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A very popular riparian and forested trail.


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Map Key

6.5

Miles

10.4

KM

95%

Runnable

5,614' 1,711 m

High

5,289' 1,612 m

Low

676' 206 m

Up

676' 206 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Historical Significance · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No mechanized vehicles in Wilderness.
Day-use is $12 per vehicle (up to 5 people), walk-in, bicycle, bus: $3 per person. In lieu of this fee, the Grand Annual Red Rock Pass will be accepted here.

Overview

It's easy to see why this is one of the most popular trails in the forest. It can be used year-round: the cool water is refreshing in the summer, changing leaves add vibrancy to the beautiful canyon.

Need to Know

Keep a lookout for Poison Ivy along the creek.

Description

There are a number of reasons why West Fork is such a popular trail in the Coconino National Forest. A pleasant little stream runs along the canyon floor and high cliffs rise above it. The trail is an easy stroll, but you have to cross the creek in a number of places. This usually involves negotiating a few stepping stones or taking some steps in shallow water. It will be difficult to keep your feet dry.

The trail is marked for the first three miles; however, many runners continue beyond that. Eventually, the official trail ends and if you intend to continue hiking or backpacking, you'll continue up the creek as you cross into the Red Rock/Secret Mountain Wilderness. If you choose to travel all 14 miles from one end of the canyon to the other, plan to do a lot of wading and boulder hopping, and even some swimming. This is only advised for backpacking.

No matter how long a run you plan to take here, you'll enjoy it best if you come at a time when the trail is least crowded. Mornings and weekdays are best, and better yet if they're in the off-season.

Flora & Fauna

The original homesteading family planted apple trees, which still bear fruit. Wild blackberries are also found along the trail and creek.

History & Background

At the beginning of the trail are the remains of an old homestead and an old lodge that burned down. This was the Mayhew Lodge. Visit the Sedona Heritage Museum to learn more.

Contacts

Shared By:

Condor77 77 with improvements by Abe H and 2 others

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 64 votes

#155

Overall
  4.5 from 64 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
2%
Recommended Route Rankings

#12

in Arizona

#155

Overall
31 Views Last Month
6,712 Since Mar 26, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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71%
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Photos

West Fork Trail
Nov 4, 2023 near Sedona, AZ
Tree hanging on the edge of the rock!
May 31, 2016 near Sedona, AZ
Towering peaks of the canyon walls.
Nov 9, 2021 near Sedona, AZ
Looking at the canyon walls from Oak Creek.
Jun 23, 2016 near Sedona, AZ
Babbling creek and beautiful fall colors in November.
Nov 9, 2021 near Sedona, AZ
Oak Creek
Jun 23, 2016 near Sedona, AZ

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 30 days ago
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Check-Ins

Dec 26, 2017
Jason Wheat
$10 Fee! I’m not paying that just to walk a creek. Tourist trap!
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