Getting to Sedona by 9am to avoid traffic and find parking was the plan, and yet we still arrived too late at the West Fork Trail. To say it's busy is an understatement. It's crazy busy. Even with all of the people around on the trail it's hard not to admire the beauty of West Fork Trail. It meanders through tall oak trees with towering red rock walls and follows a stream for 3 miles which you will need to cross 13 times.
Eventually you arrive at what appears to be the end of the trail. We heard from backpackers that if you go past this point, with shoes appropriate for wading, for a couple more miles you will find a campground. Something to consider in the future.
More about the trail can be found here.
Here is what you need to consider:
- Get there early or late (we heard that if you arrive around 3pm you can park in the lot and hike in relative peace and quiet)
- Wear shoes that can get wet. I wished I had worn my waterproof hiking boots but my tennis shoes worked well and dried quickly.
- Hiking poles would have been helpful at the creek crossings.
- Bring your camera! The canyon walls and water are stunning.
- Next time I would consider doing something in Sedona in the morning, hike at 3pm, then drive on to Flagstaff to avoid the Sedona rush. Took us 30 minutes to drive through 6 miles.
- Maybe even do a week day hike here.
Following the West Fork Trail hike I highly recommend visiting Indian Gardens Cafe. It too is a hot spot for locals and visitors, but for good reason, the food is good and service is sweet. The patio seating out back is the perfect quiet location to enjoy lunch in the shade, if you can get a table, after a long busy hike.
The bacon brie melt is a wonderfully crafted sandwich with the slightly sweet brie, salty bacon, crisp arugula and substantial 9 grain bread. I couldn't have asked for anything more suited to refuel.