7.0 miles, Half day
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.
• Approx 400ft (from 5,320 to 5,660ft)
• Arrive early to ensure a parking spot at the trailhead. A fee is payable to park, and daily Red Rock parking permits are not valid here.
• GPS can be spotty and sometimes misleading in high-sided canyons like these, due to signals echoing off the walls. The trail is simple to follow however, and it's even harder to get lost.
• Consider bringing footwear suitable for walking in water along the creek bed, if you'd like to proceed further along the canyon.