We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful and Magical...But Often Times Crowded” 4 of 5 stars
Review of West Fork Oak Creek Trail

West Fork Oak Creek Trail
Sedona, AZ
Improve this listing
Ranked #11 of 119 things to do in Sedona
Activities: Hiking
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Trail that follows a creek at the bottom of a 1,000-foot canyon.
Clarkdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“Beautiful and Magical...But Often Times Crowded”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

West Fork is one of my favorite trails to hike in the Autumn, as it’s one of the rare places you can see red fall foliage in Arizona. Most of the fall colors in the area tend to be golden yellow (Cottonwoods being the predominant deciduous tree in the Verde Valley’s riparian areas, and aspens in Flagstaff’s alpine elevations). West Fork is full of delicate maples that turn technicolor shades of scarlet, orange and hot pink. Generally, mid-to-late October is the best time to catch the red maples at their peak.

Towering red and cream-colored sandstone walls, beautiful stream, sheltered from sun and wind.
The canyon’s mouth begins at the ruins of the old Mayhew Lodge, where Zane Gray stayed while writing “Call of the Canyon.” Burnt down by a transient in the 1980s, foundations of the historic lodge remain, and are fun photo ops. Also there: an old chicken coop structure, a cave used for smoking meat and an orchard of ancient apple trees.

There are many water crossings as the trail zigs back and forth through this small stream. Some are slippery, over wet rocks or logs, some more difficult than others. There are a few best navigated with a walking stick or assistance from pals. I've seen people fall many times. Best to wear waterproof shoes/boots, and something with aggressive tread.

The trail is also often overwhelmed with visitors, and when it’s crowded it takes some of the fun out of the hike. It can be more like walking in heavy downtown traffic—with large families, many pets—I’ve even seen people attempting to push strollers through (not a good idea). Waiting for groups to at stream crossings can be frustrating, for both those attempting to cross as well (nervous from all of the eyes on them) as those waiting.

While autumn is my favorite time, summer is also fun, as the West Fork is shady and there are lots of places to take a tiny dip and cool off. Winter is cold in West Fork and the shade is full of snow and packed ice, making it extra slippery and difficult to hike.

Best advice year-round: Get there early, before 9:00am, if you plan to find a parking spot. Weekends can be crazy. The lot fills early and there is really no roadside parking along Highway 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. People wait in line to get into the parking lot once the “FULL” sign appears.
Trail is sandy and though it is all uphill on the way out, the grade is gradual and good for most folks. Pets are allowed, on leash. My dogs like the trail. I saw a woman walking a goat (!) there once.

West Fork is one of Oak Creek Canyon’s gems. I’d definitely recommend visit it while in Sedona area.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

575 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    438
    106
    26
    4
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Sun City, CA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Hike this Trail!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Cool and mostly shady, this trail can accommodate young and old alike. There are 13 creek crossings easily done (wear appropriate shoes as they can get wet!)by either walking through the water or traversing the rocks and "hopping across" them. This was our favorite thing to do in Sedona! Get there early and during the week as the weekends it is nearly impossible to park and the trail can be closed because of congestion!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Too Crowded”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Lovely hike with several creek crossings. But the place seemed very crowded and not natural or peaceful at all.
I would not go back.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“You should have seen it....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

,,, several years ago before they had a trail!

Even so, the walk is beautiful and along water most of the way. Except for a bunch of walking in sand, the hike is easy.

If you are into birding, take a pair of binocs as I saw several first-time birds to add to my Life List.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palos Verdes, CA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Excellent summer time trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

This is the trail to hike in the summer time as it is full of oaks and shade! Be sure to get there early, as the parking lot fills up fast during the warm summer months and then it is backed up on 89A with cars waiting for someone to pull out to be let in by the parking attendents.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed West Fork Oak Creek Trail also viewed

 

Been to West Fork Oak Creek Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage West Fork Oak Creek Trail, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.