Slide Rock State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Arizona and one of Sedona’s most well-known attractions. After all, it features an 80 foot natural rock waterslide on Oak Creek which is very inviting on a hot summer day. Slide Rock is located in Oak Creek Canyon, which is a beautiful drive between Sedona and Flagstaff on State Route 89A. The state park has hiking trails, picnic areas, an apple orchard and a homestead. You’ll even find snacks, water and souvenirs in their gift shop. Visit our page about Sedona’s Arizona State Parks including more information about Slide Rock and Red Rock State Park.
One of the questions we get most often is if Slide Rock is worth the time to visit. It depends. We think Slide Rock is worth doing at least once in your lifetime. If you have plenty of time and you want to visit a Sedona landmark, then you should go. Are you travelling with kids? They’ll love it. If you only have a few days, maybe other activities like hiking or shopping may be more fun. It also depends on the time of year you go and what your expectations are. A visit in the fall/winter will be much different than going in the spring/summer. Let’s break it down.
What to expect at Slide Rock State Park in the Spring and Summer.
The number one thing to expect is a large amount of people. We all know Sedona is a popular destination and Slide Rock is a great place to cool off on Oak Creek. April through October are the busiest months with the parking lot filling up fast during the day. The park opens at 8am most of the year, so arrive early for the best chance to get in without a long wait. Weekends are the busiest times. There is very limited parking along State Route 89A around the entrance to the park, so if you are thinking about parking on the road and walking in at the gate, you’ll be turned away. Only vehicles are allowed. Once inside the park, you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the canyon walls and a bit cooler temperatures. If you are ready to get a little wet, be careful on the slippery rocks. As usual, remember to wear good shoes, sunscreen, a hat and drink plenty of water. A little-known fact is that the water quality at Slide Rock is monitored. Due to the wildlife upstream and the high numbers of visitors, the water can become contaminated. A little gross but keep this in mind as you plan your visit.
What to expect in the Fall and Winter.
The temperatures in Sedona and Oak Creek are much cooler during the fall and winter. Crowds usually form during fall break and Christmas vacation and other busy holiday weekends. You can still enjoy the natural waterslide when the creek is running low, but the water will be cold. During the fall or winter, you may prefer to visit the State Park and explore the history of the area by touring the homestead or by taking a hike along Oak Creek.
Slide Rock State Park is located at 6871 North State Route 89A, in beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, just north of Sedona, Arizona. If you are interested in taking a drive through Oak Creek Canyon or Sedona, check out our list of Sedona’s Most Scenic Drives.