Dry Fork Narrows, Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons

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Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument

Dry Fork Narrows, Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons is a 6.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Escalante, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from May until November.

Distance: 6.3 miles Elevation Gain: 738 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

walking

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no shade

no dogs

NOTE: The route on this page has been update to reflect the new parking/route to the canyons as of 2/14/20 The route now begins at the overflow lot. You can make this hike shorter by trying the upper parking lot (marked on our map with a waypoint). During your hike, you may encounter other canyons leading off from the route shown on this page. Please keep in mind that slot canyons can be very dangerous, as hikers can get stuck, there can be flash floods, and it is very difficult to locate stranded hikers inside them. Awesome, seemingly endless slot canyons and amazing views greet hikers who have planned ahead and prepared. The route difficulty varies depending on your level of experience and preparation - have fun, yet don't underestimate desert challenges. Hole in the Rock Road is generally passable except following storms or in heavy snow, and the spur road to the trailhead has recently been improved - please stay on designated roads. Camping is available yet requires a free overnight camping permit available at the visitor centers, or self-register at the trailhead. Plan ahead and prepare, stay on route, and 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.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

Hole-in-the-Rock is a bit annoying. You don’t need four wheel drive to get to this hike, but it’s a washboard mess. I went slow so I didn’t get a flat or mess up my suspension. It just takes patience and quite a while to reach the trailhead. Go early, carry extra water, and for gods sake please don’t bring dogs it’s too hot on their paws and too narrow in the slots. You have to climb about ten feet to get up in Peek-a-boo. I don’t feel like it’s as tight as Spooky. Spooky seems tighter and you have to squeeze in a hole between some boulders then drop down quite a few feet. Beautiful places and you can cool off for a bit in the shaded slots.

hiking
3 days ago

Did not do this hike because of the dirt road. BE AWARE, YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED that this is a very rocky dirt road in terrible condition that lasts about 27 miles before you get to parking. We turned around about halfway because we weren’t confident in our rental car. If you are AT ALL not confident in your 4 wheeler drive/if you have a smaller car, DO NOT do this trail or consider renting an off-roader/getting a tour guide to take you.

Would recommended going early to avoid the heat. Spooky has the tightest spaces and required maneuver down a rope ~7 feet. Saw a snake inside spooky. Great slots overall. Highly recommend. The closer parking lot advised “high clearance vehicles” but you can definitely get to the closer parking lot with a normal vehicle. The road to the closer lot was actually much smoother of a road. The road into the trail is garbage. Worst road I’ve been on. Bump city.

hiking
scramble
5 days ago

This is a very long comment that details our experience on this hike. Skip to the end for my tips and comments. This was an amazing hike. I definitely would recommend this to anyone looking for a hike that is a little more demanding. We hiked this trail the Wednesday after Memorial Day weekend. From what we heard, the trails were packed over the weekend. They were not busy when we went, but we still got stuck in spooky canyon for about ten minutes as we waited for two families to descend the part with the rope. There is about a 30 mile drive down a dirt road to the parking lot at the trail head. As others have mentioned, the road is in bad shape at points (aptly described as a washboard) but should be manageable in any car. We were driving a VW Tiguan without 4WD and we had no problem going 30-40 mph most of the way. At one point in the drive we got caught behind a herd of cows standing in the road. Pro tip: one of the cowboys came up to our car and told us to get close to the cows and honk and they will move out of the way. It does feel strange to do this but it works well. Some of the other cars who hesitated to honk got stuck behind a stubborn calf for a little while. The parking lot has a small bathroom and a sign in sheet if you want. There is a fork in the trail just after you leave the parking lot. The cairn in that area directed us left, which is the way everyone else was going. I would estimate that it’s about a 1.5 mile hike before you descend into the valley where the spot canyons are. The descent is a little bit of a challenge. You climb down a rock face that can be slippery at points. Make sure to follow the cairns to stay on the path (a recurring theme for this hike). Once in the canyon, it is a short hike to the first canyon, dry fork narrows. This is an easy, medium-length canyon that does not get too narrow at any point. We entered this canyon and hiked it all the way to the point where we noticed a cairn on the upper right ledge when the walls became lower and easy to climb. We followed this cairn out of the canyon and picked up a trail through the desert. This was probably about 1-1.5 miles of hiking through sand and brush with very little shade. The end of this trail put us out just a little bit past the entrance to dry fork narrows and just before the entrance to peek-a-boo. We noticed the entrance to peek-a-boo but did not realize that it was the actual trail. There is a 10-foot climb that you must scale to begin the canyon so we skipped it and kept hiking up the river bed by accident. Most people climb this wall and do peek-a-boo before continuing to spooky. We ended up hiking the river bed up to the exit of spooky and starting it in reverse, although technically I’m not sure that there is a right or wrong way to do it. Spooky is very tight. I am 5’11 and 160 lbs and had no problem, but if you’re a bigger guy or have a bit of a belly you may not be able to get through. Interestingly enough the tightest part of the canyon that we experienced was towards the very beginning of our hike. In most cases this would be the end of the hike because we started at the end and worked backwards. I loved this canyon but could see how it would be a big problem if you are claustrophobic. I am not a claustrophobic person but having to wait in a tiny alcove on the side of the canyon as two whole families take their sweet time climbing through made me start to feel a little uncomfortable. I saw another comment here about someone having to wait for 30-45 minutes for people to pass. I can’t even imagine how that must have felt. The most difficult part is an 8-10 foot climb in which you have to use a rope that is tied around a boulder. We were able to hoist each other (three of us) up with some teamwork and using the loops on the rope. After this obstacle it was a fairly short hike to the end of spooky. The entire canyon I would estimate to be about a mile. It is hard to say because you become somewhat disoriented when traveling through such a narrow and windy area. After exiting spooky we followed the cairns back through the desert. They led us to the back end of peek-a-boo (remember, we walked past the entrance to peek-a-boo because we did not realize it was a trail). This confused us, because we thought that we had already completed peek-a-boo. It turns out that what we thought was peek-a-boo was actually dry fork narrows, but we didn’t realize this until we finished the hike. Hiking backwards through peek-a-boo was pretty easy, especially after spooky. This trail was much shorter than the other two. Once finishing peek-a-boo, we took a right back down the river bed towards the area where we had descended into the valley and climbed back out and back to the car. Final thoughts/tips: -overall the hike was about 8 miles and took us about 4 hours. We started at 11am. -bring more water than you think you will need. We had two 2L camel baks and...

