combination of rock scrambling, canyon hiking, and spelunking. Very fun!

Also hole in the rock road is even worse than they make it sound. We had taken our 12 passenger van through some rough terrain on other trips because of its high clearance and we thought it would be fine on this road. It was not. We struggled.

Overall, very glad we were able to do these trails! So unique, exciting, and beautiful!

hiking
26 days ago

This is a great hike for slot canyon lovers. Spooky is in fact spooky thin, and peak-a-boo has two beautiful arches that jump out and surprise you. Following are couple things to note:
1. Hiking out of spooky requires scrambling up a rock slide, that is more akin to rock climbing than scrambling.
2. I would suggest starting with Peak-a-boo, and than take the connector to spooky. That seemed to be the general flow traffic.
3. You'll need lots of water, and a map
4. Go early because there is less people.
It is an amazing hike that you won't soon forget. Have fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the drive down the wash board dirt road and through the free range cow herds.

The road is a mix of car passable and “I’m glad I am driving a four wheel drive”, though some people actually made it to the parking area in a minivan & car (rental cars I suspect).

From the parking area, follow the cairn stacks down the hill. You end up in a river bed with three directions to choose from; left is Dry Fork Slot Canyon, straight ahead is Peek, and to the right a curving river bed that leads to Spooky.

Highly recommend doing Peek to Spooky and not Spooky to Peek.

About half way up Peek, someone carved “End” in a rock; ignore this, it is only the halfway point.

The true end comes out in another small dry river bed (to your left). At this point turn to your right and start walking until you come to another, much wider, river bed. Spooky Gulch will be to your right when you are in the large river bed.

About 1/3 way into Spooky, we came to some huge boulders the seem to block the way. If you look over the top of the you will be about 30 feet above the bottom but if you look underneath the left side of the biggest boulder, you’ll see a small hole that drops down to another small boulder.

From there, it is a short drop to a large flat rock, then a few hundred feet of some pretty narrow slots.

Have fun..

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was amazing! We hiked Dry Forks out and back and then looped from Peekaboo to Spooky. It wasn’t super well marked to loop between Peekaboo and Spooky, but if you have a map you should be able to follow the few cairns and footpaths and be fine. Some scrambling in Peekaboo and Spooky was the narrowest of the three. We had to pass our backpack in a few spots and if we had done Spooky out and back from the trailhead side we would have just left our packs at the entrance. Super fun to explore... would highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing slots! Definitely 30 miles off the beaten path so make sure your car can handle bumpy, dirt roads for quite some time. Amazing slots- got lost going between spooky and peak-a-boo, there were rock formations that are supposed to be a ‘guidepost’ to the other slot but somehow we ended going back through peak-a-boo again. Still worth the drive, beautiful and not heavily trafficked on a Friday!

1 month ago

Amazing views at every turn

1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful. I went with my 35lb dog. I only did spooky out and back (I wanted to do peek-a-boo, but that 15ft up/down was not happening with my dog).
At the north end of spooky, there are two very difficult uphill spots, the last of which I could not pass (and neither could the two other people I met along the way). However, it was nice going back down Spooky because it looks so different from every angle.
The road to get to the trailhead, Hole in the Rock Rd, is very rocky, sandy, and overall difficult on the car. I have a crossover and it took me 1 hour to get 27 miles. When you first get on the rocky road off of 12, if you are not comfortable on the first couple miles, turn back because the road only gets worse. However, if you can make it, it is worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely phenomenal slot canyons to hike. Makes for a great adventure and experience. Bring plenty of water and good trail snacks.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing arches and high canyon walls. Spooky slot canyon is tight while peekaboo has the beautiful arches.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of fun. Download map in advance to avoid confusing cairns pointing to different directions.

hiking
1 month ago

Well worth the drive. We drove our car almost the whole way at about 35 mph. Going 10 miles an hour or 35 mph, you’re still going to run into some ruts and vibration. You might as well go 35 mph.

We drove our car, “Pepe the Prius” all the way to the first parking area. From there, we needed to walk up to the high clearance parking lot. Most of the 4 x 4‘s and some other cars made it up, however we decided just to walk. The hike down to the slot canyons was somewhat hot and we knew it was going to be miserable coming back, so we are glad we brought a lot of water and hats.

Once we got to the first slot canyon, we met some others that told us to make the clockwise loop from peekaboo to spooky gulch. It is much easier to drop down through spooky gulch rather than climb your way up counter clockwise.

Ensure that when you get out of peekaboo, once you reach the big tree in the wash, make a right and follow cairns up and over the brushy area. From there you will drop down into spooky Gulch and it is a lot of fun.

Save some energy for the hike back up and out to your car.

You will be glad you made the trip. The heat is a little challenging but the slot canyons are well worth it. Our tip is, the earlier, the better.

