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West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108, AZ
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West Fork of Oak Creek is a canyon you won't forget. A crisp morning hike here in Autumn foliage pretty much sealed the deal that I'm a hiker for life.

A few minutes into the hike you cross a bridge built in the summer of '98. The steep climb in and out of the creek was a mini adventure you now admire from above. After crossing the bridge the trail turns left. Follow the trail overlooking the creek on your left. A spectacular field of ferns opens up to your right. It is the former site of the Lolomai Lodge. Operation faded out around 1920. Zane Grey wrote Call of the Canyon at the lodge. Old apple trees are scattered throughout the field. Shortly before reaching the creek, lush and I mean lush paths welcome the hiker. This is one place I can truly say I'm glad I can't bring my mountain bike. You just wouldn't want to screw up something so perfect.


Continue on crossing the creek numerous times as far up as you like. I usually turn around at the two mile mark. Families with small children will probably be satisfied with less. The trail peters out at three miles. Stone mile markers line the trail at half mile intervals. The creek is clear and the environment soothes as you walk along.

Keep in mind your feet are going to get wet, it's part of the fun. From years I wore Teva river sandals for good traction. Running shoes are my preference now in my 40's as I'm not as agile as boyscout. Whatever you wear be careful on the slippery rocks in the creek. The canyon walls loom overhead giving a warm feeling. The creek winds back and forth, opens up, narrows, deep pools, shallow pools, tiny cascades you name it. Oak Creek is awesome. Parking on any beautiful summer weekend or during fall foliage can be a hassle. I hiked the creek winter of '98 just to see the flip side. The feeling was rather eerie.
Description 399 Triplogs  13 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 
0
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 Sedona NE
Statistics
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,280 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Accumulated Gain 300 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.5
Interest Perennial Creek
Author joebartels
Descriptions 209
Routes 694
Photos 8,963
Trips 3,140 map ( 16,229 miles )
Age 46
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
26  2016-06-25
AB Young - Buckhead - West Fork Loop
The_Eagle
20  2016-06-25
AB Young - Buckhead - West Fork Loop
BiFrost
9  2016-06-25
AB Young - Buckhead - West Fork Loop
joebartels
14  2016-06-02 gummo
8  2016-05-22 SunDevil3
9  2016-02-23 MeredithJW
6  2016-01-28 TheNaviG8R
34  2016-01-03 CoryTallman
2  2016-01-01 skatchkins
2  2016-01-01 spacetimeart
11  2015-11-22 rrshort
8  2015-11-22 rrshort
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 20
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Map - Beartooth Sedona
Forest Coconino
Backpack   Yes - past 6 Miles
Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:34am - 7:32pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
0.0  Thomas Point Trail #142
0.4  Telephone Trail #72 - Sedona
0.5  Cave Springs Campground
0.7  Harding Springs Trail #51
1.0  HC Rim Trail
1.5  A.B. Young Trail #100
[ View More! ]
Culture
     Camp-fire
     Campsite
     Graffiti
     HAZ Food
     Stone Dwelling
     Wooden Dwelling
Space
Fauna
     Abert's Squirrel
     American Crow
     American Robin
     Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
     Arizona Sister Butterfly
     Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly
     Broad-winged bush Katydid
     Bumblebee
     Canyon Tree Frog
     Centipede
     Cicada
     Common Buckeye Butterfly
     Flame Skimmer
     Garter Snake
     Honey Bee
     Jerusalem cricket
     Madrean Alligator Lizard
     Mallard Duck
     Narrow-headed Gartersnake
     Painted Lady Butterfly
     Plateau Striped Whiptail
     Steller's Jay
     Townsend's Solitaire
     Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterf
 Unidentified Butterfly
     Variegated Fritillary Butterfl
     Wasp
     Western Tent Caterpillar
   Western Yellowjacket
     Wolf Spider
     Woolly Bear Caterpillar Moth
   Zeres metalmark
Space
Flora
     Apple
     Arizona Cypress
     Arizona Grape*
     Arizona Sycamore*
     Arizona Valerian
     Aspen Fleabane
     Bigtooth Maple*
     Bluebonnet Lupine
     Bracken Fern
     Butterfly Weed
     Canada Violet
     Cardinalflower
     Cattails
     Columbia Monkshood
     Common Cattail
     Common Monkey Flower
     Common Sunflower
     Cutleaf Coneflower
     False Solomon's Seal
 Field horsetail
     Gambel Oak*
     Golden Corydalis
     Golden-Beard Penstemon
   Meadow Violet
     Miners Lettuce
     Pearly Everlasting
     Periwinkle
     Poison Ivy*
   Pony beebalm
     Red Osier Dogwood*
     Redbud Tree
     Richardsons Geranium
     Thimbleberry
     Threadleaf Groundsel
 Unidentified Flora
     Unidentified Mushroom or Fungi
     Virginia Creeper*
 Water Parsnip
     Western Dayflower
     Western Spiderwort
     White Fir
     Wild Bergamot
     Wild Geranium*
     Yellow Columbine
     Yellow Coneflower
     Yellow Monkey Flower
Wildflowers best
July 15th to August 15th
* Autumn Color possible
October 10th - October 24th
Space
Geology
     Coconino Sandstone
     Cross-bedding
     Schnebly Hill Formation
     Tafoni
#1 Hike in Arizona!
by joebartels

