Slide Rock State Park: Explore Arizona's Alternative to the Grand Canyon

Slide Rock State Park is located just seven miles north of Sedona, Arizona, off-highway 89A. Full of hiking trails, scenic views, and wading opportunities, the park makes for the most fantastic compromise if you're in the Phoenix area and don't want to drive to the Grand Canyon. What's more, the Oak Creek Canyon area the park is situated in has a handful of natural water slides and swimming holes for folks looking to cool off.

While this Arizona State Park is a perfect destination for swimmers and sunbathing fans, it's also great for fishing, wildlife viewing, and historical exploration. But for better or worse, it isn't the best spot for more rigorous outdoor recreation like kayaking. To get more information on park rules and attractions, including its ban on glass containers, visit

Whether you're just biking down from Flagstaff to enjoy the park's red rock water slides or driving over from New Mexico to savor a lazy Labor Day, the following facts ought to help you on your way.

Slide Rock State Park Camping & Overnight

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Outside of special programs like Family Campout weekends, the park is intended for day use purposes. It doesn't contain any campsites of its own. Fortunately enough, there are several overnighting options in the surrounding Coconino National Forest.

Campgrounds: Sites near the park include the Manzanita Campground to the south and Cave Springs and Pine Flat to the north. Each of these campgrounds is maintained by US Forest Service, so they have convenient features like vault toilets and drinking water. For more information or to make reservations, visit

RV Sites: While the Cave Springs and Pine Flat campgrounds listed above allow RVs, they don't have any hookups or dump stations. Meanwhile, the Manzanita campground doesn't allow RVs or trailers at all. If you're interested in the total RV experience, your closest bet is Rancho Sedona RV Park.

Resorts & Cabins: There are also several more modern establishments not far from the park. These include resorts and cabin communities such as Junipine, Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek, and Forest Houses Resort. More than just these few are yours to choose from, and a quick Google search should help you explore your options.

Hiking Trails to Explore

Several short hiking trails wind through the park, each less than a half-mile in length. They are as follows:

Pendley Homestead Trail: Named after the area's original owner, Frank L. Pendley, Slide Rock's main trail, this route leads visitors from the parking lot past the park's apple orchard and historic structures that once served the Pendley apple farm. It's also the way you reach the following two trails.

Slide Rock Route: This short trail leads to swim areas and the park's famous slide.

Clifftop Nature Trail: If you want to get away from the bustle below and enjoy the peace of nature, consider walking this short loop trail that overlooks the area.

Where do you stay and eat when you're in the Slide Rock region? Let us know the best spots to recharge on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!

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