We will be uploading videos to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheAdventureTravelers

hiking
1 month ago

This was one of the best hikes I've ever done, and I've done all sorts of stuff throughout southern Utah. The canyons are absolutely incredible, winding, tight, surprising, just amazing. The beginning of the trail is confusing. Just try and follow the careens and you'll be fine.

The road getting to this trail head is TERRIBLE. Super washboarded and bumpy. Plan on going under 10mph if you love your car, or over 45 mph if you're daring (this smooths out the bumps). Anything in between rattles your teeth out.

2 months ago

Super fun slots! It’s super important that you have a map downloaded - the trail juts straight downward into the wash pretty quickly after you start so watch for that. I’ve only ever done Spooky first and then Peek and I still recommend it that way personally. You’ll climb up through spooky - it wastes no time getting skinny and there’s a nasty little up climb at the end. We brought a pull cord for a group of newbies and it helped perfectly. Then a hike up a sandy hill and through a Mesa between the two slots (this is where a downloaded map will be super helpful - you do not want to get lost on that hot exposed Mesa rock). We descended down into Peek which is beautiful! Took some time at the end with the pretty arches and then on to the downward climb out of peek.
I’ve seen tons of people get themselves psyched out at the entrance of Peek when they attempt to go up it first which is why I like to do Spooky first.
Also two side notes:
1) bring plenty of water! We stashed a pack for our group near peek entrance and carried just what we needed for the slots. You’ll need water - don’t under estimate it!
2) We’ve taken 2 dogs (both were already active and avid hikers) through here twice - one 50 lb and one 14 lb doggo. I highly recommend Ruffwear’s webmaster harness for any bigger dog - it’s got a handle on the top and wraps nicely around the front and second half of their body so you can easily life them to and fro when needed (mostly through spooky). My little dog acts like both canyons are nothing :) bring stuff for their paws (mushers or shoes) as the sand and rock is rough on paws. It’s extra physical work to have a dog so you can help them, so if you don’t want the extra work, leave them home :)

2 months ago

Hiked through both a day after a pretty big rain. It was already dried out just a few puddles. Total time from Escalante was 5 hrs, 1 hrs drive each way and about 3 hrs to do both canyons and the alternate one as you get to the bottom of the wash. Peekaboo had a moderately challenging rock scramble to get into but was otherwise fun and quick. Follow the cairns to find spooky at the end of a wide sandy wash. Spooky is narrow, tight and longer. I'm not sure how it would work if it was crowded in there had to take my small pack off for about half of the canyon. Hit peek first then spooky and have fun.

2 months ago

one of our all time favorites. takes some time to drive the 26 mile dirt rd to the trail head, but worth every bump and other trails u can hit along the way. We were lucky to find someone on the trail who had been her before, not always clear where the trailhead begins, and some distance between the two slot canyons in this area, so get good maps to aid you.

2 months ago

Challenging for me so I am glad I did it. If you are short you will need help getting up some of the areas. I was also surprised by the people who brought toddlers who were very scared. Went the first part of spring break. I would have had more claustrophobic issues if there were more people in it.

hiking
2 months ago

The road from hwy 12 to the trail head was terrible driving on it, 26 miles of wash board road. I was driving an AWD, CRV and it was still yucky. Parts of it you can go faster and it would help with minimizing the shaking but parts of it you had to slow down. It took a while to drive it, so be sure you’re not in a hurry when going there because it will take time to and from. I parked at the parking lot right before the road got really rough (the last turn off before the trailhead) and then we just walked the last mile to the trail head. The hike to and from the slot canyons, not too bad, just follow the cairns. I downloaded a map and studied it prior to going so I had an idea of where things were and could easily refer to he map if needed. We had a fantastic time hiking these slot canyons. We ended up doing three of the four in the area, dry fork, peekaboo and spooky slot canyons. Dry fork, easy peasy, no obstacles great for all ages, it started off wide and by the time we finished the walls were about three to four feet apart (the hike in it was in and out). It was a pretty slot canyon, great for photos. Peekaboo and spooky (the hike we did it as a loop together), they were challenging indeed. It was like an obstacle course. There were a few times I doubted my strength, but was able to do it with the help of others. If I’d do it again, I would take a rope. And be sure to have others with you, not a go at it alone type of hike, because there times that the two us needed others help to get through some of the challenging sections. When we went (spring break) it was busy lots of people, go early so you’re not having to wait too long when you get to the narrow parts where only one person can pass at a time. The were only three spots that had water that we had to avoid getting wet feet, but overall it was pretty dry in all three slot canyons. We had a great time, we would totally do it again. Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing slots! Some technical scrambling, mostly in Spooky, but very doable. Some areas of standing water, but not more than ankle deep when we were there. Most were easily passable.