West Fork of Oak Creek is a canyon you won't forget. A crisp morning hike here in Autumn foliage pretty much sealed the deal that I'm a hiker for life.

A few minutes into the hike you cross a bridge built in the summer of '98. The steep climb in and out of the creek was a mini adventure you now admire from above. After crossing the bridge the trail turns left. Follow the trail overlooking the creek on your left. A spectacular field of ferns opens up to your right. It is the former site of the Lolomai Lodge. Operation faded out around 1920. Zane Grey wrote Call of the Canyon at the lodge. Old apple trees are scattered throughout the field. Shortly before reaching the creek, lush and I mean lush paths welcome the hiker. This is one place I can truly say I'm glad I can't bring my mountain bike. You just wouldn't want to screw up something so perfect.


Continue on crossing the creek numerous times as far up as you like. I usually turn around at the two mile mark. Families with small children will probably be satisfied with less. The trail peters out at three miles. Stone mile markers line the trail at half mile intervals. The creek is clear and the environment soothes as you walk along.

Keep in mind your feet are going to get wet, it's part of the fun. From years I wore Teva river sandals for good traction. Running shoes are my preference now in my 40's as I'm not as agile as boyscout. Whatever you wear be careful on the slippery rocks in the creek. The canyon walls loom overhead giving a warm feeling. The creek winds back and forth, opens up, narrows, deep pools, shallow pools, tiny cascades you name it. Oak Creek is awesome. Parking on any beautiful summer weekend or during fall foliage can be a hassle. I hiked the creek winter of '98 just to see the flip side. The feeling was rather eerie.
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-

Coconino FS Reports There are a number of reasons why West Fork is the most popular trail on the Coconino National Forest. You'll know some of them once you've strolled beside the pleasant little stream that ripples along the canyon floor and looked up, way up, at the dizzying cliffs that tower above it. You'll know even more if you come in the spring, when migrating songbirds decorate the trees with flashes of brilliance, or in the fall when pastel leaves float in clear reflecting pools under a canopy of solid color. You can even add to that list if you come in the winter, when icicles hang from red rock overhangs and snatches of snow persist in cool shadows. As a matter of fact, you'll probably find a new reason to be here every time you visit.

As for the trail itself, it's an easy stroll, but you do have to cross the stream in a number of places. Usually, that involves negotiating a few strategically placed stepping stones or taking a couple of steps in shallow water. The trail is marked for the first three miles; however, many hikers continue beyond that. Eventually the pathway ends and you will be forced to hike in the stream bed as you continue into the Secret Mountain/Red Rocks Wilderness. If you choose to travel all 14 miles from one end of the canyon to the other, plan to do a lot of wading and boulder hopping, and even some swimming.

No matter how long a hike you take here, you'll enjoy it best if you come at a time when the trail is least crowded. Mornings and weekdays are best, better yet if they're in the off-season.

When you do come, remember to take special care and leave this beautiful place better than you found it. Of course you know not to litter, but picking flowers and autumn leaves can cause just as unsightly a scar. So can short-cutting or rock throwing. Treat this natural treasure with the care it deserves and you'll have plenty of reason to come back and see it again and again.

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.

Permit $$
$10 Special Access Parking Fee - Red Rock Pass not accepted


Directions
Map Drive
Road
Paved - Car Okay

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90+° 8am - 6pm kills
stay out of the scorching sun
prehydrate & stay hydrated
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