This past month I went on a birthday road trip with my husband through Arches, Bryce and Zion National Parks. Along the way we stayed in a charming town of Escalante, its about half way between Arches and Bryce. I’d highly recommend staying a night or two in Escalante. There are a ton of hikes to do in the area and it’s a relatively close drive to the other well known national parks.
Some of our favorite hikes were the Spooky and Peek a Boo slot canyons located on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road, 26 miles south of the town of Escalante. The dirt road to the slot canyons is quite rugged but still manageable in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. We opted to park our car a mile away from the trail head to avoid any risks in getting stuck. There is a parking lot at the end of the Dry Fork road, beside an overlook that sits 300 feet above the canyon systems below it. From this vantage point, visitors can see the rock formations that hide Spooky and Peek a Boo Gulches. Both slot canyons are next to each other, not very big but do involve some climbing and scrambling to get through the narrow passages. We recommend climbing Peek a Boo first. It’s well lit passages are a little more spacious. There are many natural cut outs in the rock wall that give the slot canyon it’s playful name.
After about a mile you’ll pop out of the canyon and continue on about a half mile until you reach Spooky. Spooky is much narrower and darker, hence its name. No lie, it did remind me of the movie 127 Hours…Unlike the movie, however the slot canyon is completely safe and well trafficked! There were some very tight spots. At one point we had to carefully lower ourselves about 12 feet. It’s totally doable, with a little strategic foot work.
We ran into numerous families along the way including a family carrying a baby! This was definitely one of the best hikes we did in Utah. We were only in Escalante for two days but made plans to come back and explore the area on our next Utah road trip!
Trail Head: 37.466336, -111.223912 | Difficulty: Moderate | Length: 2 miles roundtrip