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West Fork Oak Creek

Semi-shaded by trees and towering canyon walls make this the perfect 7 mile Sedona hike if you want to beat the heat.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Trekking up Oak Creek’s west fork offers one of the best hiking experiences in Sedona, an area already known as a hiker’s paradise.... more »

Tips:  • Arrive early to ensure a parking spot at the trailhead. A fee is payable to park, and daily Red Rock parking permits are not valid... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

Located 11 miles north of Sedona on 89A, the entrance to the Call of the Canyon day use area is positioned on a bend in the road. When we visited a sign marked “West Fork Oak Creek” marked the spot.

A parking fee is payable, and the daily Red Rock Pass is not valid here. The limited parking spots available here may inconvenience some, but as long... More

2. Lodge Ruins

Just before reaching the canyon entrance you’ll happen across the ruins of Mayhew’s Lodge. Built in the 1870s the lodge served its visitors for a century before succumbing to fire in 1976.

The lodge was also briefly a movie star - becoming the backdrop to the 1922 film “Call of the Canyon” - though the movie wasn’t exactly a box office smash and... More

3. Wilderness Register

You’re now entering the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. Be sure to register your party in the book (free) and take note of the posted signs.

Basically - obey the usual “pack it in - pack it out” habit and do not camp within 6 miles of the trailhead.

4. Creek Crossing

The first of many, many crossings - around thirteen in total. Unless the waters are raging, you’re unlikely to encounter difficulties traversing the creek.

Use this crossing as a measure of difficulty, as no crossing upstream is any more difficult than this one.

5. Water Cascade

There's not much elevation change on this trail and this is as close as you're likely to get to a waterfall feature any time soon.

Diminutive though it is, it's not without charm.There is no creek crossing at this location. Keep to your right and pick up the trail again.

6. Junction

Following the main trail is relatively easy, and this point marks the only significant junction on the entire route.

Keep left to follow the creek, or turn right and keep to slightly higher ground.

7. Trail Ends

The sandy trail yields to a final section of rocky river stone path before reaching the end of our route, where the canyon walls close in on you and there’s nowhere else to go without getting your feet wet.

Enjoy the great views, make the most of the photo opportunities and marvel at how the water has etched away at the rock over the... More