If you want to go for a little slot canyon adventure near Kanab, go for Peekaboo aka Red canyon. But first I must tell you, this is not the same Peek-a-boo slot canyon in Grand Staircase Escalante. When I was initially planning for Peek-a-boo, I was thinking about the one in Escalante that has water crossing inside the slot canyon. Then we had to change the plan due to the snowstorm and that opened a whole morning without plan. A friend in Kanab suggested that we should go and visit Peekaboo though he was quite concerned the way back to the canyon. Generally, after a snowy day, it is quite possible the roads are snowy and muddy, maybe impassable in some areas. You definitely need a four-wheel drive vehicle even if the road is dry. If you don’t have a four-wheeler, you can take the tour that starts from Kanab. There are several tour companies in Kanab that will take you to the Canyon, give you a tour. Or, you can park your car in the trailhead parking lot and hike to the Canyon. The hike is not actually that bad and we saw many people were hiking to the canyon. The main point is to enjoy the slot canyon without any crowd like other slot canyons and its free of charge. Also, no permit is required to visit this slot canyon. This canyon is only half mile in length, but for sure this is one of the easiest beautiful slot canyons to walk through in southern Utah. Most importantly, this one is easily accessible with 4WD, whereas you have to go through mud and pools of water (often cold), huge rock and sometimes pour off that requires climbing experiences to go to some of the slot canyons.
The road to the canyon is quite exciting, it’s pure off-roading adventure. The trailhead is located near the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary between Mt. Carmel junction and Kanab. At the trailhead there is a huge parking lot where you can see several cars are parking. Those people who rents ATV, usually get their ATV here. So, there is a good chance that you will see many trucks with trailers. From the trailhead there is a sandy track on the north side of US-89 and you will see a board that says 4WD vehicles only. You have to take that track and drive towards the slot canyon. Total drive is roughly around four miles one way through the deep sand. For the last one mile or so, you have to drive up the wash and right to the entrance of the slot canyon. As the sand is really deep, you have to be extra careful while driving. Previously, I have seen some people take their 2WD in some off roads. It may work sometimes; but this is not the drive to test your driving skill or your car. From the entrance, it’s an easy about 1-mile walk (round trip) that anyone can do.
On a bright sunny day, when the run ray strikes the canyon walls, it creates a fire like orange glow everywhere. The drama of the vibrant red sandstone and the sun ray is unbelievably radiant. When you walk through the narrow slot, in between the red sandstone about 80 feet tall, it gives goosebump. Those water and wind carved walls are probably bearing the history for thousands of years, in some cases millions! It is believed that once upon a time, native people lived here and the surrounding areas. Sometimes I really wonder how were they, how was their lifestyle; so many things those ancient walls are carrying for years. The first part of the canyon in short and it opens to a wide space. If you continue to walk up the wash, the slot becomes narrow again and this time it becomes deep and dark until you come across a high overhead rock jam. That’s the end point where you have to turn around. Don’t forget to check out the Moqui steps on the left side of the canyon wall, which is around halfway through the canyon. The Native Americans probably used those steps to store grain and food on the high ledges of the slot canyon or to protect themselves in case of sudden flash floods.
Peekaboo’s red and orange hue and the texture make it a unique one. Specially, if you go during the summertime, you will be able to see some sun beams in between the canyon walls. Unfortunately, we visited the canyon right after a snowstorm and the day was quite cloudy. So, our adventure was more like slot canyon in snow. No light beam, no orange golden hue, still it was beautiful with the snow. In my opinion, the snow made it more beautiful. If you are going there by yourself, please check the weather first because flash flood warning in the slot canyons are real. The cell service is limited in some areas. Most importantly, know before you go and leave only your footsteps, nothing else.