Slide Rock State Park began as the Pendley family’s homestead, which included an apple orchard. It is nestled in the lush Oak Creek Canyon and is what many consider Mother Nature’s Playground.
Today, the 43-acre Slide Rock State Park contains Oak Creek Canyon’s most amazing feature. A 30-foot natural rock waterslide worn in the rocks winds through the creek and gives visitors an exciting thrill ride. If you are interested in taking the plunge, make sure you come prepared. Bring along a pair of denim shorts for the slide and be ready for the cool 65-degree water flowing down the canyon.
The park does have other activities for its visitors. You may fish or do some nature watching. Picnickers will enjoy their meal within the canyon’s red rock walls and pine forests bordering Oak Creek. Visitors will also find picnic tables, grills, a snack bar and hiking trails. The new expanded parking area and facilities are a great improvement. Due to the park’s popularity, these upgrades were a necessity.
Visitors will discover the original apple orchard still growing nearby. There are several varieties of apples growing in the orchard. If you are interested in some cider or caramel apples, you should visit the snack bar.
Slide Rock State Park would like to protect the wildlife and plant life in the area. In order to do so, the park does not allow glass containers or pets.
The hours depend on the time of year. During May through September, its hours are 8:00 to 7:00 pm. Then from October to November and the month of April, the hours become 8:00 to 6:00 pm. For all the other months, the park is open 8:00 to 5:00 pm. The cost of admission is $5.00 per vehicle. If you would like more information on the park’s hikes or guided trails, you may call 520-282-3034.
You can get to Slide Rock State Park from Sedona, by taking State Highway 89 north out of town. You will need to look for the signs directing you from the highway. It is approximately 5 miles outside of town. You can get to the park from Phoenix or Tucson by taking Interstate 10 north out of town, past the town of Camp Verde. When you get to the exit for State Highway 179, take it and continue heading north up to Sedona. When you get to Sedona take State Highway 89 north up through Oak Creek to the park. If you are coming from Flagstaff, take State Highway 89 south out of town. You will go through Oak Creek Canyon along the way you will see the signs for the park.
Slide Rock State Park is where I spent many of my Saturday afternoons. The development of the park has greatly improved and protected the area. The park is very popular, so plan on visiting when the weather is cold. Early spring is ideal; when the snowmelt is active and the creek is flowing.