The West Fork of Oak Creek trail is one of the best day hikes in the state of Arizona and some say the country. This was my second time down the trail and it still does not disappoint. The canyon was just starting to light up with its fall colors so it was a great time to go. However, this time it was not going to be a family affair. I was being accompanied by a group of inner-city cross country runners. I was not for sure what they would think of the West Fork of Oak Creek trail. They loved it.
It was a lot of fun taking a bunch of teenage boys out into scenic wonder that is Oak Creek Canyon. A lot of talk in the vehicle about what we were going to do. Some disappointed faces as I told them we were going for a hike. As we drove down from Flagstaff there was a collective gasp in the passenger van as we turned the first corner and the canyon laid out before us. At that point I knew I was in for a good day. Oak Creek Canyon only gets better as it goes.
Being popular the parking lot of the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail was full. I dropped them off and parked a short way down the road. There is an admission fee to access the trail. It’s worth it. To read my earlier more detailed review of this hike click here.
The great thing about hiking great hikes multiple times is seeing the just how much was either missed the first time or just how much nature has changed. I also got a kick out of seeing tough high school boys stop and take pictures of fall leaves, running water, interesting rock formations. Little photographers in the making. Some of their pictures turned out great and I will admit I’m a little jealous of some of their shots.
We hiked to the end of the day-use part of the trail. Basically, the maintained part of the West Fork of Oak Creek. The boys and I had a good time hiking the trail. Besides seeing the incredible scenery, it was fun watching my team interact with other hikers on the trail. There were several groups of hikers interested in what a lone white guy was doing with nine Hispanic teenagers. They really got interested when I told them we were a cross country team from several states away.
I thought the West Fork of Oak Creek trail would be a great place to start off their time In Arizona. I was not wrong. It really set up the rest of what turned out to be a fun vacation.
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