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West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108
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mini location map2014-10-29
32 by photographer avatarwinotron
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West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 29 2014
winotron
Hiking7.70 Miles 800 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   2.89 mph
800 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break3 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I'm embarrassed to say this is my first hike in Sedona. Figured this would be a good place to start. Well, it was both a great and frustrating experience. Got started late so I didn't get to the trailhead until about 11am. Seems like I was stuck behind every single tourist driving 15mph in a Prius on the way. Got to the trailhead and it was full, with about 5 or 6 cars in front of me waiting to get in. The attendant walked by and told us all it would be at least an hour before we got in, and recommended we park in the pullouts down the road. Even the pullouts were full, but I found a spot maybe half a mile up the road. Frustrating start to my day, and not what I was expecting on a Wednesday. Forgot my $2 for the walk-in fee but the guy was nice enough to let me in anyways.

Finally started on the trail around 11:30. There were tons of people on the trail...so many tourists! At the first creek crossing I had to wait a few minutes for a big group of elderly folks to cross before I could go. That ended up happening on almost every creek crossing. Wished I had brought sandals so I could've just walked through the water. I took every branching path I could find to avoid the crowds. During this first mile I counted at least 10 poop bags thrown on the sides of the trail. :x Really wish I could catch one of these jerks that does that.

Eventually I tried to not let the crowds bother me, and the serenity of the place really calmed me down. Really took my time on the trail and just enjoyed it. The fall colors everywhere were just beautiful. Yellows, oranges and reds everywhere. Nice contrast to all the aspens I've been seeing so far this season. The creek was flowing nicely the whole way, but I overheard someone say that the water level is about a foot below its normal flow. The burn areas didn't really detract from the experience much. After mile 2 the crowd thinned out a bit, and at my turnaround point about 3.5 miles in, there was pretty much no one left. Nice to have some peace and quiet!

Heading back there were still hordes of people coming in, but the place had made me feel so peaceful that it didn't bother me as much. I'm really glad I did this like, but if I ever do it again I'll be coming very early in the morning. It's hard for me to separate my experience from the trail itself, so the trail would get a 5, but my experience here knocks it down a point. So for now I'm rating this a 4. From all my standing around the AEG my phone reported is all over the place, so I'm just putting what it felt like. With the extra mileage from walking to and from my car, this came in at 7.7 miles. Not bad!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Lots of leaves already down, but still a lot at their peak right now, and even some green still out there. I'd say there's at least another week for great color.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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