Oak Creek

Area Status: Open

This clear canyon stream may be one of the most scenic fishing and swimming holes in the world. Oak Creek flows through Oak Creek Canyon, a narrow gorge it has cut along a fault line in the same rock strata that form the Grand Canyon. But this smaller cousin of the world's most prestigious chasm, is much more accessible than its more famous relative. A road leads right down the middle of it. And if you'd really like to get to know these crimson cliffs and crystal pools up close and personal, there are plenty of overlooks and picnic areas, hiking trails and creekside paths to help you do it.

In Oak Creek Canyon, be sure to stop by the Oak Creek Visitor Center at Indian Gardens when it opens for the season, or visit the Red Rock Ranger District Visitor Center near the Village of Oak Creek year-round.

Starting 1/1/2023, the new catch and release fishing section will be from the Hwy 89A Bridge crossing at Slide Rock State Park upstream to the AGFD Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery property boundary, including West Fork Oak Creek. Refer to Arizona Game and Fish fishing regulations for details.


Campgrounds usually fill early. The best opportunities for getting a campsite are weekday mornings between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., or make reservations where available.

Picnic Areas

Additional Information

At a Glance

Closest Towns: Flagstaff, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock District - 928-203-2900
Information Center: Visit Water Quality for information about water quality in Oak Creek and the water hydrant on State Route 89A near Pine Flat Campground.

General Information


Location: The top of Oak Creek is 14 miles south of Flagstaff on paved roads. Elevation is around 5,000 feet, dropping as Oak Creek flows down the canyon and through the Sedona area.

Access: Drive south from Flagstaff on Hwy. 89A. 14 miles down the road it drops nearly a thousand feet down a series of switchbacks to the canyon floor and continues for 13 more miles alongside Oak Creek in Oak Creek Canyon. The creek exits the canyon into Sedona, passing by Cathedral Rock and Red Rock Crossing on its meandering way southwest to its confluence with the Verde River southeast of Cottonwood.


Click map thumbnail for a larger view.

Map showing Oak Creek and West Fork of Oak Creek



River and Stream Fishing

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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