In contrast with other trails near Sedona, Thomas Point provides a quiet but strenuous hike to the east rim of Oak Creek Canyon.
Thomas Point Trail Guide
MAP: Sedona Trails
PERMITS: The trailhead for this hike coincides with the popular West Fork, so there is a parking fee ($10, cash or check only) for this hike. The gate is open from 8am through dusk. $2 per person if you walk in.
DESIGNATION: Coconino National Forest
BEST SEASONS: spring and fall, though March in Sedona is crowded.
HIKING DISTANCE: 1.0 miles one-way
ELEVATION: trailhead ~5,300ft, gain 1,000ft to ~6,300ft
ACCESS: paved roads to trailhead
TERRAIN: steep, forested switchbacks with few, (if any) other hikers
DIRECTIONS: Trailhead is at the Call of the Canyon Picnic Site (link to Google Maps). From Flagstaff travel south on Route 89A for 18 miles to the trail. Or from uptown Sedona, travel north on 89A for 11 miles (9 miles from Midgley Bridge). Parking is located between mileposts 384 and 385.
GUIDEBOOK: Sedona Hiking
If you’re visiting the West Fork and find yourself with more time and energy to spare, the Thomas Point Trail is the perfect solution. This hike takes only one or two hours, but it will certainly get your heart pumping. In addition to leaving the crowds behind, you’ll be rewarded with unique views that stretch as far as Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks.
From the parking lot at the Call of the Canyon Picnic area, walk south toward the old orchard and picnic tables. Here you’ll find an indistinct trail that leads to a place were you can step over a guardrail and cross Highway 89A. Be careful crossing the road!
On the east side of the highway, the trail parallels the road for short distance, still leading south. You’ll come to an old metal trail sign, and the path will begin to climb up the canyon. Soon there will be a minor trail junction – bear up and to the left.
Continue climbing, with occasional vistas to the south as you gain elevation. Once on top, the trail will level out and lead a short way to a wonderful view in the direction of Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks. The range is about 30 miles away as the crow flies, due north/northeast.
This vista is the official end of the trail.
An old logging road continues to the north, where it’s possible to connect with more roads in the vicinity of Ritter Mountain. Likewise, an intrepid explorer can try connecting this with the faint, steep, and historic Telephone Trail. Here’s a list of all the tracks that climb the east side of Oak Creek, listed from south to north:
- Purtymun Trail
- Thomas Point Trail
- Telephone Trail
- Harding Springs Trail
- Cookstove Trail
Most of these routes were pioneered by local families and adopted by the Forest Service. For example the Purtymun Trail (now disavowed by the USFS) was established by the Purtymun family, Thomas Point by the Thomas family, and so on.
Finally, here’s a map that shows the Thomas Point Trail, courtesy of the US Forest Service. Enjoy the quiet side of hiking in Sedona!