According to our local papers, autumn has arrived in the high desert. So, our little family packed our hiking gear, hopped into the car bright and early and drove north to see if the tales were true. We certainly weren’t the only ones either. One of the most popular trails during an Arizona fall is north of Sedona along Oak Creek. There’s a trail called the West Fork Trail and it is lined with beautiful hues of red, yellow, pink, orange and green. The most spectacular part is the contrast of the colors against backdrops of red rock formations – absolutely stunning. The trail follows along Oak Creek so there are many places where you cross over the creek on strategically placed rocks and logs, adding a little excitement to this otherwise easy-rated trail.
My one word of advice if you have not yet experienced this trail is to go really early and pack your patience. The parking lot fills up by 8am and won’t show any signs of reprieve until around 4pm. Nature is just a little more difficult to enjoy when you have to weave in and out of Disney-type crowds stopping to take photos and pick leaves. It’s certainly worth a visit if you love fall colors though. One hint we received from a local is to wait until early November to visit. The crowds are a little less dense and the leaves are still colorful. I think we will take this advice for next year.
I would also like to pull out my soap box for a minute here… I was very distraught by the number of people picking the leaves from the trees; I’m talking entire branches. There are many leaves on the ground that have fallen and are still beautiful, please let nature do its thing and let other folks enjoy the beauty as it was intended – not in your hands, in your hair or stuck in your hat. Thank you!
The photos here are some of my favorite; if you would like to see more, please visit our flickr page.