Slide Rock State Park: Best Hidden Gem In Arizona (Photos)

Have we got a treat for you!

If sliding down a natural 80-foot water slide and splashing into a cool pool of water while surrounded by the towering red rock formations the southwest is so famous for sounds like a good use of a day to you, then you’re in the right place.

That place is Slide Rock State Park in Arizona, and it’s hard to find another location with the same combination of scenery and entertainment.

This guide will detail all of the fun things to do at Slide Rock State Park, as well as some things to be aware of before visiting.

About Slide Rock State Park

Nestled in the lush Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park is a jewel of natural beauty and recreation near Sedona, Arizona. 

Renowned for its iconic natural water slide, carved from the red sandstone, the park offers a refreshing retreat with plenty of activities to entertain both kids and adults.

Let’s explore all of the fun things you’ll find at this hidden gem in Arizona.

Sliding Down the Natural Water Slide

The park’s main attraction, the natural water slide, is a must-do. 

The smooth, slippery chute created by the creek offers a fun and refreshing way to cool off in the summer heat.

The slide is about 80 feet long, with a gentle incline in some areas and a steeper incline in other areas, making it plenty of fun for both kiddos and adults.

And it ends in a shallow pool, where you can splash down into before swimming over to the rocky banks where you can climb out rather easily.

The banks are lined with natural seating areas, so the rest of the fam can sit and watch while riders go down the slide.

Every kid…wait, every kid AND adult should experience going down the natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park at least once in their lives.  It’s a blast!

Jumping Off The Cliff Banks Into The River

Slide Rock State Park, nestled in the majestic Oak Creek Canyon, is not just famous for its natural water slide but also offers visitors the thrilling opportunity to jump off creek banks into the refreshing waters below.

The park’s creek banks vary in height, providing different levels of excitement for those looking to leap into Oak Creek’s clear, cool waters. 

These natural jumping spots are found along the creek outside the main sliding area.

The water in these areas is plenty deep for both kids and adults to jump into without any fear of hitting the bottom.

If your confidence is up after going down the natural water slide and you’re feeling a bit daring, have a go at a much more tame version of cliff jumping and splash into the Oak Creek below.  So much fun.

Swimming and Sunbathing

Beyond the slide and rock jumping, Oak Creek offers several swimming holes where visitors can relax, swim, or just enjoy the sun. 

The clear, cool waters are perfect for escaping the Arizona heat, and the scenic surroundings provide a beautiful backdrop for relaxation.

Where the natural water slide empties into a pool at the bottom, the creek extends on for quite a ways with some areas of deeper water perfect for swimming or floating around in.

Especially during the hot summer days when temps can reach close to 100 degrees, taking a dip in these swimming areas will feel amazing, despite the cold water.

Hiking Trails

The park offers several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon. 

Trails range from easy to moderate, offering stunning views of the red rock formations, lush vegetation, and the creek itself. 

One notable trail is the Pendley Homestead Trail, an easy walk that meanders through historic orchards and offers insights into the area’s agricultural past. 

For those seeking more elevation, the Slide Rock Route provides a moderate hike with rewarding views of the creek and the surrounding red rock formations.

Hiking in the area provides a great opportunity to appreciate the park’s natural beauty and wildlife.

Apple Picking

In the heart of Slide Rock State Park, amidst the natural water slides and stunning red rock scenery, lies a unique and delightful experience: apple picking. 

The park was originally the Pendley Homestead, a historic apple farm established in the early 20th century. 

Today, visitors can partake in the tradition of apple picking during the late summer and early fall, when the orchards burst into a bounty of ripe, juicy apples. 

This hands-on activity offers a sweet connection to the area’s agricultural heritage, allowing guests to wander through rows of apple trees, selecting the perfect fruits to take home. 


Slide Rock State Park has several picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, making it an ideal spot for a family outing or a scenic lunch. 

With the lush surroundings and the sound of flowing water, it’s a peaceful setting for enjoying a meal outdoors.

Photography and Sightseeing 

The park’s unique geological formations, combined with the vibrant colors of the canyon and the clear, flowing waters of Oak Creek, make it a fantastic location for photography. 

Sightseers can enjoy the breathtaking views and capture memories of the picturesque landscapes.

Tip For Visitors

Footwear: Wear water shoes or sandals with a good grip to protect your feet and provide traction on the slippery rock.

Bathing Suit:  If you plan to slide down the natural water slide, wear an older bathing suit.  Sliding down the rock can leave some stains/smudges.

Safety: Always observe current conditions and heed any warnings from park officials. The slide can be slippery, so proceed with caution.

Crowds: The slide can become quite popular, especially on hot summer weekends. Arriving early in the day can help you enjoy the slide with fewer people around.

Park Entrance Fee:  The park has an entrance fee, which varies by season and vehicle occupancy, typically ranging from $10 to $30.

Facilities:  Facilities include restrooms and picnic areas, but visitors should pack their food and water, as options on-site are limited.

Parking:  Parking is available but can fill up quickly on weekends and holidays, so arriving early is advisable.