Hike Templeton Trail to Oak Creek

Arizona Cathedral Rock Trailhead

Added by Nathaniel Carter

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.

Pack List

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Good hiking or running shoes
  • Swimwear (if desiring to change)
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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



Hiking, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



2.2 Miles

Elev. Gain:

300 Feet



Swimming Hole

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

4 months ago

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!

4 months ago

Added by Nathaniel Carter

I live to run, hike, be in beautiful places, do the unexpected, see something new every day, and experience life in the absolute fullest. Altra footwear saved my running life. Music composer, teacher, writer, aspiring digital nomad. IG: @thatwhichdrivesus

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Abineau-Bear Jaw Loop

Arizona / Abineau-Bear Jaw loop

This trail is slightly more hidden on the northern slope of the San Francisco Peaks, but well worth the drive just outside of Flagstaff.

Kevin Kaminski
41 Saves

Camp At Waheap Campground

Arizona / Wahweap RV Campground

This modern campground is just steps from the beach and centrally located on the Arizona / Utah border -- perfect for exploring both sides of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Kelly Park
5 Saves

Hike to Ribbon Falls in Grand Canyon NP

Arizona / North Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon NP

Although this hike can feasibly done in a day, it is highly recommended that you spend more than one day in this area and visit the falls as a side trip on a larger trip.

Jake Young
52 Saves