Hike the West Fork Trail

Oak Creek

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.

Pack List

  • Lunch - there are plenty of places to sit and rest on the rocks
  • Water
  • Patience for trying to get a parking spot - you can walk in (you'll still have to pay), there is more parking about a mile and a half up the road
Show More
RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 340 Feet
Activities Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Favorite Friendly Arizona Hike

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!)

Favorite Spot

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.

Stunning Falls Colors

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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