6871 N. Highway 89A
Slide Rock State Park may be a bit further off the beaten path than most pitstops (18 miles from Flagstaff), but it’s a mere five miles from the popular vacation town of Sedona, and well worth any amount of effort.
Slide Rock State Park planning:
Located down Highway 89A along a particularly scenic stretch of Oak Canyon, Slide Rock State Park is exactly what it professes to be: a slippery, natural waterslide. Upon first sight, my kids were awestruck, and quite frankly, so was I. At least a quarter mile of the river is cut so perfectly out of the red rock canyon, it appears man-made. The water pools and eddies around smoothly rounded slabs of granite, creating both slick slides and deep diving holes.
There’s about a quarter mile walk from the parking lot to the swimming site. It’s easy to access, but bring good water shoes. I know this is simply common sense, but the rocks are very, very slippery. We fell many times, and saw worse. There’s very little shade, and not much room on the slabs of stone for chairs. We opted to bring only beach towels and a cooler with cold water, which worked out great. We didn’t spend much time out of the water, anyway!
Date last visited: July 2009
Distance off the interstate: 18 miles off I-17 on Hwy 89A from Flagstaff; five miles from Sedona.
Hours and Admission Prices: Slide Rock is a state park, and entry is $10 per car or $2 per person. Hours are sunrise to sunset, but be advised: the park becomes very crowded on hot summer days, and when the parking lot fills, the park is closed. We visited on a Tuesday in July, and were one of the last cars admitted at 11 am. Get there early!
Bathrooms: Near the parking lot.
Food Services: There is a small general store located near a historic homestead en route to the slide (after the parking lot). It was well-stocked with cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks, but don’t plan to get a full lunch here.
Directions: From Sedona: Head north on AZ-179 toward Sombart Ln. Turn left to stay on AZ-179, then turn right at N Hwy-89A/AZ-89A.
From Flagstaff: Take AZ-89 toward Sedona. Turn left at S Hwy-89A/AZ-89A. Turn left at N Hwy-89A/AZ-89A.