West Fork Trail #108 Oak Creek Fast Facts
Length: 7.2 miles out and back
Elevation gain: 820 ft.
Type: Out and Back
Dogs: Yes, on a leash
Approximate time to hike: ~3 hours
Red Rock Pass: Required.
Parking:West Fork #108 Oak Creek Trailhead – Cost is $11/vehicle.
Local tip: Arrive early, as parking is very limited and fills up fast!
About the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail
With more than seven miles of shaded trails, flowing streams, and towering canyon walls to explore, the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail is one of the most popular trails in Sedona. The sandy trail follows Oak Creek as it winds through Sedona, and includes thirteen separate river crossings. Take in the beauty of the towering canyon walls that stand above you, and enjoy ample shade from the trees overhead. We still recommend bringing sun protection, as there are several points in the hike where shade is not available.
West Fork Trail #108 is an easy trail to hike, and is great for families with children or older adults. Though there is around 820 feet of elevation gain, it’s done over such a large distance that it’s hardly noticeable. The river crossings are typically easy as well, unless the water is particularly high that day. We recommend wearing waterproof or water-friendly shoes (like hiking boots, Chacos, or Tevas) so you don’t lose any shoes to water damage.
About the West Fork Trail Hike
The trail starts out nice and easy as you cross a meadow full of ferns and wildflowers south of the parking area, before heading down a narrow path with trees on either side. Here you’ll find Mayhew Lodge, an old group of buildings from the early 20th century that was open until the late 1960’s. Many buildings were destroyed in a fire during the 1980’s, but it’s still a great site to explore and take photos. Mayhew Lodge was used as a filming location for the 1923 silent film Call of the Canyon, which is the namesake of the trailhead parking area.
Along the trail itself you’ll find all sorts of plants, rock formations, wildlife, and terrain including grass, rocks, sand, and streams. Red cardinals and golden columbines are two of the most common wildflowers that you’ll see along the way, though there are many more to discover! You’ll also see plenty of critters and bugs, the most common including butterflies, birds, and lizards
There are markers on trail every 0.5 miles, though a few of them might be hard to spot. Hikers will know that it’s time to turn around and start heading back after they’ve made all 13 river crossings and finally descend to a small pebble beach.
Quick Tips to Hike West Fork Trail #108 in Oak Creek
- Make sure you bring waterproof shoes, as this trail can get a little wet!
- Bring $11 cash with you for parking at the trailhead, and keep in mind that spaces are limited and this is a VERY popular trail.
- Remember to bring a camera (or cellphone) with you, as there are plenty of spots along the trail that you’ll want to stop for some photos. You might even be able to take photos of the wildlife, if you’re quick enough!
Photography pro tips
West Fork Trail of Oak Creek is a gorgeous hike all year long, but one of the best times of the year for photos is during the fall months. The way that the colorful fall leaves look set against the canyon walls is something to behold, and we’re sure that your Instagram followers will agree! At the end of the day, there’s no bad time to take photos of Oak Creek, but fall just might be our personal favorite!