Peekaboo Trail, Needles District: Squaw Flat Trailhead, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Peekaboo Trail - 10.0 miles
Needles District: Squaw Flat Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||10.0 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,120' - 5,060'|
|Elevation Change:||-60' net elevation loss (with frequent elevation changes en route)|
Peekaboo Trail - 10.0 Miles Round-Trip
The Peekaboo Trail passes through open desert, colorful canyons, lengthy slickrock benches and riparian areas to its terminus at Salt Creek and Peekaboo Camp. Granaries and pictograph panels highlight the trail, and underscore the area's extensive use by ancient communities:
The trail heads south from Squaw Flat Trailhead A for about 50 yards to a split - bear left for Squaw Canyon. The trail bends southeast through flat, open desert and sparse pinyon - juniper flats to a split near the mouth of Squaw Canyon (1.1 miles).
Bear left again (southeast) towards Lost Canyon and Peekaboo Camp, where travel grows rugged as you cross outcrops near the canyon entrance. The trail soon takes an abrupt turn straight up a challenging slickrock wall, then down a short latter to a canyon rim.
The trail runs along the canyon's north rim before dropping into a sandy wash for several hundred yards to the Lost Canyon Trail junction (2.6 miles). Keep left for Peekaboo Camp and Salt Creek.
The trail climbs steeply from the lost Lost Canyon entrance to a long slickrock bench framed by towering rock formations. Views are spectacular from this elevated area.
Look for granaries tucked into rock formations just off-trail on the gradual descent to Peekaboo Camp and Salt Creek. These unmarked ruins can be seen up and to the left, just before heading down a steep slickrock chute.
The slickrock chute leads down to a long latter that places you on a flat dirt path for the final .25 miles to Peekaboo Camp. This last stretch follows the riparian corridor of Salt Creek. Deciduous willow and cottonwood along the stream bed contrast sharply with the colorful sandstone you traveled along to reach it.
A well-marked pictograph panel can be viewed just off to the right near the trail terminus. This art was created by the Fremont culture sometime between 1100 and 1300 AD.
The white, shield-like drawings are typical of Fremont art, although there is no evidence that the Fremont people ever established permanent dwellings in this area.
Of even greater interest and historical value is the very faint collection of reddish-brown paintings beneath the Fremont's work. These pictures are thought to have been made by the Archaic People who lived here between 2,000 and 8,000 years ago. The trail ends in the Salt Creek Road parking lot, about 100' from Peekaboo Camp.
- N38 08.612 W109 48.213 — 0.0 Miles: Squaw Flat Trailhead A
- The second ladder descent passes through a very narrow notch in the rocks. This may be difficult when wet, or with large packs. On the return, this ladder may be tricky to find, as the cairns leading to it abruptly end at the vertical rock face up which it travels. Take note of this on your way to Peekaboo Camp.
- Follow cairns closely, and always note the last cairn you saw. If it's been a while in between markings, stop hiking, gather your bearings, and retrace yourself back to the last known marking. Be courteous to other hikers and rebuild knocked over cairns. Never disassemble or move trail markings.
- This is an exposed trail. Always carry ample water and full sun protection into the backcountry.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips in Canyonlands National Park. Permits can be acquired at Visitor Centers the day of or day before your trip. Advance reservations can be made up to 4 months out and are recommended during peak season.
Call the Backcountry Reservation Office for more information: 435.259.4351
- There's a $30 fee per party to backcountry camp in Canyonlands National Park.
- Hikers must camp in designated sites where explicitly stated. You may otherwise choose your own campsite in designated at-large zones.
- At-large sites must be at least 1 mile away from any road and 300' from any archeological site, historical site or water source.
- Mountain Bikers and 4WDs must stay on established roads and camp in designated sites at all times.
- Fires are not permitted at backcountry campsites or within the backcountry in Canyonlands National Park.
- Desert water sources are scarce and fragile. Do not bathe or wash dishes in creeks or pools.
Rules and Regulations
- There's a $25 fee per vehicle to enter Canyonlands National Park (defined as private passenger cars with 15 people or less). Passes are good for 7 consecutive days.
- $15 per motorcycle.
- $10 per person (walk or bike).
- Dogs are not permitted on trails in Canyonlands National Park.
Directions to Trailhead
The Peekaboo Trail is accessed from Squaw Flat Campground A in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
Drive 2.7 miles past the visitor center turnoff and turn left into the Squaw Flat Campground. The road will soon fork; bear left toward Campground A for trailhead parking and access. There is also trailhead parking and access from Campground B, but this adds additional mileage and climbing before reaching the main trailhead area at Campground A.
Canyonlands National Park
2282 SW Resource Blvd
Moab, UT 84532