West Fork Trail

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by nmagann on May 30, 2012

We spent six hours round trip hiking the West Fork Trail outside of Sedona, undoubtedly missing the climatic point that should have made this a three hour hike. Looking back on the sketchy trail map we still couldn't figure out where the turn around point was. The trail is easy with some dusty stretches when the wind whipped through the canyon. The temperature was warm but not enough to want to immerse in the stream had there been a swimming hole but there are eleven creek crossings with cairns to indicate the way.

The trek tantalizes several the body‘s senses. The scent of pines and other evergreens filled my nostrils. Solid yellow columbines and purple violets captured my peripheral vision and in turn, the macro setting of my camera. Leafy ferns and twisting vines provided the quintessential backdrop. Eventually my ears even managed to light on spot where the chirping was coming from, only to find a red-breasted robin in a nest.

Tall red rocks dwarfing the trees moved closer to the trail eventually forces us to walk in the stream. A large monolith curved in the shape of a "C" hugged the water’s edge. Even though the bed was gravel with some larger stones, there were places that were slippery. Groups of small minnows would gather around a particular stone that we could not discern any particular reason but would quickly move if we got to close. Perhaps they were just camera shy.

We continued to the point where a large log had fallen across the scream with plenty more just beyond it. The canyon had also become increasingly narrower. The position of the sun indicated that we should turn around to avoid the possibility of loosing daylight.

A short distance from the parking lot we discovered the ruins of a 1930’s resort. Bits and pieces indicated there was a pool and several cottages. The vines curled around the remains of the brick walls making it such a peaceful scene. A few more photos and we returned to the parking lot for the return to the city.
Oak Creek Canyon
331 Forest Rd
Sedona, Arizona, 86336
(928) 282-7722


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