West Fork Oak Creek, Sedona AZ

5-star hike.
7 mile out-and-back • Medium difficulty.
Elevation 5,320 - 5,660 feet. Gain 400 feet.
Sedona, Arizona.
Google MapGoogle Earth KMLNavigate

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.

If you’re following our GPS route, be aware that coverage in high-sided canyons can be spotty and sometimes misleading due to signals echoing off walls. However, the route up the canyon is simple to follow and it’s even harder to get lost.

Official websiteAllTrails link
Comment at Facebook Trailspotting Group