Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park

Quick Facts

Slide Rock State Park

Arizona

(928) 282-3034

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historical apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910. Due to his pioneering innovation, he succeeded where others failed by establishing a unique irrigation system still in use by the park today. This allowed Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912, beginning the pattern of agricultural development that has dominated the site since that time. Pendley also grew garden produce and kept some livestock.

As one of the few homesteads left intact in the canyon today, Slide Rock State Park is a fine example of early agricultural development in Central Arizona. The site was also instrumental to the development of the tourism industry in Oak Creek Canyon. The completion of the canyon road in 1914 and the paving of the roadway in 1938 were strong influences in encouraging recreational use of the canyon. Hence, Pendley followed suit and in 1933, built rustic cabins to cater to vacationers and sightseers.

The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead. Visitors may slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek. The swim area is located on National Forest land which is jointly managed by Arizona State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service. Together these areas have seen the making of many Hollywood movies such as "Broken Arrow" (1950) with James Stewart, "Drum Beat" (1954) with Alan Ladd and Charles Bronson, "Gun Fury" (1953) with Rock Hudson and Donna Reed, and a scene from "Angel and the Badman" (1946) with John Wayne.

On July 10, 1985, Arizona State Parks purchased the park property from the Arizona Parklands Foundation. The park was dedicated in October 1987, and accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places on December 23, 1991.

Preparing for your visit The weather at Slide Rock State Park is similar to that of Sedona. The elevation is almost 5,000 feet. For an ideal summer visit, bring your bathing suit, towel, plenty of sun block, a trash bag, and shoes to protect your feet. In the winter be sure to bring your camera to capture ice on the rocks and a pair of binoculars to enjoy the birds.

Map of Slide Rock (AZ)

Latitude, Longitude: 34.944312, -111.752930

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Activities

  • Fishing

    Oak Creek is periodically stocked with Rainbow Trout. Fishing is not permitted where swimmers are present. No glass bait jars please!

    A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers fourteen and older. Licensing information is available online at Arizona Game & Fish, or purchase a fishing license at a local dealer.

  • Hiking

    The park has short trails including a nature trail. It is also close to several Coconino National Forest hiking trails. This area is managed on a pack-it-in, pack-it-out basis, and any type of glass containers are strictly prohibited.

    Pendley Homestead Trail: 0.25 mile trail with a difficulty rating of easy. This paved, level trail is suitable for all visitors and travels through a portion of the historic Pendley Homestead of Slide Rock State Park. Features along the trail include some of the original apple orchards, Pendley Homestead house, tourist cabins, apple packing barn, various farming implements that were used historically in the homestead, a new orchard of semi-dwarf apple trees, and spectacular views of the canyon walls of Oak Creek Canyon.

    Slide Rock Route: This is a 0.3-mile trail with a difficulty rating of moderate. This primitive route along Oak Creek is the main access to the Slide Rock Swim Area. This extremely popular area features a natural water slide along Oak Creek.

    This path begins near the apple packing barn. It descends to the creek via steps where it then crosses the creek via a small footbridge. During periods of high runoff, the footbridge will not be in place and visitors will need to stay on the west side of the creek. After crossing the footbridge, proceed north along the sandstone shelves. In the summer months, many sunbathers will be using some of this route for sunbathing, therefore, you may have to step over quite a few of them. As you proceed, you may notice a historic rock cabin on the west side of the creek. The original homesteader used this in conjunction with a flume and water wheel to generate electricity for the homestead. You will arrive at an eight-foot wall that can be your turn-around point. If you decide to negotiate the wall, you can explore the remote areas upstream where the route becomes more primitive.

    Clifftop Nature Trail: This is a 0.25-mile trail that begins near the apple barn and offers scenic views of the Slide Rock Swim Area.

  • Picnicking

    Fifteen open air picnic areas suitable for small groups are available near the entry station and parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Propane grilles, charcoal and wood fires are prohibited at all times!

  • Water Sports

    The Slide Rock swim area is approximately 1/2 mile of creek. There are multiple places to swim and wade, as well as the famous Slide. The Slide is an eighty foot slippery shoot that is worn into sandstone. Notes: All water-based activities are at the risk of the user. No lifeguard on duty. Glass containers are not permitted in the swim area.

Seasonality/Weather

Slide Rock State Park has the pleasure of experiencing four distinct seasons.

Wintertime brings a chill to the air after the leaves have fallen from the trees in late October to early November. The park can experience freezing temperatures well below thirty-two degrees and on average, receives twenty-five inches of snow annually. Park visitors should come prepared for potentially inclement weather, bringing a warm coat and sturdy, warm boots. The park can be blanketed in snow and the ice formations at the creek and the surrounding mountainsides are a photographers dream. The occasional brave soul will sometimes be seen going for a trip down the "Slide" in near freezing water temperatures.

Springtime brings warmer weather but can sometimes be the park's wettest months with frequent rain and snow showers. As temperatures rise into the forties and fifties, leaf buds start to emerge from the trees. The park's historic apple orchard comes into full bloom in the middle of April and fills the park with fragrant, pink and white blossoms. Spring rains start to subside as the temperature rises. May and June are some of the driest months.

As summertime approaches in June, temperatures are consistently in the upper seventies to mid-eighties. With June and July being the hottest months, temperatures this time of year are in the mid-nineties with overnight lows typically in the mid-sixties. Temperatures above one hundred degrees are not uncommon. As high pressure continues to build through June and early July, wet monsoon weather patterns are pushed into Arizona from Mexico, bringing much needed summertime rain. Visitors can watch thunderheads build in the afternoon and may experience a brief shower or a torrential downpour. The monsoon cycle may last into late August or early September.

With park visitation tapering off after Labor Day Weekend, cooler temperatures signal the beginning of fall. Temperatures are pleasant with daytime highs still in the upper sixties to low seventies. As the nights cool down, this signals the leaves to start changing colors and eventually fall from the trees. Slide Rock State Park is truly a park of all seasons.

Directions

Driving

From Phoenix take I-17 north to Hwy 179 west through Sedona to Hwy 89A north. Park is 7 miles north of Sedona.

From Flagstaff: Take Hwy 89A, 20 miles south.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(928) 282-3034

Links