hiking
6 days ago

One of those hikes that everyone says to do, and I’m glad I did! Enough has been said about the hike by others, but here’s some info on accessibility (DRIVING to the trailhead): Hole-in-the-Rock-road...Did it in a low-clearance 2WD (Hyundai Veloster turbo) on a dry road in May 2020. It’s basically a giant washboard the whole way with some smoother stretches, so when people say it’s rough, it’s not some crazy 4x4-only road...it’s just verrry bumpy, for 26 miles haha. Speed limit is 35mph—on the way to the trailhead, I went 15-25mph. On the way back, I decided to “go for it” full speed and I swear it was less bumpy going faster! (And it was more fun :D) Had sedan-type all season tires, nothing special. Your car can probably do it!

Gorgeous hike. I wished i had a kid with me, it was like something out of kids movie. Unless you are experienced you need a group to get up the first section and down that rope on spooky. Not the right trail for dogs. Very tight in spots, i would be careful of nice equipment getting scratched

hiking
scramble
9 days ago

I did just the Peekaboo and Spooky Slot Canyons on 5/24 and loved them. Super unique experience to squeeze through all the cracks and crevices of the canyon but if you’re a larger human (particularly width-wise) I’d avoid this hike. I’m 5”6 130 lbs and felt like I barely fit through some parts at times, but there were definitely bigger people than that there making it happen lol. There are a few parts in the beginning of Peekaboo where you have to climb up a bit but they weren’t very challenging in my opinion. Only thing that really bothered me about this hike was how congested it got with people at the point in Spooky where there’s a drop and then another drop with a rope. I was literally waiting in the tiny canyon with 30 other people for 45 minutes. **If you’re afraid of relatively short drops, have a baby/toddler in your arms, or a large dog that’s wining from discomfort from the slots please don’t go on this hike. I honestly wouldn’t recommend any dogs you can’t carry in your arms at all on these. Also don’t be rude and take 20 pics of each child going down the drop after we’ve already been waiting 45 mins** Held it up for so many people and I’m pretty sure we were after the larger morning rush who said they were waiting an hour in that spot. Besides that, these little hikes were so great and interesting. Bring water because the walk down to the beginning of the slots hikes from the trailhead is hot, and especially brutal after you’re going back up after a long day. Also note there’s about an hour long drive from the main road to the various parking lots for the slot canyon hikes so factor that in when you’re planning logistics. Will definitely hit this beautiful trail again but probably at a different time of day.

This is a very nice trail. It is mostly exposed. Even when you get into the canyons. The canyons can be pretty narrow, so keep that in mind. A lot of fun though!

What an amazing trail - the positives - got to the trailhead by 10 am recommend getting an earlier start I probably passed over 100 people on the way back. I did the in Ana out first - was the only one in the canyon - did the loop counter clockwise which was technical to start some tall climbs but no other people - the other way was backed up. The full loop requires water - ability to climb and squeeze through very very narrow parts. There were a lot of dogs and little children and people without any water and flip flops in a desert slot canyon difficult hike. A lot of people under prepared going in.

