As it is warming up, I am itching to go outside (luckily we have a few trips planned soon). Spooky and Pee-A-Boo gulch is one of my favorite hikes that Blake and I have done together. This hike is located near Escalante, Utah on the Hole-in-the-Rock road. The Hole-in-the-Rock road is about 26 miles outside of Escalante on Highway 12. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended because the road has washboards and can get a little rugged in a few areas, but a car can reach the trail head of this great hike. The trail head is located off the Dry Fork turnoff; there are signs that point you in the right direction. A small parking lot is found at the end of the Dry Fork road, this is where the fun begins!
The hike starts with a steep descent into the gulch about 300 feet below. We zig-zagged down the steep rock cliff and reached the sandy canyon floor. Peek-A-Boo is a short walk once you reach the bottom. This hike is a loop, my favorite kind because you don’t have to walk the same trail twice. You can either start the loop at Peek-A-Boo or walk a little further down the wash to the beginning of Spooky. We started in Peek-A-Boo; there was a pretty large pool of standing water so we thought it would be easier to wade through it rather than having to jump into it. We also thought that this would be the only pool that we would come across, we were so wrong! But what’s a hike without a little problem solving and adventure, right? We waded through the pool; it was about thigh high so not too bad.We made it up into the canyon without too many problems, just a little mud. Once we were actually in the canyon, there was another big pool of standing water! This is where we realized that the whole canyon would probably be this way, the is also when I decided it to just go barefoot and embrace muddy feet. This slot canyon isn’t as narrow as some others, it actually had pretty wide rooms. There is an amazing double arch right at the beginning of this canyon that is worth the whole experience. We trudged through the rest of the pot holes only getting more and more muddy and laughing harder and harder. At one point, you have to jump up about 5 feet to get into the next room; it’s a little tight for space and I ended up getting stuck like a beached whale. Blake was trying to help me get my feet up and accidentally pushed my face about an inch from a nice mud pile. It ended up being so fun and I loved experiencing this with him. We still talk about how much fun the mud ended up being.
At the end of Peek-A-Boo, you walkup above the canyon for a littlemore than half a mile. Make sure you bring water because there is no shade and it gets pretty toasty here. There is a wide stream bed that indicates that you are entering Spooky gulch. As you go farther into the canyon, the walls get closer and closer. This canyon is quite a bit different from Peek-A-Boo because it is truly a slot canyon. There is a little drop into the canyon that is a little tricky. It is about ten feet and takes a little climbing and maneuvering to get down; we saw kids doing this so it really isn’t that bad. Once you have reached this, the canyon really gets narrow! At one point we were turned sideways because it was too narrow to walk facing forward. I felt a little claustrophobic in this spot, but I was also amazed that I was walking tight of a slot canyon. The canyon is named Spooky because hardly any sunlight is allowed in due to the narrow walls. As you continue through the dim-light canyon, things start to open up and eventually lead you right back to the sandy creek bed. Really, the only difficult part of this hike, is the steep climb back to the car. Luckily, it’s very short and not too taxing.
We absolutely love this hike and are planning to do again soon.