Oak Creek Indian Art

About Oak Creek Canyon

Photo courtesy of John Crossley

West Fork inspires...

Zane Grey was inspired... and he describes it this way:

(an excerpt from his book The Call of the Canyon)

. . . "There's good trout fishin' along heah a little later," he said, pointing to the stream. "Crick's too high now. I like West Fork best. I've ketched some lammin' big ones up thertaking to the trail, she stepped out briskly, now giving attention to her surroundings. The canyon had widened, and the creek with its deep thicket of green and white had sheered to the left. On her right the canyon wall appeared to be lifting higher--and higher. She could not see it well, owing to intervening treetops. The trail led her through a grove of maples and sycamores, out into an open park-like bench that turned to the right toward the cliff. Suddenly Carley saw a break in the red wall. It was the intersecting canyon, West Fork. What a narrow red-walled gateway! Huge pine trees spread wide gnarled branches over her head. The wind made soft rush in their tops, sending the brown needles lightly on the air. Carley turned the bulging corner, to be halted by a magnificent spectacle. It seemed a mountain wall loomed over her. It was the western side of this canyon, so lofty that Carley had to tip back her head to see the top. She swept her astonished gaze down the face of this tremendous red mountain wall and then slowly swept it upward again. This phenomenon of a cliff seemed beyond the comprehension of her sight. It looked a mile high. The few trees along its bold rampart resembled short spear-pointed bushes outlined against the steel gray of sky.

Deep Pool

Photo courtesy of John Crossley

Ledges, caves, seams, cracks, fissures, beetling red brows, yellow crumbling crags, benches of green growths and niches choked with brush, and bold points where single lonely pine trees grew perilously, and blank walls a thousand feet across their shadowed faces--these features gradually took shape in Carley's confused sight, until the colossal mountain front stood up before her in all its strange, wild, magnificent ruggedness and beauty. .... Arizona! Perhaps this is what he meant," murmured Carley. "I never dreamed of anything like this. . . ."