Slide Rock is a true Arizona gem. Tucked between the forested walls of Oak Creek Canyon is an oasis that frequents top-10 lists of swimming holes and secret spots. As the namesake highlight of Slide Rock State Park, this natural waterslide is far from secret. In summer the place turns into a natural water park visited by people from all over Arizona when most of the state is too hot to be outside.
Oak Creek flows year round with cold water thanks to underground springs in the canyon. That means that even on parched summer days, the emerald water tumbling over red stone near Sedona makes a perfect escape from the heat. A thin coat of algae makes the submerged rocks slippery and creates the "slide" rock—a natural waterslide.
Broad rock banks on either side of the creek are perfect for sunning, picnicking, yoga, or just taking a snooze between swims. To really enjoy a full day here, bring a beach towel, chair, cooler, pop-up tent, and other supplies to relax and beat the heat. You are unlikely to have this place to yourself, but there is ample room to spread out. Be sure to avoid trampling fragile vegetation surrounding the creek. Stay on trails and solid rock.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.