West Oak Creek near Sedona AZ

11:27 a.m. on May 15, 2011 (EDT)
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On saturday the 8th(?) a friend and I drove down to below the Mogollen Rim here in northern Arizona from Flagstaff and hiked up West Oak Creek Canyon about 5 1/2 miles then camped overnight.


Map showing the main trail into West Oak Creek. The red dotted line is the route most tourists follow as it goes in 3 miles to the beginning of the narrows. There are 13 creek crossings over stones and logs. At the end is the beginning of the narrows where it is required to start wading the creek as the walls close in and the stream flows between them.


Beginning of the narrows as my friend trys walking along the edge of the sandstone.


West Oak Creeks geology


Towering sandstone walls over Paul (in lower right)


Fallen ponderosa pine log in middle west oak creek canyon


Lunchbreak under a sandstone overhang


Wave-like sandstone with an old campsite opposite where we ate lunch


Lunch cliff from upstream


Narrow section higher up in canyon with small stream


Cliffs reflected in pool


Sandstone spires in upper west oak creek canyon


Walls split as faults tear the canyon apart over time


Interesting tree limb


Ancient sand dune compressed into stone


Stream eroded sandstone in multiple layers


Camp beneath a overhang of stone. No need for a tent in this canyon with plenty of natural places like this


Home comforts



End of the trail after a short morning dayhike in West Oak Creek Canyon

No images, just the sounds of frogs croaking in the dark and the crackling sound of our campfire.

1:06 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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I just can't get over the variety of terrain in your area. I just don't think of forests when I think of Arizona. What an amazing place.....

1:08 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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I also love the "reclining" rock chairs...sweet.

2:51 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Arizona differs in elevations of almost sea level, 138 feet at Yuma SW corner to 12,633 feet on the top of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.


The San Francisco Peaks. The highest point is the lowest point in this picture. The light blue double peak to the lower right of the high point left is actaully nearly 1000 feet higher but 3 miles farther away. The peaks above are Agazzi 12,356 (left),Humphreys 12,633(middle), Fremont 11,969(middle right) and Doyle 11,460 (right).

The second highest peak is Mt Baldy 11,403 down in the Apache Reservation and is the head of the Little Colorado River which fows north emptying into the Colorado north of Flagstaff about 60 miles.


Most people think of deserts when they imagine Arizona. The deserts are from Yuma,Tucson, Phoenix and almost the entire southern 1/3 of the state. But up here in Flagstaff and down in Sedona near where the images above were shot there are huge Ponderosa Pines, Junipers,cedars,pinion pines,Cottonwoods,Sycamore trees, etc.


On this map the northeastern half of the state is green with tree's. Mt Humphreys the highest point is just north of Flagstaff. Daytime summer temps are around 50-80 degrees.

The lower SW section is mostly the Sonoran Desert around Phoenix and Tucson. Tempertures there are around 100 degrees in the summer months from April to October.


At the Grand Canyon one an experience both the alpine and desert enviroments in one day. The north and south rims are around 7500-8500 feet above sea level, while te bottom at the Colorado is closer to that of Phoenix.


Start on the south or north rim and the temperture is about 70 during the day and 120 in the shade at the bottom 5 miles and a hours hike away.

In the winter (my favorite time of year in the GC) the rim can be 0-30 degrees while the inner canyon is about 40-60 degrees. I have started from the rim in Dec/Jan with all my winter clothing on and by the time I reached the bottom I am down to shorts and a Tshirt and vise-versa.


3:18 p.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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very cool.... I'm looking forward to my trip there in late August! Can't wait to see it in person!

1:18 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Oak Creek Canyon is a hidden gem.   Back in the early 90s I was on a roadtrip with some buddies, heading west on I-40, when we heard on the radio that the highway miles ahead of us was shut down and traffic was being diverted down Highway 89A.   Wow, what a beautiful and unexpected detour - a pleasant surprise.  I can only imagine how cool hiking it must be.  That was the first time I'd ever heard of Sedona and its reputation as a focal point for the earth's mystic energy, etc, etc.    I'm jealous.



9:33 a.m. on June 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Great stuff, Gary :)

The overhang campistes are great. I like the photo of you and your firend, you look like you could about be brothers!

11:37 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Very Nice!  Great area, I was wondering when the rainy season was and if the area had a lot of flooding issues? 

12:05 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Very cool.  The overhangs look possitively awesome. 

9:07 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Monsoon season is from June to August.


8:47 a.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah that Oak Creek area is great.  My wife and I have gone to Sedona for the last 2-3 years usually in October.  To say the place is gorgeous is an understatement.  Last year the leaves were changing colors.  I felt like I was in Vermont in October.  Just beautiful.  Really nice pics here.

1:26 p.m. on August 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Another view of the wavelike sandstone in West Oak Creek

May 22, 2018
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