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Slot Canyons of Dry Fork Coyote Gulch, UT

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Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Distance Round Trip 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,871 feet
Elevation Gain 300 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 6
Interest Off Trail Hiking
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
8  2018-05-24 KBKB
36  2015-05-24
Peek-a-boo - Spooky - Brimstone Slot Canyons
60  2015-05-24 GrottoGirl
29  2015-05-24
Peek-a-Boo - Spooky - Brimstone Slot Canyons
54  2015-03-23 outdoor_lover
13  2013-06-15
Peek-a-boo Gulch
9  2013-06-14 AZLOT69
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Apr, May, Jun, Oct
Sun  6:08am - 6:30pm
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby

BLM Grand Staircase Data: Description: From the trail head, descend 200-300 feet along a cairned trail to the wide, sandy drainage of Dry Fork Coyote Gulch. Beyond this point, the route is not marked. Pay attention to landmarks so you can find your way back out. This route provides access to narrow side canyons with convoluted walls and superb slots. Four canyons can be explored from this trail head. For more information, detailed maps, and current conditions contact the nearest GSENM visitor center.

Dry Fork: Once you reach the canyon bottom, notice a narrow opening in the canyon wall upstream to your left. This is the Dry Fork narrows. Though not a tight slot canyon, it is possible to wander up this beautiful, narrow canyon and dry wash bottom for several miles.

Peek-A-Boo: When you reach the canyon bottom, head downstream (right) a short distance to Peek-A-Boo. It is the first side canyon coming in on the left. Peek-A-Boo is a hanging canyon with an oval-shaped opening topped by an arch. The opening is located about 12 feet up on the wall and is easy to walk past if you are not paying attention. Small hand and foot holds carved into the wall will help you climb up into the opening. There is often a pool of water at the base of the wall and another at the top. Peek-A-Boo is a beautiful, sculptured slot. It runs for approximately 0.25 miles before ending in a wide, sandy wash. When you reach this point, turn around and retrace your steps through the slot to the main canyon.

Spooky: After Peek-A-Boo, continue downstream in Dry Fork Coyote Gulch approximately 0.5 mile to the next drainage entering on your left. Along the way, you will pass a large sand dune on your left. Spooky Gulch will enter soon after this landmark and will be a wide, sandy wash. Walk up the wash for about 0.25 mile. The wash will eventually funnel you right into the slot. Many will find themselves unable to negotiate the entire length of the 0.3 mile long slot due to its tight and constricted nature. There is a difficult chock stone near the upper end of Spooky. like Peek-A-Boo, Spooky ends in a wide, sandy wash. Turn around at this point and return to the main canyon through the slot.

Brimstone: After Spooky, continue downstream in Dry Fork Coyote Gulch. After approximately 0.5 mile, you will pass through a section of narrows where a large chock stone is jammed between the canyon walls. It is difficult to negotiate this obstacle, and once down it, many will find that they are unable to climb back up. (It is possible to exit the canyon just down stream and around the bend. Exit on the west (right) side of the canyon along an old trail and then hike cross country along the canyon rim to the parking area) Continue down canyon approximately 0.5 mile. The next big drainage coming in from the east (left) is Brimstone. The canyon will be wide and sandy for about 1.0 mile before reaching the slot. This slot is short and eventually becomes impassible. Often deep pools are encountered. Caution! If you attempt to negotiate the upper portions of Brimstone Canyon, there are numerous pour offs that can be down-climbed but are impossible to climb back out of without climbing gear. Be cautious not to jump down any pour offs you are absolutely sure you can climb back up! A hiker was stranded in Brimstone Canyon for 8 days after jumping down a pour off that he could not climb back up. Eventually Brimstone becomes too narrow to physically squeeze through and you could become trapped. It is impossible to negotiate the entire length of the canyon.

Type of Trip: Best done as a day hike.

Mileage: 1.0 mile to over 12.0 miles round trip, depending on which slots are explored.

Trailhead Locations: From Hwy 12, drive 26 miles south on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road (200) to the signed Dry Fork Road (252). Take the Dry Fork Road 1.7 miles to the trail head parking area; stay left at all road junctions.

Water Availability/Hiking in Water: Water is scarce. Plan on carrying all the water you will need. Deep pools and mud may be encountered in the slots during spring or after flash floods.

