West Fork Trail in scenic Oak Creek Canyon is possibly the number one Sedona hiking trail in popularity, and certainly her most famous. During most days out of the year, the only fork flowing into Oak Creek is a gentle stream meandering beneath towering ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, and steep red rock and cream colored sandstone canyon walls. The forest is a cooling respite during the heat of summer, a calming wonderland of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies during the spring, and of course, a spectacular pageant of autumnal colors in the fall.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned backcountry adventurer, or if you get most of your knowledge of the Great Outdoors from books and online sites. Once you arrive in Sedona, your feet start itching to get out of the car and explore this fantastic landscape. There are trails for every level of fitness and commitment, from a flat paved stroll at the foot of Cathedral Rock to a scramble up an old wagon trail that was once the way to Flagstaff.
The Broken Arrow Trail takes hikers on a winding path into a scenic valley surrounded by soaring red rock cliffs. It passes by natural but uncannily shaped formations like Submarine Rock. Following a short climb, the path reaches Chicken Point, a place with sweeping panoramic views and excellent photo opportunities.
While names of the red rocks are descriptive to varying degrees, there’s no doubt in your mind when you see Bell Rock which one you’re looking at. It sits just to the North of Hwy 179, between the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona, a giant Hershey’s Kiss plopped down right next to the highway. It’s often the first formation that visitors can actually get out and touch, since Hwy 179 is a major access route from I-17 to Sedona, and the crowds that pull over in the busy seasons to stroll along its base or take photos can get quite thick.
Sycamore Canyon is a 21-mile long, 55,000 acre riparian desert wilderness canyon located below Arizona’s Mogollon rim. There are many reasons to visit this magnificent and wild red rock canyon, especially for those attracted by the solitude and beauty of unspoiled places.