I’m fascinated by erosion patterns in rock that make solid rock look like ice cream that has been scooped with a spoon or carved with a giant fork. So, I was transfixed by this “fork action” on the red rock in Sedona.
It’s amazing what Steve can tell us just by examining this photo and knowing its location. He said, “The sandstone has horizontal layers but also has inclined layers internally (25 degrees). The cliff shows these inclined layers because rockfall has sculpted the surface. These inclined layers were formed in underwater sand dunes by flow velocity of 2 meters/second.”
Both Charlie and I slipped and got one shoe wet while crossing Oak Creek, hiking the West Fork Trail in Sedona. Only one slip for each of us was pretty good considering the rocks and logs we needed to balance on while crossing the ice cold water. I snapped a few candids with my new iphone 11 Pro Max as we crossed a few times, to show how tricky it was.
Sedona’s West Fork Trail is described in the guide books as iconic with towering cliffs and 13 stream crossings as you follow Oak Creek for 6.4 miles round trip. The elevation change is moderate (245 ft.), so I considered it doable with camera equipment on my back.
It took us 3.5 hours to reach the end point, as I stopped for photos so often, but the exertion was well worth it. You know you have reached the end when you can’t go further without getting wet, and in November it’s too cold for that!
The cave like erosion you can see along the left side of the creek reminded me of “the subway” in Zion National Park created by the Virgin River. I had to explain myself to my husband after exclaiming, “there is the subway!”
I find myself fascinated by the power of moving water that erodes rock over time. Are you?
Most Las Vegas visitors don’t know that there is a fantastic site for scenic hiking just 17 miles west of the Strip. If you are not the gambling and high-end shopping type, and more excited about nature and photography, you will want to head west to the Mojave Desert. The guides at the visitor’s center can help you choose a hike according to ease or difficulty. My husband and I chose a moderate hike, knowing we were lugging two cameras, and we still found it plenty challenging, (i.e. we needed two hands and strong quads at times.) There is also rock climbing, mountain biking, road biking, horseback riding and a 13-mile scenic drive.
My daughter Erin is headed out to Red Rock Canyon for a wedding this month. She and her boyfriend are pro hikers with lots of practice in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. I hope they get a chance to hike this trail (in shorts and a good pair of sneakers after the wedding).