Some tips:
- We have a AWD sedan that did great on Hole-in-the-Rock Road, but couldn’t make it the last 0.75 mile to the TH due to deep holes. We ended up walking to the TH. There is a small parking lot for cars that can’t make the last bit.
- We did get a little lost trying to find the connecting trail between Peekaboo and Spooky. Downloading a map or bringing GPS would be very helpful.
- Definitely bring shoes with good traction to help climb the sandy rocks. Tennis shoes probably won’t cut it on certain parts.
- We brought our 6 month old in a pack, and ended up carrying him ahead of us through most of Spooky. There were a lot of families with young children who had to lift them up and down several parts as well. Just be aware.

I loved this hike! I’d definitely do it again. Easily one of the coolest slots I’ve done.

2 months ago

The ride out on hole in the rock road was a bit rough. The hike was one of the highlights of our trip. My 5 year old did awesome with a hand at a few spots. Downloading the map beforehand is a good idea.

backpacking
2 months ago

cool

hiking
2 months ago

We did the 2-canyon loop with our two girls (aged 5 and 9) in 3 hours and had the time of our life. Before you venture into Peakaboo and Spooky be aware that:

• you’ll drive Hole-in-the-Rock road comfortably with a 4WD. It’s about an hour from Escalante to Dry Fork. The last mile to the TH is only accessible by 4WD.

• when you enter the canyons you soon realize some parts are technically challenging. You’ll need to be fit and agile enough to pull yourself up on your arms, jump down a 10ft wall or wiggle your body through very narrow slots (10-15”). We saw a relatively fit man in the mid 30s panicking that he couldn’t make it through (he did eventually). If you can, travel with someone else: an extra arm can be very handy.

• the canyons are one-way only, once you’re in (especially Spooky) you’ll need to go all the way to the other end for 200-500m, there’s no turning back. They can get crowded too and negotiating narrow passages can be challenging at times: be patient and allow plenty of time. We did the loop clockwise, following the advice of the rangers at the VC.

• when we visited, both canyons had knee-deep water in many spots. Ask at the visitor center in Escalante about weather conditions and accessibility. We wore sturdy Keen sandals with a good grip, and we had a much easier time than people in hiking shoes. Saw a few kids hike bare foot.
• make sure to download the trail map before getting to the trailhead. There’s no signal in Dry Fork and finding the path connecting Peekaboo to Spooky, without taking the long trail extension to the north, would have been challenging.

It was a fantastic adventure and unlike anything you’ll see if you mostly hike the national parks in the area.

hiking
2 months ago

These slot canyons were great. They were definitely not something I’d be able to go do on my own since I needed help in a few spots from my much taller boyfriend.
Spooky is Very narrow at some points. If you are broad, even if you’re fit, there’s a good chance there are a few spots that you may not fit.
Some people were taking their toddlers through and honestly that kind of ruined it for most other people in there. They cause huge hold ups and seemed scared at many moments. Think hard about bringing young kids with you.
There was rain 2 days before I did the loop and peekaboo had up to knee deep water in some places. Spooky was much dryer. We did it in sandals and that was perfect for wading through water and having enough grip on the stone. Make sure to check weather conditions in the area ahead of time. We wanted to do Brimstone but the water was more than waist deep. Temperature was great in March.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a must do! Experience hiking and rock climbing does help. Bring a rope/strap just in case and plenty of water. I don't recommend going alone. Best route is up Peek-a-boo and then down Spooky. If you have time take a stroll up Dry Fork to see the varied rocks and for the solitude.

3 months ago

Hiked 02/21/18. I checked the weather conditions prior to starting by visiting the Escalante Interagency visitor center (I called the number multiple times but no one answered so keep that in mind if that happens to you). The ladies there informed me that there was a large ice cold water puddle right in front of the Peek a boo entrance. they stated that since there is water there, there is most likely water within the a lot canyon as well. My bf and I wanted to try anyways... so we took the chance and headed out on the drive. It's an hour drive to the entrance. We had. four wheel large car so we were able to get close to the starting point. LOAD ALL TRAILS MAP BED
FORE LOSING SIGNAL. This saved our butt from not getting lost. Anyways, we started with Peek-a-boo based on reviews on here. Sure enough there was a huge 12x13 water puddle that was shin deep in front of the 12ft steep rock we had to climb. My bf went first and we rough rope so he was able to lift me up with the rope. I have leg strength but zero upper body strength. He is 27yo male and i am 26yo female. So bring rope just in case!! I couldn't have climbed that without help. We took our shoes off to get through the water and yes it was cold but worth it! there were only two other small water puddles in the canyon after that. the rest of the hike was great. lots of fun, problem solving and pictures taken. Definitely do this hike- it's so fun!'

5 months ago

Fun!

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