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West Fork of Oak Creek from FR325, AZ
mini location map2019-11-02
19 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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West Fork of Oak Creek from FR325, AZ 
West Fork of Oak Creek from FR325, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 02 2019
joebartels
Hiking16.09 Miles 2,165 AEG
Hiking16.09 Miles   7 Hrs   47 Mns   2.21 mph
2,165 ft AEG      30 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Prologue
When I started hiking, West Fork was a must explore slice of heaven. Need a little more to justify a full day hiking at this point in my life. Planned this out on Route Editor looking to make West Fork accessible east off I-17. Bypass Sedona traffic. Guaranteed hassle free parking. Forest stroll. Includes 2 bonus canyon-to-rim trails.

Access
From I-17 this is 1.9 miles on FR325 aka Willard Springs Road to our makeshift trailhead. 1.1 miles is dirt and old crater crumbling paved road. Negotiable with tender stock tires. High clearance or a lucky few to navigate the better FS roads can drive almost to the rim... beware it gets gnarly in spots if you choose unwisely.

FR 9498 & FR 9499
Calm dry 28 degrees. Did not freeze to death in shorts, pants woulda been cozy. Nice canopy of pines.

Telephone Trail #72 ( Descend )
Steep in spots, otherwise a gem. Rough cut trail, limestone, coconino, overhead views of Oak Creek and the San Francisco Peaks. Bonus morning light at the Peep Holes. 5 of 5 for me. Imagine 3.5 of 5 for most.

West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108
Pompous glare and chests out we walk by the line of cars waiting to enter. $2 walk-in per hiker, no wait. Autumn foliage maxed out earlier in the week based on recent post by @rrshort. Yoga class was in session at one of the carved red rock wall curves you miss if on trail. Great canyon even when busy. Far cry from Piestewa busy on a cool morning.

Thomas Point Trail #142 ( Ascend )
Better canyon-to-rim "trail" maintenance wise vs Telephone Trail #72. Solid choice. That said, #72 gets the nod for my preference.

FR9498 ( Return )
Bruce chatted with a fellow Subaru geek that navigated the non-sedan roads almost to the rim. It was like two chics babbling eyeliner and blush at double mocha warp speed. Nice walk back to square one.

Synopsis
Enjoyed the three distinct personalities of this hike. Worthy redo to add to the mix. Omitted one option that might be a nice swap for Thomas Point.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
Autumn in West Fork crested earlier in the week based on rrshort's recent posts
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
not much, very isolated and tiny

dry Telephone Tank Dry Dry
updated position that was off about 400 ft

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max West Fork Oak Creek Light flow Light flow
13-16 crossing are negotiable dry if careful and lucky
_____________________
- joe
HAZ Member
joebartels'
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