When Is the Best Time
Some of the best slot canyons are found in Grand Staircase Escalante, and these two are some of the bests I’ve been to, totally adventurous. After each corner awaits you a surprise, you can take fantastic pictures in both slot canyons. Spooky is much darker, so I recommend a tripod for excellent shots.
I would say this is the busiest place of all in the Grand Staircase Escalante. It was the only marked hike along the Hole in the Rock Road. Therefore, we decided to start in the afternoon when most visitors were on their way back.
Come early if you do not plan to camp along Hole in the Rock Road. We did several hikes in this breathtaking area and camped nearby.
Thanks to our decision, we accessed the trail early afternoon when most visitors were on their way back, and the light inside Peek-A-Boo was outstanding.
How Difficult is Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon?
It is a moderate hike with difficulties in some sections. If you are an experienced hiker, I rate this hike as easy, but for occasional hikers, I rate this track as moderate to difficult. The key spot is the beginning respectively the end of Peek-A-Boo. Read on my tips; good preparation is key, and start early.
How Long Does it Take to Hike Peek-A-Boo and Spooky Slot Canyon?
It took us 3.5 hours to hike both slot canyons, but it is better to plan roughly 4-5 hours for this poorly marked hike. There are signs, but only a few.
The track is roughly 5 miles long from Upper Dry Fork parking and a little shorter from Lower Dry Fork. Because of a rockslide, you must walk a detour – more below.
The slot canyons are not that long. In fact, you can follow Spooky and Peek-A-Boo Gulch much longer; therefore, you should hike with a hiking app or at least a map. You can get lost here.
Best Time and Daytime for Peek-A-Boo and Spooky
The best time is the drier months, from March/April to late June, late September, and October until December. If intense summer rainfall occurs, the wash, the Hole in the Rock Road, is impassable. Always check the weather forecast first; these slot canyons are a threat if heavy rain is predicted.
The best daytime is the morning before it gets busy and hot. The entire trail is exposed to the sun except for the slot canyons.
Grand Staircase Escalante Map - Access Roads
I have drawn this map to give you an overview of the massive Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, the location of each Must-Visit place, and a more detailed view. So, there is not only one entrance and exit to access Escalante; there are multiple entrances from highways and gravel roads. Afterwards, you must hike to get to these spots from half an hour to an entire day.
9 Must-Know Tips for Peek-A-Boo and Spooky
- It is a tough ride of more than an hour through a wash the Hole in the Rock Road in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Don’t come in a 2 WD. There are big potholes along the road. The speed Limit is 35 miles per hour, but for some sections, it is still too fast. Don’t drive on this dirt road in darkness!
- Parking Peek-A-Boo and SpookyThere are even three parking lots that we do not experience anywhere else here in Escalante. The closest parking is Lower Dry Fork, plus an overflow parking and the newly built Upper Dry Fork Parking. I highly recommend parking at the Upper Dry Fork because from here, you are able to also hike through the Dry Fork Narrows. Google Maps Location
- Go early or later (late only when you camp somewhere nearby) otherwise, you may get into trouble in the narrow Spooky when hikers come from the opposite side, where you are forced to walk sideways and the same goes for the entry/exit of Peek-A-Boo.
- In summer, go early and bring plenty of water; one gallon plus electrolytes for each hiker.
- Depending on the season, you walk through puddles in the canyons. The slot canyons are usually dry in June before heavy summer rainfalls occur.
- Pack light, but water and snacks are a MUST!
- The traverse between Peek-A-Boo and Spooky is poorly marked; we only found the path with our hiking app.
- It was once a loop trail where you could combine both slot canyons, but there was a rockslide in Spooky, which forced us to hike a detour. Depending on your chosen route, You can’t get down and continue or up.A backpack was lying on the ground, which made me believe that if you climb down, you do not get out of it. So, we decided to turn around.
- We never go without a rope, luckily. The entrance or exit of Peek-A-Boo is roughly 15 feet high. I couldn’t make it in without help from Markus and the rope. We also pulled up the backpack with a rope. It would have been too difficult to climb up otherwise.
Packing Checklist for Peek-A-Boo and Spooky
- Plenty of water, at least one gallon for each hiker and electrolytes; you definitely break a sweat on this trail.
- Bring a snack, some nuts or fruits, and a sandwich for this challenging track.
- We always carry three climbing sling runners, each 48 inches/ 1.20 m long, and a carabiner hook, which made this adventure a lot easier for us.
- The sun is intense, a hat, and sunscreen (I only use ISDIN for my face) are highly recommended, and I protect my shoulders during the day, too.
Accommodation Tip Escalante
We camped on the BLM property along the Hole in the Rock for a couple of days which was a great experience, but afterwards, we were glad that we took a real shower and slept in a huge comfy bed. Also, the pool was amazing, and even breakfast was included in the Canyon Country Lodge in Escalante. There are limited hotels in Escalante. If you wish to visit this area during the high season, bank holiday weekends, summer or Christmas holidays, it is advisable to pre-book your hotel.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
It is a challenging ride to get to the trailhead of these slot canyons, and good preparation is key. I will give you all the details you must know for this breathtaking hike and my essential packing tips. I will also show you where to camp nearby or stay in an excellent hotel in Escalante. Don't miss out on this terrific adventure in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is a vast landscape with spectacular natural wonders encompassing a size of 1,870,000 acres (7,568 km²).
You can't see all these highlights in a single visit, but there are plenty along Hole in the Rock Road—more about the entire Monument in my Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Guide.
Scorpions in Grand Staircase Escalante
This area is a “Scorpion Wilderness Study Area”. There are plenty of different scorpions in different sizes in this area, but as long as you wear closed shoes, you are fine. You can’t spot them with your eyes during the day.
We went on a guided night tour to spot scorpions with ultraviolet light, and we spotted more than we expected in just one hour. No worries, there is just one venomous where you can die from in the US all others can harm you. The venom of the scorpion is also used in cancer research.
Do you wish to know more about the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument? Check out my new guide and the 18 Must-Visit Places and where they are located. Not all are difficult to get to, some are even family and dog friendly.
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