Hike the West Fork Trail

Sedona, Arizona

5.0/5
based on 14 reviews

Details

Distance

6 miles

Elevation Gain

340 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by wendy wernet

A Beautiful canyon, rich in color. There are Several places to have a picnic on a rock, bask in the sun, or hide in the shade.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Sedona, Arizona. It is a fairly easy hike, although it is 6 miles roundtrip. A lot of families come here, and children love to play in the water. There are various stream crossings, but for most of them, you should be able to keep dry.

The canyon walls are majestic and vivid in color, and you'll twist and turn your way through the canyon. Fall would be a great time to go, with the aspen changing color.

If you plan on backpacking, you'll go an additional 1.5 miles downstream, where there is supposedly a campground. It is also possible to continue another 11 miles after the end of the marked 3 mile trail to reach a forest road, but you'll be wading through water and boulder hopping.

Getting there: Take 89A, either south from Flagstaff, or north from Sedona. This is a paid parking spot, and you'll have to be patient, because the parking lot fills up quickly, and it is controlled by a booth attendant. It is worth the wait.

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Features

Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

Reviews

Hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek is one of my favorite trails in the fall. The trees combined with the red rocks and creek makes for the perfect fall destination. The trail is very popular so the parking lot fill up fast. Get there early if you want to snag a parking spot. There is often a backup of traffic near the trail from visitors parking and looking for spots along the highway.

This is a wonderful trail, very very busy. Make sure to get there right when it opens, otherwise, you'll be a part of a line of cars waiting to get in. Water shoes are a must, bring enough water. Easy trail, lots of families. STUNNING in winter (but call before, since it does close occasionally). Fall is also beautiful, with lots of color.

Just beautiful several people but not crowded. Where the mountain meets the red rocks

Lovely hike in October with all of the changing colors! Lots of people but totally worth it. Lots of cars parked in the parking lot so either wait in line until people return from the hike to their cars to gain access to the lot, or park on the side of the highway.

This is my favorite hike to take Arizona visitors on. The West Fork Trail is absolutely beautiful, and it's very fun to cross back and forth over the creek. Bring a hammock, bring lunch, and bring the family. It's more than a hike; it's a discovery. There are beautiful fall colors that last into the winter, and gorgeous spring flowers that last into the summer. Though it is a popular hike, it's long enough that it's usually not very crowded- especially the farther you go. Something I would note that hasn't been shared: I love hiking this trail in the fall and winter! However, it becomes extremely cold compared to the rest of the canyon. Bring extra warm layers. (And if you're coming from Sedona, stop at the Indian Garden Cafe! It's my favorite restaurant in AZ! Healthy and delicious lunch and desserts with an adventurous atmosphere! They also have food for the go to take along on the hike!)

3 miles to the end of the trail, but you can find even more beautiful canyon scenery if you continue past the marked trail. Easy going hike with not much elevation gain/loss. Popular for families and dogs. Also, a very clean trail! I have never seen any litter along the way.

This year wasn't the best example but during a great season the fall colors here are unmatched in the Southwest. The vibrant reds and yellows along the canyon and cliff walls are stunning and make this hike worth doing more than once.

This walk was so beautiful. As it is autumn/fall the colours on the trees were magnificent, the deep reds and yellows gave the perfect photo opportunity. I took the fish eye lens for my camera and the outcome was really unique. This is a stunning hike and the crossing of the river was very fun and challenging in some places! Overall a wonderful walk through a stunning woodland.

Easy and beautiful hike, you cross the river multiple times as you hike the trail which makes it a lot of fun! The scenery is absolutely stunning!! The smells of the woods are soul cleansing. Can be pretty busy on the trail but everybody is courteous and accommodating. Will be doing this hike again soon!

The West Fork Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in Arizona. It also has some interesting history with the Mayhew Lodge. One of the most enjoyable times to hike this trail is during the fall when leaves are changing. While the temps are cooler you also have less foot traffic. If staying in town, check out the Butterfly Garden Inn for a one-of-a-kind experience!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Climbing at Oak Creek Canyon

Hike up Cookstove Trail

Picnic at Banjo Bill

Dispersed Camping in Coconino National Forest (Edge of the World)

Camp at East Pocket (Edge of the World)

Climb Red Wagon at the Oak Creek Canyon Lookout