Explore the most popular walking trails near Escalante with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

12 hours 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 !

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.

Recommend hiking as a loop. Take the normal trail in and traverse the 5 Creek crossings. They weren't deeper than halfway up my calf at any of them. Then on your way out take the shortcut trail back. Was a great loop hike and big change in scenery. We hiked in 95 degree heat. Left early morning and the hike down was no problem. Hiking out and climbing back up the wall at the end to get to the car was a good challenge. If it's over 90 I would say this trail rating increases to hard. We both took 3 liters of water in camelbacks and 3 water bottles. GPS made this hike much easier! HIGHLY RECOMMEND GPS!!! Can't imagine trying to decipher all the spinoff trails from the real trail without it!

It is not only great for kids...it's a giant playground for adults!! Really super for a short morning or late afternoon trip!!

hiking
21 days ago

Scenic interesting easy hike. No crowds or traffic in June. Waded chest high cold but refreshing water. Would have been much easier to locate if we'd had this app.

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
1 month ago

We did this hike with three little kids, ages 6, 7, and 10 when it was hot and windy. We started at 12:00, which is definitely one thing I would change given that it was just so hot during the hike back. I would recommend starting at 8:00 if the forecast calls for high temperatures. The slot canyon is beautiful and fun, with great photo opportunities.

This was an excellent way to spend an entire day hiking in a beautiful place. The only downside for me was that I only had a day to enjoy this amazing place.

hiking
1 month ago

Neat area to wander around in for awhile. Lots of little side trails to explore, with cool rock formations. There is no water at the park.

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.

when you get to Harris Wash, cross the (dry) stream and continue following road until the next dry stream, only about .1 mile. go left up the stream and keep going until you get to some cairns (rock stacks) that will lead you around the dry waterfall that you can’t pass. You will be pretty high up at that point, but there is another path of cairns about .1 mile after the dry falls to lead you back down. if you do not see any cairns, the path back down begins where you see a form similar to a slide that looks easy to descend compared to any other area around you. If you continue to see cairns and you think you have gone too far, you probably have and you’re on the trail that you can take on the way back if you go the entire way through the trail, just turn around and find the safer way down into the canyon, you don’t wanna miss the fun. I missed it and set up some cairns today to better show the descend point. This hike should not be done is sneakers or sandals. Hiking boots or approach shoes with great grip on soft rock. I went through all 3 liters of water in my reservoir on this trek, and I carried an extra bottle with me. the majority of this hike is in sand, you will get better traction in the sand areas if you walk in the spots with more pebbles. there are a lot of chokes you have to navigate in this slot canyon, and it gets pretty narrow in certain spots. this is NOT a hike for someone that is claustrophobic or afraid of heights. you will be wedging yourself between rocks in many areas and using your entire body to solve the problems in the slots. GOOD LUCK, it’s beautiful!!!

backpacking
1 month ago

We started the hike in around 10 pm. We had downloaded the map so we could hike in later. The hike at night was beautiful and nice and cool. We made it to just above the river then camped a night. The next morning we started the hike to the cathedral. We decided to stay in the river as much as possible so we made the hike a little longer but it kept us cool. The cathedral was beautiful and the hike in the river was very enjoyable!! We hiked out around noon and the last part of the hike where you gain a lot of your elevation was brutal in the sun! We filtered at the last portion of water and was out by time we reached the trailhead!

Amazing views, fun hike for the whole family. Take lots of water, the red rocks get very hot.

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

Perfect for kids that like to explore.

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.

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
1 month 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!

Overall the hike was great and I will do it again.

I hiked this with my wife and four kids. Our kids ranged from 16-11 and each of them did well. Our eleven-year-old was tired and complained a bit once we started hiking out. He was hot and tired, but he pushed through.

I had my Garmin Rino 650 with a waypoint loaded to the mouth of the canyon and it helped. The trail is marked all over the place and sometimes we found multiple trails. As long as you find a reference point and kept that in mind it was easy to find the trail. Once we got to the river it wasn't long until we found our way to the mouth of the canyon. We did wade through the water for a quarter of a mile, but it was only half way up my shin.

The water was a nice relief and I would suggest taking a swimsuit to hang out for a bit.

We (I) decided to try the "shortcut" route on the way back and I honestly prefer the main trail. It was sandy for most of the hike back and that made it difficult for the kids. We stopped frequently to empty shoes.

As far as hydration goes, take plenty of water. We each hauled 100 oz. in Camelbak's and two each 12oz. waterbottles. Our 13-year-old ran out (In her Camelbak) just as we climbed out of the river bottom coming back out. I ended the hike with just under .5 liter left. I will take a filter next time and fill up in the river before hiking out. The weather was calm and mid 70's for the day, but hiking through the desert it felt like it was 90.

We started at 10:58 AM and made it back to the TH at 4:55PM. We hiked for a total of 4:07 hours and had breaks for 1:49 hours. Overall our hike was 9.3 miles in 5:57 hours according to the GPS.

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!

Fun little hike. We also walked up a narrow canyon west and south of the arch that fed into the wash. Short but would be torture on a hot day.

Don’t believe the trail route indicated here — if you follow it exactly you’ll be stranded on the cliff edge.

nature trips
1 month ago

This is a photographer's dream. Loved the garden and easy access to drive to, no hiking!

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
2 months ago

We hiked this trail last year, but there was too much very cold water in the slot to get in far enough to see the Zebra striping in the rock. Today, no water in the slot!!! Yay!!!

Well worth the effort, beautiful red rock on the hike out, parts are reminiscent of the area near The Wave in Arizona. Beautiful striping in the slot if you can make it past the small blockage about 2/3 of the way in.

Trail is easy to follow, just be sure when you reach Harris Wash to look for the small cairns which lead you to the left, up the wash to the slot.

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!

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!

I noticed a lot of these photos are of Corona Arch in Moab - not Willow Gulch in Escalante...

2 months ago

Amazing views at every turn

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.

A nice hike if you have 2 hours, but not a must do. To really see the petrified wood, you need to do the optional trail loop, making the total hike 2.3 miles. $8 entrance fee per vehicle.

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