Sedona renowned for the beauty of its famous rock formations, including that of Slide Rock—a natural eighty-foot long, two-and-a-half to four-foot wide slide worn into the rock at Slide Rock State Park, where for decades of visitors have been sliding and taking the thirty-foot drop into the glimmering waters that lay below the chute. Slide Rock has made the Travel Channel’s list of America’s Top Ten Swimming Holes several times for its thrilling slide and its refreshing canyon creek, where visitors can wade in the water in the bright sunshine.
Slide Rock State Park stands in Oak Creek Canyon, on what was once the grounds of a historic forty-three acre apple farm owned and maintained by Frank L. Pendley, known as the Pendley Homestead. Pendley arrived in the canyon in 1907 and acquired the land formally as a result of the Homestead Act in 1910. He was the first to succeed in establishing an irrigation system in the area, allowing him to plant his first apple orchard in 1912 and setting the model for the irrigation used on the site today. Pendley was also critical to the development of tourism in Oak Creek, building the first cabins on his homestead in 1933. Slide Rock has also been used as a set for several classic movies, including “Broken Arrow” with James Stewart in 1950, “Gun Fury” with Donna Reed and Rock Hudson in 1953, and “Angel and the Badman” with John Wayne in 1946.
Beyond Slide Rock’s extensive history, there are a number of fun recreational activities and interesting sights to see in the park. Read on to learn more!
Activities and Sightseeing
At Slide Rock State Park, you can enjoy an outdoor picnic, go on a scenic hike, fish for rainbow trout, swim in Oak Creek, attend the annual Slide Rock Apple Festival in the fall, or observe a wide variety of wildlife against the backdrop of the red rocks.
The hiking trails at Slide Rock are low to moderate in intensity, including Pendley Homestead Trail, Slide Rock Route, and Clifftop Nature Trail.
Pendley Homestead Trail takes visitors on an easy route through the original apple orchards, the Pendley home, cabins, the apple packing barn, various farming equipment on display, an orchard of semi-dwarf apple trees, and unforgettable views of Oak Creek Canyon. Slide Rock Route, predictably, leads to Slide Rock. It is a trail of moderate difficulty, beginning near the apple packing barn and crossing the creek by a small footbridge, passing a historic cabin made of rock, and an eight-foot wall, over which more remote areas lie ahead and the route becomes more wild. Clifftop Nature Trail offers a short, scenic trail that passes by the Slide Rock Swim Area.
All three trails are no more than a third of a mile long, meaning that you’ll still have plenty of energy left after your hike for a slide down Slide Rock!
Hours: 8:00am – 7:00pm
Price Range: $2 – $200
Cozy Up in a Sedona Vacation Rental
A long day spent at Slide Rock State Park calls for a relaxing rest afterward. Choose one of our spacious, lavish Sedona vacation homes and condominiums and pamper yourself! Contact our reservation specialists today for further information regarding attractions and things to do in Sedona, as well as our premium properties.