This hike is arguably the best relaxing and zen hike in all of Arizona. Truly a beautiful hike along the creek while you are surrounded by the canyon and red rocks throughout.
What also makes it great is that it is good for all ages and fitness levels. Whether you are with your children or on the older side it is probably the best hike for all skill levels as it is almost entirely flat. It is heavily tracked but the small paid parking lot keeps a good handle of the amount on people who access it at once.
The hike itself is beautifully set along the creek of which you cross multiple times while the gorgeous red rocks tower above you. There isn’t a major “payoff” at the end so feel free to turn around whenever you had your fill or are getting tired. The landscape changes so much throughout the hike, especially if you go off the beaten bath and take a stroll up the creek. Whether you are looking up or down the entire hike is worth every step.
Be sure to watch for the weather before you start as I have gone 10x and 3-4x there has been pretty bad floods and it isn’t safe for inactive people or children… mostly bad luck on my end but just keep an eye out. There are no man-made creek crossings… you must do some rock hopping or trod through the water.
West Fork Trail Hike
7 Miles - 2-4 Hours - Out & Back
You will start this hike from the parking lot along the trail to the left of the bathrooms and begin your nice stroll through the wilderness.
Don’t be in any rush as right from the beginning there are some historic homes to explore around and a little cave room to checkout. If you like apples and the timing is right you might also try to pick from the orchard you walk through right after the bridge.
Soon after the ruins you will begin the true trail and your first crossing of the creek. As you will see you must either trod through the water or try your best at hopping the well placed stones.
The first 3.5 miles you will cross the stream 13 times and the scenery will be ever-changing. Once the true trail ends you can go on a further adventure if you dare but be prepared to wade through water ankle to waist deep. You will be deep in the water as the canyon walls close in around you making for a beautiful site, even if you just got another half a mile.
- Dog Friendly (On a leash).
- Amazing changes in scenery throughout the hike.
- Good for all ages.
- You can turn back whenever you want without feeling like you’re going to miss something major.
- Can be a great workout and trail run.
- There is no true major payoff at the end but the whole way is multiple changes of scenery, which more than makes up for it.
- Parking isn’t ideal. The lot costs $10 per vehicle and it fills up quickly, especially during the busy season.
- It can be busy but thankfully the parking size limit does curb that a little.
- Bring water shoes or shoes that are okay being wet as you cross the water multiple times. There is no point trying to take your socks and shoes off and put them back on again each time.
- The Fall with the leaves falling makes the walk even more beautiful.
- Go off the trail and walk up the creek for an added adventure with unique sites.
- Pack a picnic.
- Watch the weather, it can be flooded and rushing water post rainfall.
- If there was recent rain then the water could be very muddy, not the end of the world but something to note.
- You can camp in certain places.
- There are beautifully colored crawfish in the waters if you look hard enough. There are fish as well who actually try to eat them.
Hey I’m Fraser. My site is dedicated to the 22nd century person with a lust for travel and adventure, need for time efficient recipe ideas as well as anyone in need of self-help or a pick-me up! Thanks for visiting Inspire Travel Eat!