Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon.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.

slide rock state park sedona
In September 2008 Cindy, a new bride, went on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure—down the 80-foot “water slide” in Slide Rock State Park in her wedding dress. Cindy’s escapade and “America’s Next Top Model”-type of photo shoot is perhaps the most unusual use of this famous swimming hole in scenic Oak Creek Canyon.

Slide Rock State Park gets its name from the site’s naturally formed rock slide, which is cut into the sandstone along the slippery creek bottom. The ½-mile swim area, which is popular year round, fills up fast in the summer months.

Historic apple farm

Although Slide Rock State Park is best known today as a water-recreation destination, the site had its beginning as a 43-acre apple farm. In 1907 Frank Pendley discovered the site, and three years later homesteaded the property. He created an irrigation system and planted an orchard that continues to bear fruit. One Arkansas black apple tree from the original planting in 1912 still stands and is now called the “heritage tree.”

There are several historic structures on the property, and there is a collection of antique farm equipment Pendley used in the orchard. This includes a smudge pot, which was used to keep apple blossoms from freezing.

In autumn, Slide Rock State Park hosts an apple festival that is fun for the entire family. This is the only time of the year that visitors can pick the park’s 13 different varieties of apples to eat and take home.

Easy, picturesque trails

In addition, Slide Rock State Park offers two short and easy trails—one that skirts the water and provides several benches for resting and taking in the vivid scenery; the other called the “Hospital Trail” (where Pendley used to quarantine his sick livestock).

The Hospital Trail meanders among the maple, sycamore, cottonwood, locust and gambel oak trees close to the spectacular canyon wall on the western side of the orchard. In the fall, this sandy trail is a kaleidoscope of color and light. Park rangers offer guided walks on the weekends in October. In the winter, there is often a dusting of snow on the red cliffs, ledges and peaks.

Did You Know?

Because of its romantic red-rock setting, Sedona is one of the most popular destinations in the world for weddings and honeymoons. State parks, such as Slide Rock State Park, provide natural, unspoiled vistas that are perfect backdrops for nuptial vows

If you go

Slide Rock State Park is open year-round at 8 a.m. Closing time varies with the season. The admission fee is $8 per car (for up to four adults) and $2 for pedestrians.

The park has two covered ramadas, 15 open picnic areas and a volleyball court. There is a small market on site with snacks, water, film, clothing and park memorabilia.

For more information, call (928) 282-3034.