Slide Rock State Park is one of those rare places that you hear about all across the nation. It's well known for its natural water slide, and its setting in Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona makes it attract thousands of tourists a year, despite its own well-known reputation. Fodor's Travel blog's recent post on the Top Ten State Parks in the nation will surely bring more fame to this unique and fun Arizona State Park. It highlights the "one reason" to visit the park is to go down the amazing natural slide - who could resist giving that a try? Read Fodor's full review of the park here. Slide Rock is often crowded this time of year, with cars lined up along the side of Highway 89 to get into the park and slide down the slick, red sandstone rocks into the cool waters of Oak Creek. But that shouldn't deter you from checking out this marvelous beauty. Get there early in the morning and take advantage of low crowds and have the place to yourself.
If you get to Slide Rock before the crowds and you're looking for another adventure, you'll have time to check out some of the other great hikes and adventures in Oak Creek Canyon, like Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market or Garland's Jewelry. Both are family owned, local businesses that have been in Sedona for generations. Oak Creek Market sells a variety of local foods, including local greens, fruit, beer, wine and cheeses.
There are also several other State Parks to visit in the Verde Valley, so don't just spend all your time in Oak Creek Canyon at Slide Rock! Check out Red Rock State Park in Sedona, or head to Cottonwood and take a hike along the Verde River at Deadhorse Ranch State Park. There are also two historical state parks nearby: Jerome State Historical Park and Fort Verde State Park (in Jerome and Camp Verde). You can find all of these parks and other great local businesses to visit in our Verde Valley Small Wonders Map!
UPDATE: We report with heavy hearts that the Slide Fire is still burning in Oak Creek Canyon and has closed Slide Rock State Park for the foreseeable future. This fire started Tuesday afternoon, May 20th, and remains ablaze. For updates on the Slide Fire in the Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff areas, please stay tuned to the Arizona Daily Sun.