Obstacles/Technical Features: Climbing and stemming are required to negotiate pour offs and chock stones. You must wiggle and squeeze sideways through extremely tight sections while both the front and back of your body brush across the sandstone walls. Deep pools may require wading through water or mud. Carrying large packs or excessive amounts of gear into the slots should be avoided due to the difficult nature of the obstacles encountered and the tightness of the slots.

Safety Concerns: These are unmarked routes. Hikers must pay attention to landmarks so they can find their way back out. Hiking cross country from one slot canyon to another to make a loop is not recommended. Many who attempt to do this often become lost or disoriented. Never climb or jump down a pour off unless you are certain you can climb back out. Obstacles are tricky to negotiate, and could pose a falling hazard to the unprepared or inexperienced. Flash floods are extremely dangerous in these narrow canyons, and hikers must be very cautious if hiking here during flash flood season. These are not good canyons to explore if one suffers from claustrophobia. Heat exposure and lack of water are safety concerns. Heat-related injuries and dehydration could be potential problems. Hikers must carry adequate water. Midget-faded rattlesnakes are often seen in the slots. Due to increased visitation, extremely narrow passages, and numerous pour offs that must be negotiated, dogs are not permitted in the slot canyons.

Maps: USGS 7.5 minute quads: Big Hollow Wash

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Slot Canyons of Dry Fork Coyote Gulch
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I had wanted to do Peek-A-Boo and Spooky last year, but didn't want to chance getting our car stuck in the sand on the Hole in the Rock road. This year we brought our truck which had no problem at all with this road, nor (even) with the final high clearance section before the trailhead.

    As we hiked down to the Gulch, it occurred to me that the steep(ish) approach might weed out folks who don't belong here.

    Anyway, we got down to the bottom and almost immediately met another party who were looking for the entrance to Peekaboo. I think they had walked right by it - there's a steepish scramble at the beginning. With the right shoes and the right technique, this scramble isn't too difficult - my daughter made it look downright easy. There were several other interesting scrambles as we made our way up the canyon, but none of these were especially hard either. We all enjoyed Peekaboo.

    Exiting Peekaboo, we started following cairns over to Spooky. But after checking the route that I had loaded onto my watch, it appeared that the cairns were actually leading us back to the main gulch. So we backtracked, found another set of cairns, and eventually got into the top of Spooky. The top isn't especially narrow (or spooky). My wife enjoyed this part of it.

    We eventually got to an interesting down-climb with which my wife had some trouble. My daughter again made it look easy.

    The way narrowed as we made our way further down Spooky. After a time, it became very tight. I had brought along a bulky pack - all of my packs are bulky - and carried it by the handle at my side. The way was so tight that I sometimes had trouble reversing the direction of my feet. My wife definitely did not like this section. My daughter thought it was okay, but this tight (and spooky) section wasn't her favorite either.

    If I were to do Spooky again, I'd start at the bottom and drop my pack just before it gets narrow, doing it as an out-and-back without a pack. That said, I'm not sure that really tight slot canyons are my thing - I think I have a touch of claustrophobia.
    Slot Canyons of Dry Fork Coyote Gulch
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Have I ever Mentioned that I Love Canyons????? :D

    Time for some Slot Canyons... :y: This Hike was a 3 for the Price of 1...A Real Bargain in Canyoneering :sweat:
    I did 6 Slot Canyons in 3 Days, and 3 of them were on this Day...

    When I got to the TH, I got the last Parking Spot... :o Pretty busy for a Weekday in the middle of Nowhere... :sweat: Got down to Dry Fork, went to the Entrance of Peek-a-boo, saw a Line of People waiting to get up in there and decided to start with Spooky on this Loop... :sweat:

    In the Dry Fork Coyote Gulch Description, it states that if you can do Spooky without a Pack, do it...That Description nails this down...Even with a Butt Pack, I ended carrying it almost the whole way...You literally do this Canyon sideways for 75% of it's Length...Think Fat Man's Pass stretched out for about 1 Mile... :lol: This Canyon is seriously not for people with Claustrophobia...And unfortunately, this Canyon is not One-Way, so I was meeting people coming down...Luckily, there were a few Areas that were Wide Enough for people to squeak by each other...One Chockstone towards the End initially looked intimidating, but after taking a good look, it went pretty easy...And then I was out and heading up and around to descend down Peek-a-boo...

