West Fork of Oak Creek
On the third day of our camping trip on the Mogollon Rim above Sedona, we headed to the western end of West Fork. The canyon starts on the Rim, intersecting Woody Mountain Road, and cuts east, where it joins Oak Creek Canyon, a total distance of seven or eight miles. At the Oak Creek end, there’s an official trailhead (West Fork #108) at Call o’ the Canyon, which runs about three miles up the canyon. We decided to try hiking the canyon from the western end, where there’s no official trail… as a matter of fact, there’s a lovely Forest Service sign explaining that there’s no official trail there, you’re pretty much on your own, watch out for flash floods, and please don’t die.
From the bridge, there’s a well worn path that runs for perhaps 0.5 to 0.75 mile along the banks of the creek. Eventually, the canyon becomes too narrow, and walking on the banks is not possible, and it becomes a boulder hop down the creek bed. Fallen trees and very large boulders make the route a bit challenging. At this point, while the canyon is very pretty, it’s not family friendly or very dog friendly (we had to give ours quite a bit of assistance). Given the amount of scrambling, I don’t think this would be a very fun backpacking trail, but with an early start, I believe this could be easily done as a shuttle hike.