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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 412 Triplogs  14 Topics
RatedFavorite  
Wish List 42
 Region
 
0
0
 Sedona NE
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
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 753
Photos 9,465
Trips 3,504 map ( 18,169 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
13  2017-08-08 donaldcole3131
23  2017-06-10 BiFrost
5  2016-10-30 Chriskup
6  2016-10-29 mtnlver
11  2016-10-29 gunungapi
37  2016-10-16 cw50must
11  2016-10-02 afrankie
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
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 21
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  6:15am - 6:24pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Thomas Point Trail #142
same trailhead
1.3 mi
1,010 ft
Telephone Trail #72 - Sedona
0.4 mi away
1.3 mi
906 ft
Cave Springs Campground
0.5 mi away
Harding Springs Trail #51
0.7 mi away
0.8 mi
720 ft
HC Rim Trail
1.0 mi away
1.1 mi
127 ft
A.B. Young Trail #100
1.5 mi away
5.0 mi
2,002 ft
[ View More! ]
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
Great Blue Heron
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 Butterfly
Unidentified Butterfly
Unidentified Fauna
Variegated Fritillary Butterfly
Wasp
Western Tanager
Western Tent Caterpillar
Western Yellowjacket
Wolf Spider
Woolly Bear Caterpillar Moth
Zeres metalmark
Flora
Apple
Arizona Blackberry
Arizona Cypress
Arizona Grape
Arizona Sycamore
Arizona Valerian
Aspen Fleabane
Bigtooth Maple
Bluebonnet Lupine
Boxelder
Bracken Fern
Butterfly Weed
Canada Violet
Cardinalflower
Cattails
Columbia Monkshood
Common Cattail
Common Dandelion
Common Mallow
Common Monkey Flower
Common Mullein
Common Sunflower
Crimson Monkey Flower
Cutleaf Coneflower
False Solomon's Seal
Fendler Rose
Field horsetail
Gambel Oak
Golden Corydalis
Golden-Beard Penstemon
Green-Flowered Macromeria
Hairy Golden Aster
Hookers Evening Primrose
Horehound
Meadow Rue
Meadow Violet
Miners Lettuce
Nelson's Larkspur
Nuttalls Linanthus
Pearly Everlasting
Periwinkle
Pink Windmills
Plains Beebalm
Poison Ivy
Pony beebalm
Red Osier Dogwood
Redbud Tree
Richardsons Geranium
Sacred Datura
Skyrocket
Thimbleberry
Threadleaf Groundsel
Towering Polemonium
Unidentified Flora
Unidentified Mushroom or Fungi
Velvet Ash
Virginia Creeper
Water Parsnip
Western Dayflower
Western Spiderwort
White Fir
White Nightshade
White Primrose
Wild Bergamot
Wild Geranium
Wood Rose
Yellow Columbine
Yellow Coneflower
Yellow Monkey Flower
Geology
Coconino Sandstone
Cross-bedding
Schnebly Hill Formation
Tafoni
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
Moon
Named place
Midgely Bridge Picnic Area
West Fork Oak Creek
Culture
Camp-fire
Campsite
Graffiti
HAZ Food
Stone Dwelling
Wooden Dwelling
#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.
© 2001 - 2017 hikearizona.com

-
  • 2016 Red Rock Map
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
  • Sedona SE Trails

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

Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness
see map for camping restrictions


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