Peek-a-boo Gulch

*Recommended guides:
The Wildland Trekking Company →
Utah Slickrock Guides →

Escalante Hiking Trails

Trail Head: 37.466336, -111.223912
Trail Type: Hiking
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2 miles roundtrip

Peek-a-boo Gulch is a short slot canyon in the Dry Fork area of the Grand Staircase- Escalante area, located on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road, 26 miles south of the town of Escalante. Peek-a-boo is not very long, or physically demanding, but it requires some navigational and rock-scrambling skill in order to get through its twists and chutes.

In order to reach Peek-a-boo Gulch, visitors should drive the 26 miles down the Hole-in-the-Rock Road off of Highway 12, until they find the Dry Fork Road, heading northeast into the desert. The Dry Fork turnoff branches after only a few hundred yards, and visitors need to stay left in order to reach the Dry Fork overlook.

Peek-a-boo can be combined with Spooky Gulch to make a fun loop hike. The recommended route is to actually take Peek-a-boo Gulch first, scrambling north up through its depths, and upon exiting, hiking overland to the east for half a mile until the wide streambed above Spooky Gulch is reached. From there, follow Spooky back down to Dry Fork, and then hike back to the overlook. The total loop route is about 3.5 miles long.

Dry Fork Turnoff

(37.466336, -111.223912)

The entire route from Highway 12 is an extremely rugged washboard road with sand traps and the occasional rut. Though vans and cars can tackle the route, a four-wheel drive vehicle with decent suspension is recommended.

Dry Fork Overlook

(37.476527, -111.220234)

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 Peekaboo Gulches.

Dry Fork

(37.481171, -111.217935)

A short climb from the overlook takes hikers down a winding path along the slopes and boulders of the cliff, and into the sandy bottom of Dry Fork below. Immediately ahead is Peek-a-boo Gulch, heading north. Spooky Gulch is farther down the dry creek bed to the east, and the Dry Fork itself continues west.

Peek-a-boo Gulch Trailhead

(37.481407, -111.216655)

Though not nearly as long, deep, or narrow as Spooky Gulch, Peek-a-boo has its own unique challenges and thrills. Right off the bat, as visitors begin the trail from the bottom of Dry Fork, they will note the steps carved into the wall that they must climb in order to reach the slot canyon. At the top of the steps, they will find a pothole that is generally full of water year-round, which can be circumvented without getting wet by those smart and agile enough.

End of the Gulch

(37.485367, -111.216729)

The Peek-a-boo route eventually climbs up out of the slot canyon, and onto the high ground above. From there, hikers can turn right around and head back the way they came, or they can head overland to the south until they hit Spooky Gulch and continue with phase two of the adventure.

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