West Fork Trail in Sedona is an adventure in paradise for families traveling with kids of all ages. Rambling through Oak Creek’s West Fork in a narrow, tree-lined canyon is a mini-explorer’s dream come true. Discover the cooling swimming holes in the summer and the glorious autumn colors in the fall. West Fork Trail is a trail that your family will remember forever.

West Fork Trail Sedona - kids playing in Oak Creek

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SedonaBizMag Staff

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Sedona Journal

POSTED ON

October 1st, 2020

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How to get to West Fork Trail Sedona

Directions: Drive north approximately 9.5 miles from Uptown Sedona to about halfway between milepost 385 and 384. The trailhead is on the west side of the highway down a paved lane that leads behind a few creekside houses. Park at the Call of the Canyon Picnic Site day-use area.

GPS (Map): 34°59’26.5″N 111°44’34.6″W

West Fork Trail Sedona - Hiking in with the family

Plan on a long day

The trail is over 3 miles long one-way. It meanders multiple times across the shallow creek. There are obstacles and a gentle 750′ incline. West Fork Trail is not a strenuous hike, but you need to be moderately fit and nimble to complete the 7+ mile, in/out hike.

West Fork Recreation Area in Oak Creek Canyon is popular. We recommend getting there early in the day for a good parking spot. On warm weekends, during the summer, and during high tourist season, the lot does get full.

Once there, take your time enjoying the variety of landscapes, red rock and sandstone cliffs, lush foliage, and inspiring views. Bring plenty of food and water. The canyon is narrow in places and you may be in considerable shade during the spring and fall, so dress in layers. In the summer, however, the shade is a welcome relief from the heat.

How to get to Sedona? READ: Driving Directions to Sedona Arizona – 9 Different Maps

Kids keeping cool in the summer at shady West Fork Trail, Sedona, AZ

Be prepared to get wet

The trail itself criss-crosses the West Fork of Oak Creek many times (via rock-hopping), so plan on getting wet. Wear old, sturdy shoes or hiking boots. The trail is rocky in places as well, so a walking stick might help some hikers. Kids love scrambling over rocks and downed trees. It is a wonderful adventure for them. This trail is not recommended during high water days.

Swimming holes!

West Fork Trail in the summertime is one of the best hikes in Sedona to beat the heat. There are several, shallow swimming and wading areas along the trail, so wear a swimsuit under your hiking clothes if you like and bring towels for sunning on the red rocks or drying off. Younger kids might enjoy bringing nets and buckets for capturing tadpoles, minnows. fish and bugs.

Sedona swimming holes - West Fork Trail
Looking for tadpoles and minnows...
Sedona swimming holes and slippery rocks - West Fork Trail in Sedona AZ

Did you know West Fork Trail is considered a Sedona Vortex site?
LEARN MORE: The Sedona Vortex Guide: A Transformational Experience

Bring your camera!

West Fork Trail Sedona in the fall

General Information

More information from the USDA Forest Service: West Fork of Oak Creek No. 108

Hours: 6:30 am to dusk.

Fees:

  • Day-use: $11 per vehicle (up to 5 people)
  • Walk-in, bicycle, bus: $2 per person
  • Passes: The Red Rock Pass is accepted here for entry to the site.
  • Discounts: Access Interagency Pass (for people with disabilities) receive 50% off the entry fee. Annual, Senior, and other Interagency passes are not accepted.

Location: 17.5 miles south of Flagstaff (9.5 miles north of Sedona) on paved roads in scenic Oak Creek Canyon.
Area/Length: approx. 3.5 miles each way
Latitude: 34.990560
Longitude: -111.743195
Elevation: 5325 at trailhead

Make sure you carry out your trash and leave West Fork Trail as pristine as you found it.

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