Peek-a-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

MODERATE 290 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

rocky

scramble

snow

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.

hiking
13 days ago

Did this loop in about 4hrs, hit all
The canyons, I’m a photographer to the photos were awesome! A lot better than dealing with the overpopulated slot canyons in AZ, and permitted. Some of the canyons get pretty tight so squeezing is required in some places and I am pretty fit. Had my camera backpack and had to remove to move forward through some areas. Hiking some of the trail can be strenuous through the sand so be prepared. But if you want beautiful slot canyons for photography, these are excellent!

1 month ago

We purchased this app and were so glad to have its GPS for the start of the hike, between slots of Peekaboo and Spooky, and for getting back to main trail after Dry Fork. Footprints/trails criss-cross all over the place between slots. I echo last two reviewer's advice. Wonderful time for our family; the youngest, age 6, ate it up.

hiking
1 month ago

Great pics with mid day sun.
Traffic jam in spooky at the choke stones.
Perfect weather!

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible and otherworldly hike.

I would recommend bringing climbing rope for the 20ft. climb into Peekaboo—close to the top, there was little to hold onto (of course your first climber might have to go rope-less).

In Spooky, there’s a part of the trail where you come to 4-5 fallen boulders. There are a couple of holes to drop down to continue the trail. We used the hole on the left. The drop is only about 8-9 feet, but it’s dark. There are ropes lodged beneath the boulders to help you lower yourself down. Spooky is aptly named! It gets very, very narrow. Not for the claustrophobic.

1 month ago

Dirt road from Hwy 12 to trailhead turn off was in good shape. Last mile to trailhead was in poor shape.

The beginning of Peek a Boo wasn't marked. Fortunately we saw someone scrambling up the +15' pour off into Peek a Boo. We helped each other to get up the face -- very challenging and a bit scary. Once we were in the canyon, we ran into a few more pour offs. but they were manageable and dry.

After exiting Peek a Boo, we used our GPS to help route us to the entrance of Spooky. GPS was very helpful! Spooky was equally as beautiful as Peek a Boo but much narrower! In addition Spooky required us to crawl down several drop downs (about 6-8' each) in between boulders. One drop down had some ropes which were very helpful. In the narrow areas, we had to remove our packs and we still were rubbing on both our fronts and backs to get through the canyon.

It was a spectacular adventurous hike. I'd highly recommend doing it as a group with at least one athletic person who can scramble up the +15' Peek a Boo entrance and then help the others up. A GPS will also provide peace of mind since the frequency of trail markers low.

1 month ago

An Indiana Jones adventure for a couple of 60 pluses. Scenery outstanding— had a bit of help finding peek a boo slot opening — didn’t always see the trail cairns running down to it from the parking lot- if u have never done any canyon scrambling is good to get a few pointers. Entered peek a boo and a kind man told us the value of using your back and feet to brace yourself and move up and down in tight places —

After then getting up the steep short entry — we were fine — was awesome plot in the slot and a real adventure because of how narrow it was

Exiting is easier if u see the cairn marking a short scramble up the canyon wall as opposed to going thru the last very narrow part of the slot.

Then follow the cairns across to spooky— spooky is narrower but easier as u r going downhill — there is a tough spot where boulders have fallen in and u go down thru a hole and grab a rope to lower yourself down — after that the canyon gets super narrow and I went sideways quite a long way to get thru — wiggled thru in a couple places — not for the claustrophobic for sure.

Exited and the way out was easy and marked with the stone cairns.

This was a super ad entire for someone who has never been in a slot canyon — a real adventure for sure — helps to have some level of upper body fitness as well as the hiking fitness level

Thanks again to the guy at the bottom who gave us a couple canyoning skills — helped immensely!!!

hiking
1 month ago

The dirt road was well maintained for most of the drive. It had some washboards near the turn off. Head left from the parking lot to the trailhead. Most of the loop was very well marked with cairns. The 20 foot scramble up into peek-a-boo was challenging. We took a rope and needed it to get our younger hikers up. Spooky is definitely moderately hard. There's a drop down with a rope and when in gets narrow, it's really narrow. When you come out of spooky to head back to parking there is a trail marker indicating to head right. There were fewer cairns through this part. Overall it was amazing. The weather this weekend was 70 degrees and perfect. Pack plenty of water. It's recommended 4L per person per day.

1 month ago

This trail is poorly marked so was difficult for a first timer (me). The reviews suggest that u can “drop down” into canyon at various places but you r still dropping down on slick rock or sand. The loop is better clockwise but the “junction” is not marked. Hard to find the clockwise trail; The cairns are only visible after you start dropping down the slick rock which normally isn’t my first choice. The climb back up - whether on sand or slick rock is pretty strenuous

hiking
2 months ago

Splendid slots, busy on a Saturday. We dropped into Peek-a-boo about half way up to avoid the rock face at the beginning. Went down and then came back and completed the whole slot. Hiked over to the top of Spooky and did it from the top down. Much easier this way

2 months ago

This was absolutely worth the 30 mile drive down a dirt road!!! I did this in July and it was sweltering hot. Make sure to bring plenty of water. The slot canyons are incredible. I can’t say enough good things about this!!

