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West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108, AZ
route 4.1k 393 0 0
Description 393 Triplogs  13 Topics
RatedFavorite   Wish List Region
 Sedona NE
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,280 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5
Interest Perennial Creek
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 685
Photos 8,869
Trips 3,074 map ( 15,866 miles )
Age 46
Location Phoenix, AZ
Viewed All Mine Following
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
22  2015-09-25 Lost
6  2015-05-28 RazorbackHiker
75  2015-05-15
Tucson & Sedona - May2015
Randal Schulhaus
23  2015-02-07 Richx1
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 20
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Map - Beartooth Sedona
Forest Coconino
Backpack   Yes - past 6 Miles
Preferred   Oct, Oct, Oct, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:17am - 7:32pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
Alternative Routes
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
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     HAZ Food
     Stone Dwelling
     Wooden Dwelling
     Abert's Squirrel
     American Crow
     American Robin
     Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
     Arizona Sister Butterfly
     Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly
     Broad-winged bush Katydid
     Canyon Tree Frog
     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
     Western Tent Caterpillar
   Western Yellowjacket
     Wolf Spider
     Woolly Bear Caterpillar Moth
   Zeres metalmark
     Arizona Cypress
     Arizona Grape*
     Arizona Sycamore*
     Arizona Valerian
     Aspen Fleabane
     Bigtooth Maple*
     Bluebonnet Lupine
     Bracken Fern
     Butterfly Weed
     Canada Violet
     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
     Poison Ivy*
   Pony beebalm
     Red Osier Dogwood*
     Redbud Tree
     Richardsons Geranium
     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
     Coconino Sandstone
     Schnebly Hill Formation
#1 Hike in Arizona!
by joebartels

West Fork of Oak Creek is a canyon you won't forget. This is the place you take out of state friends and tell them 'Oh! all the trails in Arizona are like this'. In my opinion Boynton Canyon packs a better punch year 'round. Then again West Fork in the fall is awesome!

As of Fall '98 a new bridge ruins the beginning of the trail. Although I am sure there was a good reason. The beginning was the best part and now it's gone. Ever think about first impressions? Okay on with the show. Walk over the bridge and spit on it (just kidding), actually they did a good job blending the bridge to the environment. 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. 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. The sandy trail adds a Hawaiian feel.

Continue on crossing the creek numerous times as far up as you like. I usually turn around at the two mile mark. Stone mile markers line the trail at half mile intervals. The creek is clear and the environment sooths as you walk along. Keep in mind your feet are going to get wet, it's part of the fun. I recommend Teva river sandals for good traction. Be careful on those 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.
© 2001 - 2016


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

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the 'Y' in Sedona ( 179/89A ) go North on 89A ten miles to the signed turnoff for West Fork Parking on the left. Yes you have to pay to park. In this case it's well worth the money. Enjoy the hike!

Location: 17.5 miles south of Flagstaff (9.5 miles north of Sedona) on paved roads in scenic Oak Creek Canyon.

Access: Drive south 17.5 miles south from Flagstaff or north 9.5 miles from Sedona to about halfway between milepost 385 and 384. The trailhead is on the west side of the highway down a paved lane that leads behind a few creekside houses. The best place to park is at the Call O' The Canyon day area about a quarter mile north of the trailhead.
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 6pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated.
Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.
© 2016 HAZ