If you are looking for a family hike in Sedona, West Fork Oak Creek Trail #108 is a beautiful trail that you can take with families. For our family of six with kids at age 4, 6, 9, and 10, it was an absolutely beautiful hike. If you have kids younger than 4, I would not recommend taking the entire hike, especially if your kids have never been hiking.
This was our AllTrails hike with our family. For us, it totaled up to a 7.1 mile hike that took about 4 hours for us to complete with our kids. We brought snacks as a reward for making it to the canyon wall (which is the end of the main trail).
On this trail, there really isn't a lot of elevation, but you'll be able to see beautiful, gorgeous views of the canyon along with the spectacular colors of the rocks.
What's distinctive about West Fork of Oak Creek Trail is that it is different than the red rocks that Sedona is known for. For example, you'll be surrounded by huage canyon walls while being surrounded with shades of trees that are reminiscent of hiking in a forest.
What's distinctive and fun about this trail is that there are about 13 creek crossings, so you'll want to make sure you bring waterproof hiking shoes.
Overview of West Fork Oak Creek Trail
I wanted to share with you a few tips and pointers that you should consider when planning a hike on this gorgeous trail.
Packing Gear for the Hike
Waterproof hiking shoes. I would recommend getting waterproof hiking shoes if possible. While it is easy to navigate across the creek crossings, there are a lot of them. I just know that my kids would have been miserable had they gotten their shoes wet halfway through the hike.
Light jacket. If you plan on heading out on the hike first thing in the morning, just know that the temperatures can be quite cool in the morning. Some of my kids made it with a jacket, but it wasn't without a lot of whining and complaining. The sun came up and heated the canyon at around 8:30, an hour into the hike.
Snacks and water. Bring lots of snacks and water if you plan on hiking this.
Camera. There are so many beautiful landscapes and picturesque moments that you should definitely bring a camera for.
Directions and Parking
The trailhead is on west side of highway down a paved lane that heads behind creek side houses. I would recommend arriving at 7:30 because parkign is definitely limited and will be usually full by 9:00.
Cost of Entry
The fees are $11 per vehicle or you can park 1/4 of a mile on the side of the road with $2 per person walk-in fee. Daily Red Rock parking permits are not valid at West Fork of Oak Creek. In addition, there are also large fines for pets that go that are not on a leash.
There are bathrooms at the beginning of the trail, and that's pretty much it. With our kids, we did see people going to the bathroom on the trail. There are a lot of hikers, so I would suggest going somewhere more inconspicuous (like 10 feet away from the trail at least).
Difficulty of Trail
It is mild with rock climbing involed, but nothing 3 year olds up and couldn't handle. I would not recommend this with a stroller at all.
Before reaching the canyon entrance, there will be ruins of Mayhew's Lodge that was built in 1870s that served visitors before a fire happened in 1976. Fun fact, it was the backdrop to a film called "Call of Canyon".
Time to Complete
All trails has it has an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes. For our family of six with 4 kids between the ages of 4 years old and 10 years old, it took us about 4 hours to complete the trail.
I would consider the temperature cool on the way in and warm on the return, especially if you start as suggested, which is early in the morning.
Surprising Things You'll Find on the Trail
Sand. There are trails that are made out of sand, which is very different from the other trails in Sedona.
GPS Navigation Inaccuracies. GPS can be spotty and misleading because of high canyon walls with signals echoing off walls.
Going further. You can wade upstream for another 0.25 miles after you hit the canyon wall, but you'll need a swimsuit and/or water proof shoes.
Creek Crossings. There are so many beautiful and fun creek crossings, and the kids absolutely had a blast with these.
More Things to Do in Arizona with Kids on Vacation
If you are looking for more detailed review on our trip, checkout our posts below on our itinerary of things we did on our family of six trip to both Phoenix and Sedona for a 5-day mini getaway vacation. Here is a Example 5 Day Itinerary for Phoenix and Sedona for Families with Kids.
Phoenix Vacation Ideas for Families with Kids
- Honest Review of Hilton Phoenix at the Peak Water Resort for Families and Kids
- Restaurants to Try in Phoenix with Families and Kids on Vacation
- Camelback Mountain on Echo Canyon Trail with Kids in Phoenix
- Piestewa Summit Trail 300 Squaw Peak with Kids in Phoenix
- Papago Park - Hole in Rock Trail
- Montezuma's Castle Between Phoenix and Sedona
Sedona Vacation Ideas for Families with Kids
- Honest Review of Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock for Families and Kids
- Restaurants to Try in Sedona with Families and Kids on Vacation
- Slide Rock State Park Review for Kids and Families
- Bell Rock Trail Hike Review for Kids and Families
- Cathedral Rock via Baldwin Trail
- Walnut Canyon Rim Trail
- West Fork Oak Creek Trail with Kids
- Baldwin Trail