Take a Dip at Arizona’s Coolest Natural Water Park
It’s hard to believe one of the coolest natural water slides in America started out as a simple apple orchard in central Arizona.
Slide Rock State Park, seven miles outside of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon, overlooks a lush, green landscape and the signature red rock face Arizona is known for. It’s a place of beautiful contrasts, but the cherry on top is the creek bed, where Mother Nature created an awesome natural water chute made out of sandstone for plenty of warm-weather fun.
For active families who like exploring the great outdoors, Slide Rock State Park is the place to be. Here are three quick tips to make sure you enjoy everything this state park has to offer.
Plan a full day
One of the most common complaints is the $10 entry fee, but you can get the biggest bang for your buck by making it a full day of fun. Arrive mid-morning to miss the crowds wading in the creek bed. After lunch, you can take the older kids —and adults — for cliff jumping in the deeper water or grab a kayak to further explore Oak Creek. A picnic and a hike in the afternoon will round out the day nicely, while a late afternoon fishing trip for rainbow trout and a quick stop at the gift shop will make sure everyone goes home satisfied.
Aim for a fall visit
This state park isn’t just for play; it’s still pulling double duty as an operating apple orchard. One not to miss family event is Fall Fest, with tractors, baked goods and opportunities to pick any number of the thirteen different types of apples on offer. My suggestion? Get the best of both worlds by going early in fall when the weather is still warm enough to wade in the creek. An autumn day doesn’t get much better than a morning spent enjoying the orchard and an afternoon sunning on the rocks.
While the creek bed’s crystal clear water makes it easy to see the bottom, the rocks that line the creek can get pretty slippery and cumbersome in spots. To help keep yourself and your family members safe, opt for water shoes that have extra traction and make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen to protect yourself from the hot desert sun. You’ll also want to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated and consider making some old cutoffs to wear as you slide down the water chute to ensure everyone has plenty of good, safe fun.
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