A short but steep climb with some difficult stretches to the east rim of Oak Creek Canyon. The signed trailhead is on the right (east) side of the road 100 yards north of the parking apron referred to under “Access” below. The trail begins as a level path heading north, then crosses a shallow drainage and begins a moderately steep, zig-zag ascent beneath a telephone line in partial shade. After climbing 550 feet in less than .5 miles, it bends to the east and levels out on the top of a finger ridge that runs from the east rim of the canyon. At .6 miles, the trail passes beside a picturesque reef of rock with several “windows”. Soon, the trail resumes its steep climb on a narrow ridge.
There are nice views over the West Fork area of the canyon to the west and of a deep chasm to the east. the trail levels off briefly at .8 miles, then begins a steep climb in the full shade of a mixed conifer and oak forest to the top of the east rim. This portion of the trail follows an old telephone line with only some post stubs remaining. The trail is difficult to follow in places but there are some cairns. The trail ends at a large rock cairn at 1.2 miles. Here, at the rim’s edge, there are views through the trees of the cliffs to the north. Return by the same route. This hike is suitable in summer, but do not attempt in winter if there is any snow on the slopes.
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This is a great training hike for the Grand Canyon! Straight up the hill (the last 1/3 is a never-ending calf burner)! Window rock is cool. Short but deadly. I plan to do it again with a bit more training.