Slide Rock State Park is the BEST place for families to swim in Arizona! It’s within driving distance if you’re visiting the Grand Canyon and can provide a much needed relief from the heat during the summer!
In fact both Fodor and the Travel Channel list Slide Rock State Park as one of the BEST swimming holes in the United States! It’s roughly 80 feet long and 2.5 to 4 feet wide with a slight decline that helps keep you moving through the water. About 1/2 mile of Oak Creek is open for swimming though.
Where is Slide Rock State Park?
Slide Rock Canyon is about 7 miles north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Originally owned by Frank Pendley in 1907 he designed a unique irrigation system for the apple orchard nestled nearby, now at 43 acres large.
Are there fees for Slide Rock State Park?
Fees range from $5 to $30 depending on the time of year and way you enter. You can find the current fees here.
Be forewarned – this is a very popular state park and not only will you potentially sit in a lengthy traffic back up to get in the park but it may have run out of parking unless you get there early in the day!
Are there hiking trails at Slide Rock State Park?:
Slide Rock State Park isn’t JUST for swimming! There are three hiking trails in Slide Rock State Park.
- Pendley Homestead Trail (.25 mile)
- Slide Rock Route (.3 mile)
- Clifftop Nature Trail (.25 mile)
Things to Know About Before You Go:
- No wood fires are allowed in park grills, only charcoal.
- Propane grills and stoves are allowed though!
- Smoking is allowed in the parking lot only.
- There is a small store on site but as you can imagine, it’s a bit pricey.
- You have to carry everything in…..and it’s a long walk! I recommend a backpack.
- Bathrooms are very nice but about half way between the parking lot and the swim area.
- The water is COLD! Yes, even in the summer!
- The swimming area is not wheelchair accessible.
- Glass items are not allowed anywhere near the swimming area.
- The rocks are extremely slippery in the water. I recommend water shoes.
- There is no camping allowed onsite.
- Pets are allowed on a leash in the State Park but not down by the water.
How far is Slide Rock State Park from Williams, Arizona?
It will take roughly an hour to drive the 53 miles from Williams, Arizona. Depending of course on traffic!
How far is Slide Rock State Park from Flagstaff, Arizona?
Flagstaff is between Williams and Sedona so it will only take about 35 minutes to go the 23 miles. It also makes Flagstaff a great place to grab lunch or dinner depending when you are driving through.
We visited with our group of 18 family members. We all met in Williams, Arizona to spend the week seeing the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas (like this Meteor Crater in Winslow!) so Slide Rock State Park was our “down” day of fun! Plus being the last week in June it was pretty hot and we know the 10 kids in our group would have a blast here!
Between construction on the steep descent into the valley and the back up of everyone else visiting the state park it took us an extraordinary amount of time to get there! It was a hot long-ish walk down to the swimming hole but once we got there we were all smiles!
As you can imagine the heat reflects pretty intensely off the red rocks and there is almost no shade. If you’re traveling with someone elderly or sun sensitive I highly recommend bringing a weighted umbrella or pop up tent to sit inside. No matter what, definitely bring a lot of water to drink!
In the water there are plenty of extremely slippery areas due to the algae so I recommend wearing water shoes! My youngest wore her Puddle Jumper as well for safety. My kids still talk about that day in Arizona and want to go back if we ever find ourselves out in that direction again!