hiking
2 months ago

Sept. 25th hiked with 2 others to this area;
from trail head, we followed this app & Cairns to the bottom, there are 3 slot Canyons here, when you get to dry river bed there are no signs or directions; it’s not obvious where to go;
to the left you will see a good size Canyon, that is “Dry Fork” which is wide, easy to walk through nice. Good option if others are too narrow & hard. The entrance to Peek-a-boo is very near, instead of going toward Dry Canyon, follow the trail to the right, then into the dry creek bed, almost straight across you will see an opening/ slot into/between the rock, this is “Peek-a-boo” & requires some climbing to get in, other hikers helped and 2 of our group made it in (not me) they went though this one then through Spooky and back down on dry creek bed. said one 6 foot drop which they found a way around, was narrow and had some more climbs - they loved it!
if you head right down the dry creek you can go into Spooky that way too and see a little of it but everyone says it’s much harder making the loop in that direction. Wear Boots or shoes with good traction, unless you have 4wheel drive plan on walking from 1st parking lot 1 mile to trail head.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely fantastic. Completed this loop with a three-year-old. He freakin' crushed it! Some extremely difficult/narrow parts where adults were literally passing him through pitches and curves, and only one near anxiety attach, but he made it. VERY narrow and no escape. Would not recommend for dogs. Extremely tight areas, with very little room to navigate/turn-around. Everyone should do the hike starting by going up Peek-a-Boo and down Spooky; one way traffic! Water, water, water!

hiking
2 months ago

This is not the Red Canyon (aka Peek-a-boo Canyon), where the trailhead is on US-89 about 10 miles north of Kanab, Utah.

hiking
3 months ago

So fun! Getting within one mile of the trailhead was easy in a small 2wd rental car and took about an hour from the paved road - however the last mile before the trailhead was definitely *not* passable in a low clearance car.

The hike was incredible! So much fun. There’s lots of scrambling involved - the first crux is climbing into peek-a-boo canyon which was a little slippery, and the second crux was going deep into spooky slot under a few large boulders. Was definitely glad to have GPS navigating between the end of peek-a-boo and the start of spooky - the trails and cairns are all over the place.

Such a fantastic adventure! Last word of advice is to not keep any soft fruit in your backpack, it will likely be crushed 

3 months ago

Really fun hike! Quite the long, empty desert drive out to the hike though. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you make the drive ‘cause there are no gas stations nearby—at least not when we did the hike, (which was in 2013). Also, it’s a very rough road...four-wheel drive adventure vehicles recommended for the road to this hike.

It offers great, beautiful canyon exploring. My family & I really enjoyed the hike. Just be prepared with water. Though it seems like it would be a short hike, it is hot and it does take awhile. Snacks and other random things you might not normally bother to hike with, like tissues, are also a good idea for just-in-case scenarios. (For instance, my brother had a major nosebleed half-way through the hike, prob. b/c the extreme, dry heat. Tissues would have been nice...) Also, a compass might be useful, or using this gps trail map. Once you leave the first canyon, it is a little difficult to find the next canyon. Maybe directional signs have been added since we hiked it, but there weren’t any indications of where to go back when we hiked it.

3 months ago

The road getting to the trailhead is about 26 miles of washboard, gravel, sand and decent sized rocks. If you have a vehicle built for these conditions you can make it there pretty quick but we took our time to spare the wear and tear on our vehicle and it took us about 2 hours to get to the trailhead (from the paved road). When making the turnoff from the road to the trailhead most vehicles can make it to the first parking lot (about 1 mile) but the last mile plan on walking in cause the ruts in the road are very large.

As for the trail. The first portion of the trail is descending down into coyote canyon. From Here you will see about a 10 foot wall with some handholds, this will get you in to peek a boo gulch. From here you can take your time exploring the gulch. It gets pretty narrow towards the end. The gulch widens and ascends back up.

You then are above the ground for a while as you follow the cairns to spooky gulch.

Spooky gulch is much narrower than peekaboo and you are a lot further down. We were in this gulch around 5 PM and there was not a ton of light. Our saving grace was these reviews that stated about when you get to the obstruction of the trail by the rockslide. We found the opening on the left side. My husband went down first, then we used a rope to drop our bags down, then he helped me through. There is about a 9 foot drop down onto a flat and stable rock. At this point there is no turning back. The gulch gets EXTREMELY narrow and you have to carry your backpack for most of it. Just keep going because there is an end the the gulch eventually widens. The footing is not flat through the very narrow portion. You then follow the dried up riverbed back to coyote canyon.

I highly recommend downloading an offline map, that saved us from getting lost from peekaboo to spooky gulch. (We used the app maps.me). Thanks to the offline map keeping us on the trail took us about 3 hours including the 1 mile walk in from the first parking lot.

