West Fork Trail

EASY 980 reviews

West Fork Trail is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
820 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Semi-shaded by trees and towering canyon walls make this the perfect 7 mile Sedona hike if you want to beat the heat. Trekking up Oak Creek's west fork offers one of the best hiking experiences in Sedona, an area already known as a hiker's paradise. The steep canyon walls and the shade of trees make this a perfect trail if you're looking to avoid the heat of the Arizona sun. Trace the creek upstream along pleasant sandy trails and thirteen separate river crossings and enjoy the imposing views of the canyon walls towering above you. Unless the waters are high, the crossings are relatively easy, and the elevation gain on this trail is slight. The trail ends where the canyon walls close in on you and there's nowhere else to go without getting your feet wet. Enjoy the great views, make the most of the photo opportunities and marvel at how the water has etched away at the rock over the millennia. If you're suitably equipped, you can continue to wade upstream for another quarter of a mile or so. The pebbly creek bed can be a little hard on bare feet, but it might be tolerable to you - also be careful of the smoother rock surfaces underfoot which are particularly slippery. Eleven miles north of Sedona, the trailhead at the Call of the Canyon day use area has limited parking availability, which may be an inconvenience to some, but early arrivals will enjoy a relatively uncrowded trail. Elevation gain: - Approx 400ft (from 5,320 to 5,660ft)

hiking
9 hours ago

Great, really beautiful hike. Nice shade for a summer hike. Mostly flat, you do cross the shallow creek many times so watch your step so you don’t get wet shoes. The creek provided good water for our dog. Our Garmin said it was a 4 mile out and 4 mile back - took a total of 4 hours with stopping for lunch and dog water breaks. Parking lot was full by 9am and we had to wait until someone left to park - that took about 30 minutes but that would have stressed me out if we hadn’t been 2nd in line. Get there early to park. $10 cash needed (no credit cards) and they do have pit toilets but no running water for dogs, etc. Would love to go back in the fall to see the leaves.

11 hours ago

Did this trail approx 2 miles in. We had 10 kids one in a carrier on Mom and the rest ranged from 4-13 yrs old. They all loved it and was an easy hike. One of the best hikes I've ever done! A good alternative for younger kids who want to see red Rock and love river crossings, of which the trail head sign says 13 but it's probably even more than that if you want to deviate from the trail a little. Do get there early, but the rev that there is only 4 spots is not accurate. There are prob 20 or so but there were already 7 parked when we pulled in at opening around 8am. 10 bucks to park and there are toliets at the trail head but no running water so bring your sanitizer. When we finished up around 11 there was a line of cars waiting to park and lot was full. Can't wait to finish the hike in full prob in 2 weeks or so. Will post another rev then. Have fun, Adventure is out there!!

hiking
23 hours ago

Great trail. Scenic. The canopy of the forest is great for summer heat and afternoon rain. Dogs love it.

hiking
1 day ago

Trail was great, you get to walk along and through the creek under huge trees which makes it nice if it’s warm out. The hike itself is very easy with the occasional steps and rocks to hop on to avoid getting wet when crossing the creek. $10 bucks per vehicle (up to 5 persons) & $2 bucks if you’re biking or walking in. They do not accept credit or debit cards so make sure you have cash on you.

3 days ago

Beautiful! Amazing trail!

hiking
4 days ago

Such awesome views! We had four kids in our group and everyone was entertained.

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked this on July 6th. The parking lot was full when we arrived, so we parked 1/2 mile up the road and paid the $2/person walk-in entry fee.

This was our second time here. The first was in winter, presented with a fantasy of icicles on the red rock overhangs and crust ice on the pools. Not this time. What a wealth of biodiversity. One highlight was a bright red, black and white king snake, later keyed out as the Sonora mountain variety. Also many hummingbirds and butterflies, many unique pockets of plant and insect life nestled in the curves of the creek. Don't get me wrong, I love the deep cut red rock canyon and the patterns of white and black minerals, but more, the way sunlight reflected off the creek plays on the darker walls.

We hiked and waded about an extra mile past the official end of the trail. I wore Teva' s and my wife wore tennis shoes. Follow the instinct to continue, well worth it.

Beautiful hike!! Probably one of favorites. Good shade when it’s hot, you have to cross creeks to be sure to wear, a bit longer than 7 miles but totally worth it. Pet friendly but bring booties, there is hot sand and rocks.

