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Slide Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona

Slide Rock State Park Beach.

As soon as the weather gets good and warm, it happens. A steady stream of people in swimsuits and flip flops make a cheerful pilgrimage along the highway in Oak Creek Canyon to Slide Rock State Park, home of Sedona's most celebrated swimming hole.

You coastal types take note: In a land where summer highs can get into the 100s, and a year-round stream is a minor miracle, a good swimming spot takes on near-religious significance, and Slide Rock is no exception.

Slide Rock is a portion of Oak Creek where the creekbed is a sloping chute of slippery rock, making it a natural waterslide. Along the way are little shallows for wading and deeper pools for a bona fide swim, the water still crisp and cold from its previous life as snow on neighboring mountains. Big slabs of rock next to the creek make ideal picnic and sunbathing spots, and on a hot weekend day there's a confetti of brightly colored towels and swimsuit-clad people sprinkled all over the red rock ledges.

The swimming area is just one of the features of Slide Rock State Park, 43 acres located on what used to be the Pendley Homestead, one of Sedona's major orchards through the first half of the 20th century. Short trails throughout the park explore the remnants of the homestead's past, including some of the original orchards, apple packing barns and the original homestead house. The intricate and labor-intensive irrigation developed by Frank L. Pendley in the early 1900s to water his trees is still in use by the park today. About 7 miles north of Sedona on 89A, Slide Rock State Park is minutes away from the many other parks, trailheads, lodges and attractions along Oak Creek Canyon.

For up to the minute information about Slide Rock State Park schedule, regulations and pricing, please visit: http://www.pr.state.az.us/parks/SLRO/index.html

Article by Sarah Horton.

See this additional article with pictures of Slide Rock Beach: Slip Sliding Away at Slide Rock State Park

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