Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
West Fork Trail Day Hike
when Saturday, October 12, 2019
where Sedona
the hike     Almost all of the trail that we will be hiking follows the West Fork of Oak Creek through lush vegetation and thick forests of pine, fir, oak, sycamore, and red tooth maple. So if it gets a bit warm on the trail, we can always cool off in the creek. Towering above the trail, we will see the massive red rock cliffs and colorful canyon walls of the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness.
    We will first cross a footbridge over Oak Creek, as we make our way from the trailhead. Past the creek, we will climb up the opposite bank and make a left turn onto a wide sandy track.
    About a quarter mile in, we will walk around the ruins of the old Mayhew Lodge, destroyed by fire in 1980. Zane Grey used this location for the setting of his novel The Call of the Canyon. As we follow the gurgling waters of West Fork Creek and penetrate deeper into the canyon, the trail gradually starts climbing and becomes a little rougher and narrower. We will begin to see massive rock shelves overhanging the creek bed, creating a tunnel-like effect in some places. Along the way, the trail crosses the creek numerous times. Steeping stones at the crossing points allow us to stay dry, unless the area has had recent heavy rainfall. In early May the creek will likely be a little higher than in the fall, so bring water shoes and be prepared to get a little wet at some of the crossings. If we have to get wet on this hike, it’s definitely better to do so in May rather than October.
    The West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon is actually about twelve miles long. Close to the 3.5-mile mark the canyon narrows down to the point where the creek almost touches the tall vertical canyon walls on either side.
    We will wade or swim some pools. Expect to get at lease waist deep in water. Start very early in the morning. You will need dry clothes waiting in the car after the hike. We’ll return along the same route.
distance 10+ miles
time 8 hours
EC +-270' elevation change
type round trip
starting at
West Fork Trailhead 34° 59.440' N,  111° 44.489' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — West Fork Trail #108
rating "C"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs? no
cost $10 per vehicle at Call of the Canyon day-use area, plus sharing gas expenses with the driver. The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
weather Sedona
leader    You must e-mail leader to confirm.
Limit of 16 people (4 cars) due to limited parking spaces at the trailhead.
meet 5:45 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride. We will leave promptly at 6:00 AM, and try to be at the trailhead before 8:00 AM.
•  On Interstate 17, go north to the Highway 179 turnoff to Sedona.
From the junction of Arizona 179 and 89A in the center of Sedona, drive north on 89A for 10.5 miles—slightly over three miles beyond Slide Rock State Park and less than a mile from Bootlegger Campground.
About a half mile past Milepost 384, watch for a parking area road sign and make a sharp turn to the left into the Call of the Canyon day-use area.
A $10 entry fee per vehicle is required for this area. The normal Red Rock Passes are not accepted here.
The trail starts from the west side of the parking area.

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updated May 25, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.