6 days ago

Awesome trail! I did it in January, and even with a little bit of snow left, I really enjoyed crossing the river so many times, and so did my lab.

hiking
9 days ago

I went with my 4-year-old, and we got as far as the first opportunity to walk into the river, and he planted us there for about two hours, skipping stones - or trying to...It is super beautiful, and really easy to get to. But I didn't get all the comments about four parking spots. I made sure I was in the right place. I even asked the parking attendant, whose advice to me was not to believe everything I read on the internet.

12 days ago

Top 5 in Arizona

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous trail! Not too difficult but still burns some calories. Great for families and dogs. Pay attention to trail markers we got off trail a few times on accident especially near the end.

trail running
15 days ago

This a wonderful trail for running and the sand makes it easier on your joint but also increases your work out load. $10 for parking

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful hike but not as scenic as people make it seem. A fairly easy trail, the only thing that makes it mildly strenuous is the sand. Get here an hourly/45 minutes early so that you can get a spot in the parking area and $10 in cash. Reiterating what the tips tabs says: bring water shoes if you wish to hike past the end of the trail to explore some more or camp. Oh and bring hand-sanitizer, especially if you plan on using the restroom in the park before/after the hike :)

21 days ago

Loved every minute of it! So many breathtaking views! We went to the end and then went back into the water a ways, absolutely stunning.

hiking
23 days ago

enjoyed every minute of it..... recommended

26 days ago

Such a beautiful trail! Does not open until 8 am and is $10, cash only. There are 4 parking spots next to the entrance gate that you can park at IF you get there early. River crossing from the get go! Go all the way to the end, it is worth it. My favorite trail for dogs as well, constant shade from the trees on the trail and cold river makes the trail very easy for all dogs!!

28 days ago

Beautiful trail. Very long but so worth is at the end. Arrived at 9 am on Saturday morning waited about 50 min for parking. So grateful I waited bc coming back from walking 8.5 miles we were exhausted

1 month ago

This trail was really great, and offered many beautiful views of the canyon walls and rock formations. It was an easy-to-moderate trail, in my opinion, which makes it accessible to folks of many ages and fitness levels. My wife and I, newcomers to hiking, thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely one of my favorite hikes!

1 month ago

Loved the hike, although you need to go a bit further past the end to see the bigger pools of water

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike!! Lots of shade and beautiful views. River crossings were fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! https://youtu.be/cqi7BPSiyvk

hiking
1 month ago

I went here with my boyfriend a couple weeks ago. Parking was a challenge, but we didn't mind. The scenery here is beautiful, lots of little places to go off the main trail and explore. The habitat seems healthy and I saw some black phoebes catching flies and a blue heron. The trail is very green and the water is beautiful, definitely a soul-healing place.

1 month ago

I did this while six months pregnant. Beautiful trail and well worth making it to the end. We encountered practically zero people during 6 hours of exploring.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with my wife. Nice easy trail with a little push at end. No specific payoff but a very nice hike with great views of the canyon walls. Lots of easy water crossings. We went the first part of May and the weather was perfect. Super nice entry level walk. A fair commitment if you do the whole thing.

hiking
1 month ago

As usual, West Fork didn't disappoint. This is an oldie, but a goodie for sure. It was a relief that we could find some water, as everything in Payson and practically anywhere else is all closed right now!

The hike isn't too difficult, but I'd recommend wearing shoes you don't mind getting a bit wet; you will be crossing multiple creeks. Our german shepherds were loving life and there was plenty of shade and water for them to enjoy/cool off in.

All in all, fantastic day in Oak Creek Canyon as per the usual!

1 month ago

Simply beautiful.

1 month ago

One of my all time top 5! This hike has it all... red rocks, bubbling water, beautiful scenery and the end is just amazing with a “Narrows” like feel. It’s a long hike but if you start right at 8 when the gate opens you can do the round trip before lunch and not get too much sun. Make sure you have shoes you don’t mind getting wet and go to the end and past just a little bit I to the wilderness. If you walk through the water about 100 yards you turn the corner to an amazing view and place you can rest and enjoy the water. We will be returning with our backpacks and going even further next time to camp! SO worth it!!! Also make sure you have $10 cash as it costs that to park and they don’t take credit cards. The Butterfly Garden country store just south will get you stocked up on snacks and give you cash back! What a great way to spend a day!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a wonderful hike and is great to get out of the heat. wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and bring a pair of dry sandals to wear once you get back into the car!

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