Spooky Gulch Slot Canyon
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
Twenty-six miles down Hole-in-the-Rock Road from the town of Escalante, deep in the heart of the vast 1.6 million acre Grand Staircase-Esclante National Monument, lie Peekaboo Gulch Slot Canyon and Spooky Gulch Slot Canyon in the Dry Fork area. These have become some of the more well-known slot canyons due to both their natural beauty as well as super easy accessibility. Both are only about a half mile from the parking lot, are relatively short hikes, and don’t require any technical rock climbing or canyoneering skills. These are usually done in a loop and easily combined with two other canyons in the area – Brimstone and the Dry Fork Narrows.
Almost immediately upon entering Spooky Gulch Slot Canyon, the walls close in and the light gets low – It’s known as one of the thinnest, darkest, and therefore “spookiest” slot canyons in Utah. Spooky is deeper than Peek-A-Boo, but still just as spectacularly colorful and vibrant with deep orange, pink, and violet hues.
*Note: When combined with the Peekaboo loop, many people begin Spooky Gulch Slot Canyon from the top-down, which requires a down-climb on a Class 3 scramble. We opted to go from the bottom-up and leave my big-ass backpack at the start since there’s no way I could have brought it through the canyon with me. We simply turned around and went back out the bottom when we got to the climb. If you have a backpack or don’t want to scramble, definitely go from the bottom-up. ALSO, do not do this if you’re claustrophobic and know your limitations – to put it gently, I saw some larger-girthed people almost get stuck between the narrow walls…*