Great hike.

hiking
11 days ago

I took my two dogs; Catahoulas I got them through but harness was a must Entrance to Peek-a-Boo was ok as I got each dog to jump to the first hole from there told them to jump again and as they stalled I pushed on there bottom and up np Spooky was tricky as one weights 75 lbs but we pulled that off too When they recommend no dogs through there you best be prepared with right breed Unless your carrying Spooky at places I had to remove my fanny pack to fit and I’m 5’4” about 155# pounds in shape soooo Be warned as I also saw lots of people going and be surprised if half make the loop

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

This was an awesome hike! You begin Peekaboo with a 15’ climb into the canyon. After that it’s not that difficult, but very fun. You’ll do some crawling and a bit of scrambling. After you finish the climb up Peekaboo, you’re out in the open for awhile to begin the climb down Spooky. Spooky is quite a bit more difficult than Peekaboo. A bit into the canyon, you’ll come to a drop of about 15’ that can be hairy to descend. There was a rope there to help you down. Without the rope I don’t think we would have got past this point. There were a lot of people on the trail, and it created a bottleneck at this point of the trail, because it takes awhile to get down the drop. We waited a good 10 minutes for our chance. After that, the canyon has some areas that really tighten up. I’m not a small man (6’1”,250lbs), and there was one area so tight I almost got stuck. I ended up scratching up my chest and back, but it was well worth it. Scary at the time, but also very exhilarating. After you come out of Spooky you’re out in the open for another good stretch. We ended up going up Dry Forks (not as narrow as the other two, but it was still a nice slot canyon), and cutting across country to meet up with the trail going back to the parking lot. We will definitely do these canyons again. 5/20/20

hiking
rocky
17 days ago

I mean this in the best way but if you are overweight I would avoid spooky. It gets really tight and my uncle got stuck. Dry Fork (on the left) is very wide and mostly flat. This is a great option for people who get claustrophobic or aren’t up for the adventure. I’ve never made it all the way through so I’m not sure where it goes; I’ve always turned around and gone back. Peekaboo is great for kids as long as they are willing to climb up the 15-20 ft wall (there’s foot slots). I did it fine without a rope, but maybe a smaller child may want something more to hold onto. Walking across the top to spooky is pretty sandy and as long as you follow the trail markers (cairns) you’re great. Spooky gets really tight at many spots and you have to jump down about a 6 ft drop. The hike back up to the parking lot is brutal after all that but totally worth it. These slot canyons are absolutely beautiful and if you’re up for the challenge, it’s amazing. It took us about 2.5 hrs. The dirt road to the parking lot was very bumpy. I would suggest a Jeep or truck, but we did just fine in my Chevy Cruze just taking it slower.

hiking
17 days ago

A spectacularly fun hike for those who like geologic formations, rock scrambling, and navigating slot canyons.

Awesome for the slot canyons. Spooky required help down the steep part from some friendly other hikers. A lot of sand walking, a lot of people.

hiking
scramble
23 days ago

Beautiful! My first experience with true slot canyons. The initial descent to the canyons is about an hour - sunny, sandy. We went in and back out of Peekaboo and then over to Spooky- in and back out. We ate our lunch in the entrance of Peekaboo after coming out, which was shady and delightful. As someone who is claustrophobic, Spooky was truly challenging. Without the help of my partner, I would not have made it 3/4 of the way in and back. A perfect day of hiking.

hiking
scramble
24 days ago

With all the sand, heat, tiny footholds, drops and shimmies I’m rating this as difficult. Bring at least 2 liters of water and rope is a great idea. We went in Peekaboo, walked over to Spooky and came out. Parking lot was crowded today (Saturday though)

hiking
rocky
scramble
24 days ago

The best slot canyons I’ve ever had the pleasure in traversing. Initially, It’s about an hour hike, consisting of sand, shale, and sun to get to the canyon. Signs are posted as to where the trails are, it is recommended to start with Peakaboo ending on Spooky. Peakaboo has a rough first scramble followed by enjoyable views throughout the slot canyon. Spooky is pretty narrow and you have to shuffle through sections. Often, it will require you to remove your backpack and pass it through the canyon. There is a section you have to climb under rocks to drop down into the slot canyon itself. Dry Fork is 0.6 miles to the back of its canyon. It’s wide and easy to navigate but you will have to turn around to get back to the trailhead.

This hike was absolutely beautiful. Wonderful views from every point! Loved the slot canyons, but it didn’t get pretty tight so just make sure if you are a little heavier to go with someone or maybe avoid the slot section of the hike.

hiking
24 days ago

Unbelievable hike. So beautiful and unique. As a few others have said, I wouldn’t recommend it for those with a baby carrier, who are overweight, too pregnant, claustrophobic, etc. There are some slim sections and drop offs/climbs that would be fairly uncomfortable (if not un-passable) for those groups. I’m 5’2” and made it fine through the drop offs/climbs with the help of friends! HIGHLY recommend! The drive out to the hike from Escalante is pretty long (approx 45 min on very bumpy dirt road) and can be exhausting. However, it is totally worth it!!!

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