    Peek-a-boo from the Top, Down, was interesting...It started to Slot up right away, but then widened back out and didn't go deep until almost the End...The Bottom 300 Feet of this Canyon is absolutely Amazing...I'll let the Photos detail that a bit...There were also Potholes very close to the Bottom and they had a bit of Water in them...With a Slide, a Slip, a slight Gyration over the Water and an Instantaneous, Unplanned Leg Split, I somehow stayed Dry on the First Pothole. The Second was just a little Ledge Walking with a BIG Step to avoid the Water and seemed much easier in Comparison....A little Downclimbing to get out of the Slot, which was fun too... :D

    Took a Break in Dry Fork and then headed up the Narrows of it...Went up it until it started to really widen out and then turned around and came back...Those Narrows felt like a Superhighway compared to Peek-a-boo and Spooky... :)

    Hiked back up the Hill and back to the Vehicle...I spent enough time down there that 75% of the Parking Lot was now Empty... 8)

    What else can I say...Another Awesome Day in Utah... :) And another Huge Photoset.... :sl:
    Slot Canyons of Dry Fork Coyote Gulch
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5

    This is the trip that epitomizes "getting there is half the fun". I've been wanting to check out these slot canyons the last three trips I did to the Grand-Staircase Escalante area since 2007 and this time I got there. It is a long 26.1 mile trip down Hole-in-the-Rock Road to the well signed Dry Fork turnoff and is done easily in any high clearance vehicle although I would not want to be on this road after or during a rain storm. The road is very washboardy and we heard my cast iron skillets rattle the entire 26.1 miles. After the Dry Fork turnoff there is an additional 1.7 mile drive to the TH and some of this road is very sandy with one nice BIG rock shelf to navigate. I had no problem doing this in the X-Terra and I did see some passenger cars at the TH (must have been rental cars)

    THE HIKE: We met some very cool people on this elderly couple Bud & Linda from Sedona and Doug & Eva with their 12 y/o daughter Gwen from Atlanta. It's an immediate drop into the canyon over slickrock and down through fine sand. I noted this for the return trip back up (sucky part #1 and sucky part #2). Once in the canyon bottom, we easily found Peekaboo along the wash. We went over to it and I found that the carved foot holds are too high for my short legs and very slippery as it is well worn slickrock. I can't get up this!!!! :x Tracy is bit taller than me and has rock climbed so she managed to scramble up it and I decided that I would take the trail up the left side and try to drop in from the top/back side. Bud & Linda are also looking for a way into Peekaboo so the 3 of us trek off together. We get to the top and I try to drop in from above but again it is very smooth and slippery slickrock with a significant drop into the slot. I'm sure I can do it and then look at my new trail companions and think they will try to follow me so I tell them I'm not attempting it from above either. BUMMER. So we trekked back down the hill. Bud & Linda decide to hike out and I head on to Spooky looking for Tracy. I hike about 1/4 mile up the wash and just past a large sand dune head on a trail which eventually leads me to sign of Tracy but then I see her heading up the trail. She said Peekaboo was very slippery sandstone and convoluted so it was a lot of maneuvering. We head into Spooky. Bud had told me that Spooky was very narrow and I might have problems "no offense but your breasts will probably get in the way"....he was trying really hard not to insult me and I wasn't offended at all and just laughed it off. Once we started into Spooky I got quite a way back and dropped my pack.....then started to squeeze myself past the narrow section but eventually knew I can't go in farther. The quote of the day came from 12 y/o Gwen who said to her mother Eva who was waiting at the slot canyon entrance....."Mom, even Ms. Trish with her big boobies got really far into that slot, you can do it too!" We all had a good laugh. :sl:

    We then had spent better than 3 hours in the canyon and decided to hike out. Eva, Doug and Gwen were heading on down Dry Fork, Tracy and I hiked out. Sucky part #1 as noted on the hike in was going up a steep incline in very fine sand. Sucky part #2 was the steep part on the slickrock.

    Even though I was unable to even get into Peekaboo and could only get 3/4 of the way down Spooky this was a fun day! The canyon was beautiful and I'd love to return to the area to hike....maybe not narrow slots but to hike open trails.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To canyon trip
    From Escalante, Utah, drive 6 miles down UT12 to the signed junction with the historic Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Travel south on the Hole-in-the-Rock Road for approximately 26 miles until reaching the signed Dry Fork road on the left (west) side of the road. Turn onto the Dry Fork road and follow it for about 1.7 miles, staying left at every road junction. Park in the parking area and follow the cairns to start the trail.
    page created by PaleoRob on Apr 08 2009 7:26 pm
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