Sedona Hikes – West Fork

West Fork

 

The West Fork Trail is widely acclaimed as the most beautiful trail in Sedona, with good reason. Its views are breathtaking.  It’s features are awe-inspiring.  Its magnificence can be seen at every point along this journey.  It’s wonder is captivating throughout the duration of the hike.  I highly recommend that everyone experience this opportunity while in Sedona.  It is a hike that you will never forget.

 

Rating

 

This trail is rated easy. And aside from very minimal inclines and declines and a few trips across the river on stepping stones, it is.  Round trip its about six miles in length.  Three exciting miles in and three beautiful miles back out.  Unless you are the adventurous type and decide to keep going when you reach the end, you’ll have the option of another eleven miles.  I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.

 

Terrain and views

 

This hike begins at the West Fork Trail parking lot less than 10 miles from downtown Sedona. As you enter the graveled passage to Oak Creek, you’ll pass a beautiful field of wild flowers.  Bring your camera, you’re going to want to remember this! Across the Oak Creek bridge you will meander toward the trail to Meyhew’s Lodge.

 

Just a short jaunt in, you will cross West Fork Creek for the first time.  Your exciting adventure has just begun.  In only a few minutes you will see sights completely unique to this hike.  With cavernous corners eroded in rock by waters that once were, with smooth and curved surfaces carved in stone and  beautiful still waters rest where raging currents one churned against the earth, it is incredibly difficult to describe the wonder of such a place.  It can only be experience by the senses and only to those who take the effort.

 

You will cross the stream three more times before entering a new environment of trees and open air.  You will begin to see the high cliffs protruding stories and stories above the canyon floor.

While still following the creek, the rock formations you will see are magnificent.  Boulders the size of semi trucks are lying on the ground.  You look around and marvel at the jumps these rocks took to free themselves from the surrounding cliffs.  Imagine the impact as they crashed to the ground.  It is breathtaking.  

 

End of the trail

 

Nearing the end of this well-traveled trial, you will make an easy climb using rock stepping stones before descending down to the end of the trail.  You will find that there is no question as to whether or not you have reached the end.  There is absolutely no where to go from there unless you are prepared for a swim.  The end of this trail is a dead end into a stream with steep towering cliffs on either side.
If you are determined to keep going, you can wade into the deep and continue the journey right through the stream.  There are another 11 magnificent miles if you are willing.  But plan for an overnight trip and a change of clothes.  And do not attempt this hike if you are not familiar with the area and the conditions in Arizona. This post has been sponsored by travelocity.com. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Phoenix or up north while you’re hiking, visit their website here for some great hotel deals!