Situated in Oak Creek Canyon 10.5 miles north of Sedona along SR 89A, The West Fork Trail is one of the most beautiful Sedona hiking trails. Parking at the trail head is limited and is a pay lot that fills up fast. If it’s full, you can park along the high way a few hundred meters away and walk into the park for a $2.00 per person fee. The trail head has access to washrooms and be sure to stop before heading out. After crossing Oak Creek on the only bridge the trail provides, you come to a small meadow scattered with apple trees and flanked by Oak Creek and the steep canyon walls. As you pass by the remains of the old Mayhews Lodge you will gradually move into the West Fork Canyon and follow along a clean gentle stream which you will eventually cross 13 times over the next 3.6 miles.
The trail is cool, wide, well maintained, and suitable for all ages. It meanders through towering trees and brightly colored canyon walls. The vegetation is thick in areas with an abundance of flowers and ferns, so unlike many of the other hikes we experienced in the area. Be on the look out for Poison Ivy as it is very common. The creeks are simple to cross and provide inviting areas to stop, have lunch and soak your feet before heading on once more. The trail gets a little trickier near the end with small scrambles up rock bluffs. Just take your time and watch every step. Nothing too spectacular about the end of the trail-just a sign that states “the trail is not maintained after this point”. Now you can just turn around and go back the way you came. All in all, it is one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever done and recommend it for people of all ages. A word of caution, like any hike you may do in the Sedona area, you may run the risk of coming across any of the many local snakes the area is home to. Be smart, give them the right away and do not engage them. Always better safe than sorry.
Sedona Hiking Trail Round Trip: 7.2 Miles
Hiking Time: 3.5 hours
Photo Credit: Mark Schiefner
Camera: Nikon D810 & Sony a6000