Hike Templeton Trail to Oak Creek

Cathedral Rock Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Improvised Journeys

An amazing view of the iconic Cathedral Rock dominates views on this hike down to a calm and wide area of Oak Creek that is great for swimming in summer. Flowering cacti can be observed in abundance in Spring.

Beginning at the Cathedral Rock trailhead down Back O' Beyond Rd., this path at the base of the Cathedral Rock climb takes the hiker down into a lush, tree covered area perfect for swimming and enjoying the views of red rock above and all around. Start by heading up the main trail, and as you emerge into a clearing after a brief climb, bear right and find the Templeton trail instead of continuing to follow the cairns up Cathedral Rock. This trail goes in two directions, so if you want to reach the creek, bear right.

Mountain Bikers may be present here, so pay attention. The trail follows the contour and stays generally flat, before its eventual descent down to Oak Creek. After about one mile of hiking, you will come upon the area where the trail meets the creek. Stop and swim here, have lunch or a snack, and just enjoy. Many other people were gathered here when we hiked, and it is a good family spot.

The trail will continue and climb back away from the creek, so either continue on or return the way you came for a hike of just over 2 miles. Less than one more mile ahead, along the Red Rock Crossing trail is another opportunity to wade in the water. You lost some elevation heading out on this hike, so be prepared for a little climb on the way out, not very steep though.

The trail is open year round. Special features of Spring include numerous opportunities to photograph flowering cacti and other desert plants. The heat of the summer is also great for diving into the refreshing water.

Distance

2.2 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

300 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Swimming, Hiking

Swimming Hole

Nearby Lodging

Flagstaff KOA

Flagstaff, Arizona

From $20/night

Big Sky Retreat Campsite

Williams, Arizona

Grand Canyon / Williams KOA

Williams, Arizona

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Late July Review

Very cool change in scenery down to the creek. Made the hike in late July and will be back for sure!

5 stars

Kind of a nice little hike. Definitely not as crowded as the Cathedral Rock trail itself.

C'mon..it's Sedona

Pretty much any trail in Sedona is worth 5 stars - Templeton isn't an exception. Easy, beautiful, and you can hike right down to Oak Creek. If you go in the summer bring plenty of water and a hat even though it's relatively short. There aren't too many places to hide from the sun. Don't leave without taking a dip in the aforementioned Oak Creek!

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