slide rock feature
By Lauren Wong

What’s always bugged me about Sedona is the massive amount of tourists that crowd around all the top spots. As I’ve shared before, my favorite part about getting outdoors is getting a break from the world. To disconnect and just embrace the beauty surrounding you. That being said, I would wait hours in line to be surrounded by hundreds of tourists in this state park. (That’s saying a lot).

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Slide Rock is literally your childhood dreams coming alive, for the low price of $10 – $30 per car (depending on the month and day of the week). 

Nestled within Oak Creek Canyon is this natural gem. Within the half mile of the park that’s open for swimming, there’s a 80 foot long, 2.5 – 4 foot wide water slide created by algae growth on the worn down sandstone. There’s also wading areas in between some of the slippery rocks where you can swim around without the current taking you to the next slide. AND, you can go cliff jumping. It’s no surprise that Slide Rock State Park has consistently made its way to one of “America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes,” according to the Travel Channel.

So, since Slide Rock has to now be on your bucket list, here’s some things to expect on your visit…

During the prime summer months it will be crowded, and you’ll likely have to wait in line to gain entry to the park. If you want to skip the crowds, consider getting there right around opening time. The water feels extremely cold, but in the hot summer months it feels refreshing, so you’ll just have to jump in to get rid of that initial cold shock.

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The rocks are more slippery than you think. Watch your footing, feel the ground around you before stepping fully on a rock to avoid falling. You may come back with some scratches since it is a natural waterslide and there still will be some rocks that aren’t fully covered in algae. If you’re worried about that you can bring a tube to sit on while you hit the slides. 

You need to definitely wear water shoes. You don’t want to step on anything sharp. Make sure they’re comfortable and are securely fastened on your feet. I prefer to always wear my Tevas.

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The slides will also be crowded and once you’re on them it’s extremely hard to control where you’re going so make sure there are no little kids around when you begin your descent down the creek. 

With water levels lowering around Arizona, be cautious about cliff jumping. I jumped when I was there a couple weeks ago, but make sure others are jumping and ask them if they’re hitting the bottom when they jump in. Only jump in areas where you see others jumping.

Bring snacks! You’ll likely want to spend the day there or at least a few hours, so have some snacks and a towel to lay out on when you need a break. Also, of course, bring plenty of water, especially in this heat.

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Make sure whatever you’re wearing, especially if it’s a swimsuit that one, it’s not your absolute favorite and if it gets dirty it’s okay, and two, it’s tight and secure. You’ll get splashed and tossed around in the water going down the slides so you don’t want to have to worry about losing your suit. I highly suggest not wearing a strapless suit! 

Do all this and you should be good to go. Take advantage of this unique state park, and give yourself a chance to be outdoors in this summer heat and not feel like you’re melting. The wait to get in is 100% worth it (and most of the time it moves faster than you think). 

Plan your day to Slide Rock, I promise you won’t regret it!

For more information about hours and park entry, or to get some history from around the area, visit their website.