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There’s No Question That This Famous Trail Is the Prettiest Hike in All of Arizona




The best view often appears after the hardest climb. But if you’re a real nature lover, that quote may not apply because even the “getting there” part presents you with all the beautiful views. And believe me, you don’t even have to reach the top of the highest mountain to see incredible views. We’ve already shown you interesting trails such as the 800-mile trail that spans the entire state, and the hike to a stunning chocolate waterfall. But now, let us tell you all about the West Fork Trail, which is the prettiest hike in all of Arizona! Find out why.

Get Lost in Nature at West Fork Trail

West Fork Trail az

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West Fork Trail is certainly one of the most popular trails in Coconino National Forest. And why is that? It combines the refreshing little stream that ripples along the canyon floor, beautifully-carved and towering cliffs, and lush greenery. It’s the perfect escape if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nature heals. And in here, you’d feel its overwhelming power and it will just make your mind feel at ease.

The trail is said to be an “easy stroll.” Still, you have to anticipate the challenges that come with crossing the stream in several places. You might fall and land on your butt if you miss the stepping stones along the way.

West Fork Trail hikers find the trail fantastic throughout the year. No matter what season you come to visit, you’ll find it completely beautiful. There are many migrating songbirds that stay in the tall trees during springtime. On the other hand, the canyon transforms into an eye-pleasing mix of red and oranges during autumn. You will find icicles decorating the red rock overhands during winter. There are also snatches of snow persisting in cool shadows.

The West Fork Trail Hike

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Conquering this trail will be one of the most memorable experiences for every hiker. In fact, you shouldn’t leave Sedona without hiking this one. You certainly shouldn’t miss out on this paradise which features steep canyon walls, and a lush forest. The shade of trees will cool you down so you don’t get too exhausted or drained out from the Arizona sun.

Since you’ll have to hike alongside and cross over the creek numerous times, you should take note of the strategically-placed rocks in the water for you to step on and hop across. The rocks may be a bit slippery and wobbly too, so it’s best if you can maintain your balance. If not, losing your footing and fall in the creek isn’t exactly such a bad moment. It’s only ankle-deep, so you’ll be alright. It may even give you and your friends a good laugh!

West Fork Trail is a 6.9-mile hike. It has a pretty steady incline, and you’ll find the time pass by rather quickly. It’s definitely perfect for beginners. It even makes for a fun hiking activity for kids and dogs. The hike is just stunning.

Remember to stop from time to time to appreciate the beautiful view in front of you, and take lots of photos so you can remember the moment forever.

The Prettiest Hike in All of Arizona

To be fair, Arizona has a lot of beautiful trails that offer such magnificent views. Just take a look at the photos of West Fork Trail below and be the judge if it’s the prettiest hike in all of Arizona:

The Raw Beauty of Nature

west fork trail az view

Source: Instagram

Make your adventures worth following by capturing the beauty of the cliffs and canyon walls in this trail.

Everywhere You Look, It’s Just So Relaxing

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The colors of the earth have the power to soothe your tired soul. This photo is proof of it. Ah, we just want to get this photo printed or painted so we can hang it in our bedroom.

Be in Awe of the Beautiful Canyon Walls

canyon walls hike arizona

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You’ll surely be in love with life if you can take a walk in this wonderland everyday. Don’t you agree? The big canyon walls are pure art and it’s just so beautiful to look at. On the other hand, the water is tempting because you just want to cool down or dip your feet in it for awhile.

An Interesting Find Along the West Fork Trail

stone cabin az west fork trail

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Look at this stone cabin and appreciate the vernacular architecture behind it. It’s a nice surprise when you’re hiking along West Fork Trail. You can just snap a photo and be on your way. After all, not all Arizona hiking trails feature a stone cabin.

I Wouldn’t Mind Stopping for a Break From the Hike and Cooling Down

clear waters hiking az

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Look at the water. It’s so clean and inviting. Even when you’re hiking and benefiting from the shade of the trees, it would still be nice to able to cool down here.

It’s the Perfect Place for Yoga

yoga while hiking poses arizona

Source: Instagram

Make time for yoga if you plan to have a break for a considerable time while hiking the West Fork Trail. You can just do a relaxed and calming flow to clear your mind. That will make your whole experience much more enjoyable and peaceful. Pretend you’re filming a video of Boho Beautiful.

You’ll Know When It’s Time to Ditch the Shoes

dog friendly hikes trails arizona

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Somewhere along the way, after several creek crossings, you’ll realize that getting your feet wet is not such a bad idea after all. The same goes for this adventurous dog and his master (who probably took the photo). Don’t worry about getting your feet wet or you’ll miss the beautiful scenery in front of you.

Remember to Stop and Take a Photo With Your Girls

west fork trail photo spots

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Oh, look, a bridge! That’s a cute spot for a photo.

Overall: The West Fork Trail Provides Such a Lovely Scenery

west fork trail most beautiful trails in arizona

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You can’t fight us. This is just a picturesque place. No wonder it’s the prettiest hike in all of Arizona!

West Fork Trail Details:

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Distance: 11.6 km or 6.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 250 m
Route Type: Out & Back
Difficulty Level: Easy
Kid Friendly: Yes
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash (A hefty fine will be given to the owners whose dogs are not leashed)

How to Get Here:

If you’re in central Sedona, that means you’re only about 25 minutes away from the West Fork Trail. Head down to State Routh 89A and continue driving for the next 11 miles. After that, you will drive past a little Dairy Queen and Slide Rock. Remember to be alert because there are not many signs pointing to this trail’s parking lot. It’s on your left if you’re coming from Sedona.

You should also prepare a $11 parking fee prior to coming here. Come early if you want to snag a parking spot and to avoid a crowded hike. Once you got that all cleared out, it’s time to take the prettiest hike in all of Arizona and embrace a wonderful adventure!

Note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the trail is experiencing partial or full closure. You may constantly check online for updates to see if you can hike here. If you come, prepare an offline map as cell reception can be tricky.

What do you think about the West Fork Trail? Isn’t it wonderful?

If you need more recommendations for Sedona, take a look at our other articles: There is a Short 1.4-Mile Hike in Sedona That Will Reward You With Endless Red Rock Views. Furthermore, Staying at This Gorgeous Hotel in Sedona Will Leave You in Awe!

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