To access Peek-a-boo slot canyon it is necessary to make a 20 foot climb up into the slot. It is a climb on sandy slick rock that is near vertical. Fortunately they have slight sloping steps called Moki steps to help ascend. Don't misunderstand, these steps only slightly help. The trick is to keep moving and don't keep your body too close to the rock.
Depending on the time of year, there could be water at the base of this climb. This leaves a lot of sand in these sloping steeps adding to the difficulty. If there is water, you may opt to remove your boots. I find this makes it a little easier.
I always bring a rope to help the rest of my group ascend.
This is the most difficult section so if you can get past this you should be fine.
While checking in at the visitor center is always a good idea to see if roads are open, they can also give you some information how much if any water is in the slot canyons. People will report their experiences and rangers may also be in the slots and report back. Its always worth asking about specific slots. The depth of the water varies. Be prepared. Be sure to bring an extra shirt during cooler month so that If you fall into the water you have something dry to change into. The slots can get little sunlight so drying off in fall, winter or spring may not happen. That dry shirt will help you avoid hypothermia.
If you hike Spooky slot canyon, only enter the slot after you exit Peek-a-boo slot as part of a loop hike. Do not attempt Spooky as an in and out hike. The slot is very narrow and there is no place to pass people or let them by. Most people will be coming down the slot which is also much easier to negotiate.
In narrow canyons like Buckskin Gulch, there is always the danger of flash floods. This area is generally starved of moisture but when it comes, it comes torrentially , and often with little warning. The ground is simply unable to absorb the water quickly enough and hikers can soon be in over their heads. With nowhere to go but up, one needs to be constantly on guard for signs of impending flooding.
You will notice some areas are quite dry and others will have small streams running through them. Look for debris moving along with the water as one sign that more could be on its way. When in doubt make your way out of the canyon. For that reason, it's good to know where you are in the canyon to be able to make a decision on where to retreat to. If deep in the canyon, seek a wide part of it. You will notice as you hike, there are some nice big lush areas seemingly in the middle of nowhere. These can be safer areas to seek refuge. Then you have to wait it out till the water recedes. That's a good reason to carry some warm clothes and extra food while hiking.
There is no cellular telephone reception in this area. If you want to be able to call for help, you will need a satellite phone, which can be rented by mail in the US from a number of vendors for under $75 per week. If you are going to spend time exploring the area's dirt and gravel roads, we strongly recommend getting a satellite phone. There are very few people traveling through the area at any one time, so the satellite phone could be your lifeline if your vehicle breaks down or gets stuck.
This is a vast, sparsely traveled area. If you break down or get stuck, it may take a while for someone to reach you. Bring plenty of water and food if you are traveling the back roads or hiking into the backcountry. The climate is very dry, and can get very hot in the summertime. At night, however, it can get chilly, even in summer, so also bring a blanket in your vehicle.
Rain can be trouble in Grand Staircase -Escalante. The roads are almost all unpaved dirt and clay, which can get very messy in the rain - there is a good chance that you could get stuck for a while. Also, the slot canyons can get flash floods when it rains - you do not want to be in one when that happens.
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