West Oak Creek near Sedona

1:31 p.m. on April 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Thursday and friend and I hiked 3 miles up West Oak Creek near Sedona AZ below Flagstaff.


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We hiked to the 3 mile marker as on this map. Thats where the creek narrows and gets about 10 feet across. We started on US89 on the right.


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West Oak Creek and pink sandstone


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Tree Fungus


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Beginning of the Narrows in lower West Oak Creek

The hike lasted about 5 hours and we hiked 6 miles roundtrip on a very casual hike. The trail crossed the creek 13 times before getting to the narrows.

 

5:13 p.m. on April 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Great photos Gary! One of my favorite hikes off all time. There are few places where red rock meets water and Douglas Firs.

5:49 p.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
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I think I would enjoy that hike Gary, I love hiking beside (sometimes in) water!

I haven't been in a couple years now, but i used to love Blue Lining, which is to follow the blue lines on a topo instead of trails.

Was the creek bed solid rock or free stone?

Great photos.

12:37 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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The bedrock is called Coconino Sandstone and was partially solid like slickrock and part boulders. There are also some volcanic rock from the top ridge cliffs above.

Blue Lining is that like the boundary lines of the Wilderness areas?

6:47 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Sorry for not explaining completely Gary, what I refer to as 'Blue lining' simply means to follow creeks, rivers, etc. instead of established trails.

I heard the term years ago amongst the fishing crowd.

I used to follow mountain creeks upstream looking for places to fish or camp that were hard to get to and offered solitude.

Actually I still do that here on the coast (actually a little inland not right on the ocean), but you have to go by boat  most times because you can't hike through the marshes here. In many places it is illegal to do so, or just too difficult with all the mud up to your knees.

Coconino Sandstone ......thanks, I learned something.

9:29 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I tend to follow the game trails. I followed many Big Horn and Deer trails in the Grand Canyon over my 20 year time there. They took me to some off the beaten track places the average tourist and ranger never see. Some especially the Big Horn trails follow right between steep redwall cliffs with 100s to 1000s of foot drops on the downhill sides and sheer walls above. Much of the time they are only a few feet (if that!) wide.

I also like following river sides and creeks and around lake and ponds. I am planning a 75 mile hike up the Paria River from Lee's Ferry (on the Colorado River between the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell and dam) to Tropic Utah just east of Bryce Canyon. The river goes for 75 miles but the elevation only changes 2000 feet in those miles. I hope to do it next spring in 2012 during the runoff when hopefully the river will be flowing or at least have enought water to do the whole route without having to cache or carry it.

3:46 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Awesome scenery! The contrast between the trees and rocks is very interesting-never seen this before. The creek looks very peaceful. What types of fish in the creek?

4:20 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Minnows mainly, maybe some trout upstream. Oak Creek Canyon is known for its trout.

12:38 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Awesome scenery! The contrast between the trees and rocks is very interesting-never seen this before. The creek looks very peaceful. What types of fish in the creek?

Having spent every Summer of my first 20 years in this area, I can tell you that it's unique beauty is without peer. The secret lies in the Canyon's steep walls, which keep the area cool. The canyon floor is in the 5000 ft elevation range, but the environs are very similar to that found at the ridge and plateau (leading up to Flagstaff) 2000 feet higher. There is an unusual concentration of Douglas Firs on the floor, which typically thrive at above 7000 ft. Combine the strong vertical and linear presence of these green giants with the planar, sometimes curvilinear lines of the vibrant red Coconino Sandstone, and you have complimentary colors of the highest form in nature.

The water there (also known as the West Fork), just as Oak Creek itself, is crystal clear and houses some Brown Trout, and Rainbows. Some huge fish for a creek.

1:01 a.m. on April 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Some winter photos of the West Fork. Not the greatest camera, unfortunately...
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October 25, 2014
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