Peekaboo-Spooky-Brimstone Canyons | Hole In The Rock

Hiking Peekaboo-Spooky-Brimstone Canyons - Hole In The Rock Hiking Peekaboo-Spooky-Brimstone Canyons

Hole In The Rock

Overview

MAPS: BIG HOLLOW WASH, UT

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 84. Northeast wind around 8 mph.

84 | 54

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 92.

92 | 59

Thu

Sunny, with a high near 94.

94 | 63

Fri

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92.

92 | 64

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 95.

95 | 67

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, although summers can be hot. Roads need to be dry to reach the trailhead.
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: Generally very little or none.

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 84. Northeast wind around 8 mph.

84 | 54

Wed

Sunny, with a high near 92.

92 | 59

Thu

Sunny, with a high near 94.

94 | 63

Fri

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 92.

92 | 64

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 95.

95 | 67

View Full Weather Details
Sand hill in Brimstone

Sand hill in Brimstone

Peekaboo and Spooky are the quintessential first slot canyon experience for many. Relatively easy access, incredible slot canyons, and a relatively short day make this a hike to bring the family on. These canyons are popular for good reason. It was one of my first slot canyons long ago and once I have re-visited many times over the years.

Though the canyons are popular, there are a couple of minor obstacles. The most difficult obstacle is a climb to get into Peek-a-boo that some may want a hand-line for, or use some teamwork. The canyons are narrow and not suitable for dogs. Leave them at home for this one.

History Note: The story goes the canyons received their names from a school group visiting from the town of Escalante around Halloween one year. The names fit, and this is a place that will make you feel like a kid again working through the fun slots. For the more energetic, it is a short distance down canyon to Brimstone, the fiercest of the 3 canyons in the area, and well worth the time to visit.
Update Note: In recent years, the BLM has greatly improved access to these canyons. There are now two trailheads, the Upper Dry Fork Trailhead, and the Dry Fork Trailhead. They have also created several trails linking the trailheads and improving access to the area. The Upper Dry Fork Trailhead, just off Hole-In-The-Rock Road, has pit toilets and a large parking area. The Dry Fork Trailhead has a smaller parking area and no pit toilet and about a 0.25 mile shorter approach each way. Either trailhead works well. Starting from the Upper Dry Fork Trai;head, going down Dry Fork, visiting Peek-a-boo, Spooky, and Brimstone and returning via the rim trail is probably the most scenic route and what I would recommend. (and describe below, those the other routes are shown on the map as well)
Peekaboo Slot

Peekaboo Slot

Getting There

Head east out of the town of Escalante about 5 miles on highway 12 until the well signed Hole in the Rock road.

  • Mile 0 - Hole-In-The-Rock Road Turnoff ( 12S 453167mE 4175716mN / N37° 43' 39" W111° 31' 53" )
  • 8.0 miles - Parking area after a cattle guard. This is the Zebra/Tunnel trailhead. ( 12S 460681mE 4165896mN / N37° 38' 22" W111° 26' 44" )
  • 12.3 miles - Devil's Garden turn off on the right. The trailhead is about 1/4 of a mile down this road. No camping, but a pit toilet. ( 12S 463808mE 4160175mN / N37° 35' 17" W111° 24' 36" )
  • 16.6 miles - Egypt road on the left. This access the Egypt and Neon trailheads ( 12S 468045mE 4154960mN / N37° 32' 28" W111° 21' 42" )
  • 24.8 miles - Upper Dry Fork Trailhead on the right (south). This has a large parking area and pit toilet. ( 12S 478657mE 4148035mN / N37° 28' 44" W111° 14' 29" )
  • 26.1 miles - Dry Fork Trailhead Road on the left (north). The trailhead is at the end of the road in about a mile. ( 12S 480198mE 4146661mN / N37° 27' 60" W111° 13' 26" )
Spooky Canyon

Spooky Canyon

Route

From the Upper Dry Fork trailhead, follow the marked trail as it heads across the open desert north. It comes to a junction with the rim return trail just before reaching Dry Fork. Continue into Dry Fork and follow it down canyon. Narrows are reached about 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Continue down through the narrows. Peek-a-boo Canyon comes in on the left about 1.6 miles from the trailhead. This is just after the Dry Fork narrows open, and a side canyon comes in on the right.

Peek-a-boo Canyon:
About 4 minutes down the canyon from the side canyon on the right is Peek-a-boo on the left. A 6 m up-climb guards the entrance to Peek-a-boo. The climb has carved steps, but is still a little tricky. A short rope for a hand-line may be useful for beginners. This up climb is the biggest obstacle of the hike.

Once in Peek-a-boo, enjoy the many arches and narrows. What a gem! Continue up the canyon until the canyon opens into a wide open wash. Here a cairned trail takes off on the right. Follow this trail about 10 minutes over the open country to where it drops into Spooky, a large open wash at this point.

Spooky Canyon:
Head down Spooky! It gets deep and dark quickly. Several spots are narrow enough you have to turn sideways. Spooky is a fantastic canyon, and a lot of fun to descend. A couple of minor down climbs occur in the upper section, but if you look around, an easy path over or under the obstacle can be found. Once Spooky opens up, follow it down to its junction with Dry Fork in about 5 minutes.

Brimstone Canyon:
Last on the list is Brimstone. From the junction of Spooky and Dry Fork, hike down Dry Fork to the first major canyon coming in on the left. This section can change with each flood, but is usually an easy walk.

About 30 minutes down from Spooky Canyon, a wide side canyon comes in on the left with impressive sand slides on the west side. This canyon is Brimstone. Hike up the wide wash 10-15 minutes to where it suddenly narrows to an incredibly deep and dark slot. Work your way up as far as you comfortably can, but be careful, at least one person has gotten stuck in Brimstone. Return up Dry Fork to Peek-a-boo.

I recommend taking the rim trail return, which goes up the side canyon 4 minutes west of Peek-a-boo that comes in on the left (lookup up Dry Fork). Follow this trail up to a junction, then go right at the junction to head back to the Upper Dry Fork trail you started on. It is well-worn and easy to follow.


Maps

Visiting All Return the Same Way / 8.59 miles / Elevation Range 4,594 - 4,899 ft.
Peek-a-boo and Spooky Returning the Same Way / 4.78 miles / Elevation Range 4,647 - 4,899 ft.
Printable Maps:
Upper Dryfork Trailhead

12S 478653mE 4148024mN

N37° 28' 44" W111° 14' 29"

Turnoff Dry Fork Trailhead

12S 480200mE 4146667mN

N37° 28' 00" W111° 13' 26"

Dry Fork Trailhead

12S 481176mE 4147130mN

N37° 28' 15" W111° 12' 46"

Peek-a-boo Bottom

12S 480846mE 4148320mN

N37° 28' 54" W111° 12' 60"

Peek-a-boo Top

12S 480844mE 4148761mN

N37° 29' 08" W111° 13' 00"

Spooky Top

12S 481475mE 4148710mN

N37° 29' 06" W111° 12' 34"

Spooky Bottom

12S 481500mE 4148302mN

N37° 28' 53" W111° 12' 33"

Brimstone Canyon

12S 482593mE 4147762mN

N37° 28' 36" W111° 11' 49"

Brimstone Narrows

12S 482847mE 4148900mN

N37° 29' 13" W111° 11' 38"

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