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State of Arizona Parks

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USA Parks
Northern Region
Slide Rock State Park
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Slide Rock State Park © Postdlf / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ruined structure at Slide Rock State Park, Arizona
Slide Rock State Park © D. O. Todd; Coconino National Forest / CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Visitors in the cool cascades of Oak Creek near Sedona in 1957. Photo taken by D. O. Todd. Credit USDA Forest Service, Coconino National Forest
Slide Rock State Park © Postdlf / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Slide Rock State Park, Arizona
Slide Rock State Park © Postdlf / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Artists at Slide Rock State Park, Arizona
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6871 Arizona 89A
Sedona, Arizona   86336
(lat:34.9436 lon:-111.7529) map location

Phone: 928-282-3034
Originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910. Due to his pioneering innovation, he succeeded where others failed by establishing a unique irrigation system still in use by the park today. This allowed Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912, beginning the pattern of agricultural development that has dominated the site since that time. Pendley also grew garden produce and kept some livestock.

As one of the few homesteads left intact in the canyon today, Slide Rock State Park is a fine example of early agricultural development in Central Arizona. The site was also instrumental to the development of the tourism industry in Oak Creek Canyon. The completion of the canyon road in 1914 and the paving of the roadway in 1938 were strong influences in encouraging recreational use of the canyon. Hence, Pendley followed suit and in 1933, built rustic cabins to cater to vacationers and sightseers.

Nature of the Area
Slide Rock State Park is located north of Sedona along Oak Creek. It features spectacular red rocks, good swimming areas, hiking trails, scenic views, and historic buildings. There is also an historic orchard on site that produces delicious apples each fall. The park is managed in partnership with the Coconino National Forest.

Characteristic upland vegetation in the area includes Ponderosa Pine, Emory Oak, Gambel Oak, Buck Brush, Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany, Wright?s Buckwheat, Utah and Oneseed Juniper, and Banana Yucca. Riparian vegetation consists of Willow, Box Elder, Arizona Sycamore, Arizona Cypress, and Canyon Grape.

Common animals in Slide Rock State Park are Grey Fox, Mule Deer, Arizona Bushy-tailed Woodrat, Pinyon Deer Mouse, and Raccoon. Avian species include the Pinyon Jay, Gray Flycatcher, Scott?s Oriole, Gray Vireo, and the Black-throated Gray Warbler.

History of the Area
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. The swim area is located on National Forest land which is jointly managed by Arizona State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service. Together these areas have seen the making of many Hollywood movies such as "Broken Arrow" (1950) with James Stewart, "Drum Beat" (1954) with Alan Ladd and Charles Bronson, "Gun Fury" (1953) with Rock Hudson and Donna Reed, and a scene from "Angel and the Badman" (1946) with John Wayne.

On July 10, 1985, Arizona State Parks purchased the park property from the Arizona Parklands Foundation. The park was dedicated in October 1987, and accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places on December 23, 1991.

Arizona offers a non-commercial standard pass for weekday use at all parks, including weekends at most parks and the non-commercial premium pass which includes weekend and holiday access to the parks. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is not included in either annual park pass. You can find additional Arizona Annual State Park Pass informataion and order online by visiting the ARIZONA ANNUAL STATE PARK PASS web page.
The Slide Rock swim area is approximately 1/2 mile of creek. There are multiple places to swim and wade, as well as the famous Slide. The Slide is an eighty foot slippery shoot that is worn into sandstone. Notes: All water-based activities are at the risk of the user. No lifeguard on duty. Glass containers are not permitted in the swim area.

Oak Creek is periodically stocked with Rainbow Trout. Fishing is not permitted where swimmers are present. No glass bait jars please!

A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers fourteen and older.

Day Use Area
There are two covered ramadas with electrical outlets and picnic bench seating. Each ramada will hold approximately fifty people. Ramadas may be reserved for fee. Reservations are not taken between the Friday before Memorial Day and the end of Labor Day. Contact the park for further information or to make reservations for the designated months. Propane grilles, charcoal and wood fires are prohibited at all times!

Fifteen open air picnic areas suitable for small groups are available near the entry station and parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Propane grilles, charcoal and wood fires are prohibited at all times!

The park has short trails including a nature trail. It is also close to several Coconino National Forest hiking trails. This area is managed on a pack-it-in, pack-it-out basis, and any type of glass containers are strictly prohibited.

Pendley Homestead Trail: 0.25 mile trail with a difficulty rating of easy. This paved, level trail is suitable for all visitors and travels through a portion of the historic Pendley Homestead of Slide Rock State Park. Features along the trail include some of the original apple orchards, Pendley Homestead house, tourist cabins, apple packing barn, various farming implements that were used historically in the homestead, a new orchard of semi-dwarf apple trees, and spectacular views of the canyon walls of Oak Creek Canyon.

Slide Rock Route: This is a 0.3-mile trail with a difficulty rating of moderate. This primitive route along Oak Creek is the main access to the Slide Rock Swim Area. This extremely popular area features a natural water slide along Oak Creek.

This path begins near the apple packing barn. It descends to the creek via steps where it then crosses the creek via a small footbridge. During periods of high runoff, the footbridge will not be in place and visitors will need to stay on the west side of the creek. After crossing the footbridge, proceed north along the sandstone shelves. In the summer months, many sunbathers will be using some of this route for sunbathing, therefore, you may have to step over quite a few of them. As you proceed, you may notice a historic rock cabin on the west side of the creek. The original homesteader used this in conjunction with a flume and water wheel to generate electricity for the homestead. You will arrive at an eight-foot wall that can be your turn-around point. If you decide to negotiate the wall, you can explore the remote areas upstream where the route becomes more primitive.

Clifftop Nature Trail: This is a 0.25-mile trail that begins near the apple barn and offers scenic views of the Slide Rock Swim Area.

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