|Highest Elevation:||4020 feet|
|Duration:||About 2 hours|
|Shape of Trail:||Out & Back|
|Best Direction to Travel:||South|
|Nearest Town w/ Services:||Sedona|
|Official Road Name:||9845, 9845A, 9845H, 9845N|
|Management Agency:||Cococino National Forest / Red Rock Ranger District|
The Oak Creek Trail takes you from Highway 89A (about half way between Sedona and Cottonwood) almost all the way (you have to hike the last half a mile) to Oak Creek where you'll find the ruins of an old rock-walled house, and a cool stream to soak your feet in. Homestead is certainly a historical area to visit, as you can see the remaining evidence of an [early settlement](http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/search/collection/shspion), but it's probably one of the least scenic trails in the Sedona area. Still, it has its charms, and is a relatively short run for those looking for an additional quick place to explore, or for those who want an easy trail with some mild 4wd challenges.
Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.Read more about our rating system
This is one of two trailheads into the Oak Creek Homestead area, and is a great place to air-down the tires for a smoother ride, or air them back up when you are done. This section of the trail, up to where it hits the "Y" is more technical than using the other trailhead off 89A (see waypoint 19), with a few small hills with small steps that may require the use of four-wheel-drive.
Stay straight on the trail, heading north/south for the easiest route. Some optionally go into the wash for something more challenging to drive on, but it's not officially part of the trail. If you choose this optional route, turn left into the wash (east), or you can go the other way if you don't mind turning around at the end to head back to the main trail.
Continue straight heading north/south to stay on the main off-road trail. You can optionally enter the wash here if you want something more challenging to drive on. Either direction will loop back to the main off-road four-wheel drive trail.
Stay left at this intersection to continue west on 9845H towards Homestead. Heading northwest will take you towards the 89A trailhead along 9845 which is also part of the [Lime Kiln Trail](http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=74051), a trail that continues beyond 9845 at the west, and a short way north of this intersection on 9845H, as a non-motorized trail that is popular for use by horseback riders.
This small hill has some small steps on it. It's easy to go down, but requires four-wheel drive to get up.
Stay left at this intersection to continue south on 9845N towards Homestead. Heading northwest will take you towards 89A, and northeast will take you back on 9845H towards Red Rock Loop Road. 9845H ends at this intersection. From here south the trail get's into it's more difficult terrain. Heading towards 89A from here is the easiest part of the trail and can be done in any high-clearance vehicle.
As you approach Cliffhanger, you'll get to see a nice little canyon along the way, and a big rock on the side of the trail.
The only way in and out of the Oak Creek Homestead ruins requires you to descend, and on return climb, this hill known as Cliffhanger. It will require low-range four-wheel drive. Beginners may find this a bit challenging, but with some coaching it should be no problem with a properly equipped vehicle. This part of the trail was leveled out some in the spring of 2016 to install the gate at the next waypoint. It will likely become more difficult as it becomes eroded over time.
This is the official end of the 9845N. Due to concerns with people driving through Oak Creek River - part of a watershed used for city water - this gate was put in place in the spring of 2016 to keep motor vehicles out. You can still hike your way down to the Homestead ruins and the river. According to Forest Service maps, this is where the motorized trail has officially ended for a few years even before the gate was in place.
This is the location of the old home ruins.
Depending on the time of year the water can be at different levels and speeds, so be careful when entering it. It is also a watershed used as a city water supply, so be careful not to contaminate it.
Here you'll find a good sized fire pit, and a rope swing over the river. It seems like a nice place to cool off during a hot Summer's day. It's also a great place for a picnic if you are okay with packing it on your back for a mile as you'll have to hike down and back.
Heading back out form the Oak Creek Homestead area requires you to drive back up this rocky hill.
If heading back out, continue straight ahead to continue north towards 89A. This is the north end of 9845N, as you connect to 9845. Heading southeast will get you to homestead, and west to head towards Red Rock Loop Road.
Welcome to Dry Creek, you'll see a parking area on your right as you approach; if heading out to 89A.
This is just one example of the few washes that are along this branch of the trail.
This is just one example of the few washes that are along this branch of the trail. It's also close to where 9845 turns into 9945A as Lime Kiln Trail soon diverges from the road.
Continue straight ahead towards 89A when heading out: putting the dead-end dirt road on your right. This short road gives you access to some additional camping spots.
This is the trailhead directly off 89A. Also a great place to air down, or end the trail depending on which way you decide to go. Both trail heads get you to Oak Creek Homestead, but this branch, which starts out as 9845A, is less challenging.
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.829410, -111.853980