West Fork Upper Extension from 231
ElevationAscent: 3,179' 969 m
Descent: -4,313' -1,315 m
High: 6,584' 2,007 m
Low: 5,450' 1,661 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 119% (50°)
Current trail conditions
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“An epic descent of West Fork Canyon from FR 231 to the main West Fork Oak Creek Trail.”— Steven Richardson
The route begins at a small bridge on FR 231. There used to be a small sign on FR 231 stating "West Fork" but this was not there in June 2018. Once on the trail, there is a large Forest Service sign letting you know you are in the correct canyon. This route is only for the truly adventurous but it is totally worth the effort. Begin by boulder hopping from FR 231 down the canyon until it reaches the main West Fork Canyon. From there, be prepared for narrow passages along the river bottom with plenty of river crossings and 4-5 swims (some over your head) depending on the time of year and the water levels. You can either trek through the water or bushwhack along the reeds and brush on the side.
For the last six miles, the Red Rock narrows creating sheer cliffs, subway tunnels and other amazing rock shapes. Don't be so concerned about the burning in your legs that you forget to look up and enjoy the scenery. The last six miles moving toward the main West Fork Trail are much easier and a welcome relief after a long day of hiking.
Land Manager: USFS - Coconino National Forest Office