So I guess I have been sleeping under a rock. As many times as I have visited Sedona, and that includes at least six trips, I just visited West Fork Trail in Oak Creek, 12 miles north of Sedona.
During this time of the year the trees are changing colors in dramatic fashion. The golden maples (at least I think they are maples) are magnificent. All this set against the red rocks and turquoise sky is simply amazing.
It’s a well maintained trail along Oak Creek. Three miles each way but go at your own pace and enjoy the changing fall leaves and the creek that runs by. There is a $9 entry fee so bring some cash. I arrived late in the afternoon and didn’t get a chance to hike the full trail. I am told you might get a little wet as the trail crosses the creek. I will definitely make time for a return trip here.
My feet were in bad shape after Doe Mountain so I headed over to a place called The Hike House in search of alternate hiking shoes. I can tell instantly whether a shoe is going to work for me. It has to be very padded, especially around the metatarsal area. I tried on several pairs and settled on Salomon XT Wings 2.
It’s like walking on a mattress and my sore feet felt like they were getting a massage. So, my plan is to hike in MBTs and spend the rest of the day in these groovy shoes. They don’t have regular shoe laces but instead “cable” shoe laces that you pull tight then choke off with a little plastic contraption.
I have been fortunate to have been able to take some great trips which led to great walks and hikes and photos. In this blog, I will share what I consider to be some fantastic walks. My criteria is simple: they have to be easy to moderate and in a beautiful setting.
My first offering: Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, Arizona. This place will blow you away. It’s located in the Coconino National Forest and costs eight bucks to enter but it is well worth the fare. It offers a breathtaking view of massive Cathedral Rock against Sedona’s typical bright blue sky. A creek runs through this area, which was once the Crescent Moon Ranch. Some of the old buildings remain on the property and are a nice setting for photos and picnics.
This area is also an energy vortex and I’m no expert on that except to say you will feel rejuvenated here, at least I was.
When I visited one afternoon in November, 2009, I was immediately struck by the sound of the leaves rustling in the trees. It was so loud it reminded me of applause – like nature was welcoming us. Add to that, the stunning red rocks, blue sky, the sound of the creek nearby and you get the real thing- a naturally soothing experience that fills you up. You can’t help but take it all in – take a deep breath and exhale. Stress reduction.
You can walk along the creek or cross it to access the “Baldwin” trail. The sun was beginning to set so I didn’t take this hike but the forest service says it’s about a mile long. Visit their website or call them to get the details.
There are a ton of great walks in Sedona-you can hardly go wrong with any of them. But this one is my favorite.
P.S. – if you want to grab a good hamburger afterwards, check out the Red Planet Diner. For dinner, I really enjoyed Fournos – a small greek restaurant. The food was superb and the garlic will keep the vampires away. When you walk in the place, you think you’ve entered the kitchen area and turns out you have. The kitchen and dining area are one big space.
Directions to Red Rock: Drive west from Sedona on US 89A. Just outside town, turn south on FR 216 (Upper Red Rock Loop Road). Drive about 1.5 miles and follow the signs to Red Rock Crossing. All roads except the short segment leading from Red Rock Crossing Road to the picnic area are paved.