Bring lots of water!! This would be a difficult/scary hike to do alone!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views! Did this in June and it was HOT. One of the best hikes I’ve done, amazing slots. A little tricky point in Spooky you have to climb down- there were 4 of us and we had to assist, but might be difficult for some first timers. Went on a Friday around 10 am and wasn’t crowded at all. Would do again in a heartbeat.

hiking
3 months ago

We did this over the 4th of July. HOT and no shade!
It's a 30 mile drive on Hole in the Rock Rd, which takes 1 hour. It's not paved, but rather a dirt, sandy, bumpy road. You'll prefer a truck or SUV that has a higher clearance. Get your map ahead of time, as it is not clearly marked. You will find Cairns along the way in efforts to help, but know where you are going ahead of time.
We got lost trying to find Peek-a-Boo and Spooky, but didn't much care because everything was so beautiful.
After 3+hours we found Spooky and it was worth the long hot day. SO Frickin' Cool!! We went to Peekaboo next and then finally to the car. We ran out of water because we hadn't planned on the 5 hour day of full July Desert sun. A fabulous day, but longer and hotter than we expected due to having trouble finding the canyons.

** The best advice I've ever seen on here is this: Have a gallon of water in your car for when you are done. **

hiking
3 months ago

Four stars because this trail needs better signage. There are many confusing cairns, strange graffiti on rocks and a metal box containing trail notes with the ominous advice: “don’t trust the maps”. Also, check the weather multiple times and don’t take any chances. After all my research, obsessively checking the forecast and calling the shuttle company in Escalante about it, my group was still caught in a flash flood. Luckily we were rescued by said shuttle company and our own emergency supplies. We made it out with some scrapes and mild hypothermia. Here’s what we thought of the hike: we really loved Peekaboo and would do it again easily. Wish it had gone on for miles. Spooky was a different story. Puzzling out those boulders and dropping into that little hole underneath while thunder boomed above us was not ideal. We figured we had to go through it as quickly as possible and get the heck out of dodge. This slot is probably beautiful and a blast to go through when it’s a sunny warm day. On this morning it was dark and suffocating and it seemed like it would never end. We desperately shimmied through it and got pretty skinned up by the walls in the process. The rain and hail began shortly after we started ascending towards the parking area. Seeing the dirt red cascades of water pouring down the slickrock and into those canyons is a a chilling sight I will never forget. Thank god we weren’t in the slots. We were told after rescue that people die in that area every year, usually after wandering around lost in the heat. Bring your 10 essentials. Don’t go alone. Be safe out there folks.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely worth while - one of our favorites so far in Utah. We had a rental sedan - so we opted to pay for a shuttle from town. Saved time and worry of damaging the rental. There was a Camry (rental) at the trailhead - don’t know how they made it through a couple of the rough spots in the road. The hike itself was awesome. Go early on the weekend to avoid the crowd. Really appreciate the advise here on how to navigate the boulders on Spooky. Not sure we would have made it otherwise. We saw a small snake on the way back up to the trailhead - looked like a rattlesnake, did not get close enough to confirm.

hiking
3 months ago

As others suggest, definitely do Peek-A-Boo to Spooky and take lots of water. And definitely download the topo so you have it offline on the hike.

We were intimidated by the climb at start of Peek-A-Boo ... you need to scale up about 12 feet of slick rock. We thought the adults could do it but weren't sure we could get the kids up (ages 8 and 9) so we went around and rejoined the trail as you go overland to Spooky. In retrospect we could should have brought a short rope or strap ... or sent an adult up first and used a daypack as a rope.

Even Spooky by itself was amazing the kids' favorite hike of the vacation. We are indebted to others on this site for telling us about the rock blockage and were able to do the full hike because of their advice. As said by Alan Ketelson below "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." The adults jumped and spotted each other and handed the kids down. The slots get even tighter after this point -- we had to take off daypacks and hand them forward through tight spots in a chain but it is passable and wonderful. Not ideal if you get claustrophobic. If you get nervous, just keep going -- it's amazing!

hiking
4 months ago

Hike was great and trail well marked. Definitely remember it is an impacted 26 mile venture from the turn off. You will encounter a few deep perpendicular ruts as well as pockets of loose sand along the way. Be careful as a tow truck runs up to a $1000 according to the clerk at the nearest convenience store. Trail well worth the effort.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail, really busy in the beginning, very narrow in some places.

4 months ago

Definitely start early to beat the heat! Coming back was rough. They mean what they say about the water, drink it all! Some of the most amazing views I have ever seen and up close and personal. Crawling through these sandstone slots was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Highly recommend. We want to do Zebra Slot next time!

Side note, the road was over an hour driving in from the Escalante side of Hole in the Rock Rd, and well maintained but more comfortable with a high clearance vehicle for sure !

5 months ago

Great hike! Probably one of the most amazing hikes I have ever done. Highly recommend starting early. We hiked this trail on a Wednesday and started by 7:30. We were first on the trail but by the time we we're back at the TH there were at least 10 other groups hiking in and a line to climb up in to Peekaboo. We hiked this loop in reverse. Spooky to Peekaboo. Spooky is narrow in spots. if you are a little bigger of a person you may find it challenging to get through. It is litterally only about 11 inches wide in spots. Going in reverse requires some scrambling/quick climbing manuevers but was a fun challenge. Overall an easy and amazing hike! We completed it in 2.25 hours from start to finish.

5 months 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
6 months 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.

6 months ago

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

6 months 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.

6 months 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.

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