Peek A Boo & Spooky Slot Canyons

Wedged between steep walls, my backpack scraped with every turn. Pieces of sand lightly skittered down the sandstone walls and fell to the ground, joining millions of particles that had preceded. My every movement contributed to the erosion that had been going on here long before I entered.

The path ahead twisted and turned, the walls bearing marks of repeated flash floods. Like a sharp knife on a block of cheese, water effortlessly slices away the sandstone, carving the canyon anyway it wishes. It deposits boulders and jams logs with unimaginable force. I envisioned the damage such raging water would bring. Thankfully, today there would be none. It was 10am and the temperature was already close to triple digits.

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With sweat beading on our brows, Glenna and I pushed on deeper into this incredible natural feature. Around every corner lay a mystery. It’s name was very fitting: Peek A Boo!

Simply navigating the slot canyon was half the fun. The very entrance required using hand holds to climb a 20 foot dry fall. We routinely had to scramble up 4-5 foot drops, as well as ducking under arches, and squeezing through segments that were less than 3 feet across. It was nature’s obstacle course.

Entrance to Peek A Boo slot canyon

When the slot portion came to an end, we scrambled up a graded bank and followed cairns across a brush covered desert. Shortly, we dropped into another dramatic slot.

Spooky!

True to its name, this slot canyon is even more narrow and little sun penetrates its depths. This one is definitely not for claustrophobics. The canyon is dark and extremely narrow. Squeezing and sliding through its channel anyway we could, I was almost relieved when I, quite literally, saw light at the end of the tunnel.

Emerging out the other end, we trudged up a dry wash; the deep sand steaming hot underneath our feet. Eventually we were reunited with the dry fork that signaled we were back at the beginning. I sidetracked up the dry fork narrows for a bit, before cutting across back to the car and Glenna.

These slot canyons are truly amazing and well worth a visit on their own. If you have time and it’s not the middle of June, consider checking out some of the other highlights along Hole in the Rock Road, including Coyote Gulch, Egypt, and several other slot canyons. This is truly unique country!

A Word Of CAUTION:

Flash floods in either slot canyon would be deadly. Make sure to check the forecast before your trip and only enter if there is 0 chance for rain.

Logistics:

Peek A Boo and Spooky are located in the Dry Fork region of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The nearest town is Escalante, Utah. From there, take Highway 12 East and turn right onto Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Drive 26 miles down the gravel road to the Dry Fork Turnoff and the trailhead.  The slot canyons can be done in a loop, though be very vigilant when following cairns. (Side note: Hole in the Rock Rd is pretty nasty at times. It can be done in a 2 wheel vehicle, but High-Clearance is definitely desired. I lost two hub-caps on the way!)

Written by Jake G

I’m a 26 year old who loves to hike, bike, backpack, and explore the outdoors. I’m a Midwesterner who currently resides in sunny Arizona. I hope to inspire others with my adventures and maybe give some advice for your future vacations. Follow me as I travel around the country and...
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