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West Fork Trail Day Hike
November 9, 2013
by Monika Moreland
  Trail Map 
Chuck, Monika, John, Rudy, Dave, Debbie, Linda; kneeling: Quy, George, Edith    [photo by Monika]
Chuck, Debbie, John, Monika, George, Dave, Linda; kneeling: Quy, Edith, Rudy    [photo by Quy]

A picture is worth a thousand words. When I received photos from Dave and Quy from our West Fork hike to be used in my trip report my thoughts were “which ones do I choose”. They were all so spectacular. Magnificent scenery shots, pictures with stunning canyon walls and foliage in vibrant colors, pictures with clear pools of water, reflecting their beautiful surrounding, and pictures with good looking hikers. No wonder West Fork in Oak Creek is one of the most popular trails in the Sedona area.

Durable signs mark the trail. [photo by Quy]
Watch your step over the water. [photo by Quy]
Remnants of the Mayhew Lodge. [photo by Monika]
Don’t suppose anybody’s home. [photo by Monika]
Stepping stones over the creek. [photo by Monika]
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Reflective pool in the West Fork of Oak Creek. [photos by Monika]
Tranquil waters in the deep woods. [photo by Quy]
Red rock walls rise vertically around the bend. [photo by Quy]

Ten Arizona Trailblazers set out to explore this scenic Canyon. We had ideal hiking weather: clear skies, a gentle breeze, temperatures at the beginning of the hike were in the mid-50s. After taking a group photo, we started our hike up the canyon. The trail leads over a bridge and past the remnants of the Mayhew Lodge, a resort which opened in 1926 and was destroyed by fire in 1980.

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Watch your step going over those rocks! [photos by Monika]
Sure-footed Rudy. [photo by Monika]
Towering rock walls. [photo by Monika]
Rock climbing, anyone? [photo by Monika]
Trail through the colorful autumn leaves. [photos by Quy]
Specular reflection in the quiet waters. [photos by Quy]
Wave cave. [photo by Quy]

The path then bends right and heads up Oak Creek Canyon. It crosses the creek several times. Thank goodness the water was not very deep and we could easily bolder-hop across, which we all managed without mishap. After three miles the canyon walls narrow to a width of about 20 feet. This area is totally filled with water and the only way to continue is to swim. Our cue to turn back.

The canyon narrows. [photo by Monika]
We’ll take the stairs. [photo by Monika]
Log makes a fine bench. [photo by Monika]
Colorful leaves of West Fork. [photo by Monika]
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Autumnal glory! [photos by Quy]
The creek is peaceful today. [photo by Quy]
Reflect on the life-giving water. [photo by Quy]
Can you see a face in the rock? [photo by Quy]

It was an easy hike of 6 miles with about 300 feet elevation change. We took our time to fully appreciate the beauty of this place.

Marketplace Café [photo by Dave]

A good dinner at the Marketplace Café in Oak Creek Village was the perfect ending for a wonderful day of hiking with friends.

Thanks Dave and Quy for your wonderful contribution of photos. Thank you all for joining me on this hike.

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Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated November 15, 2013