“all natural waterslide!”
Slide Rock State Park, 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. Todays visitors can still enjoy the fruits of Pendley's labor. Historic cabins are available for viewing, and the creek offers the park's namesake slide for adventures seekers and those looking for a place to cool off.
We stopped here as part of our Amazing Race family trip out West. It has been over 2 weeks now since our visit and my kids our still talking about it as one of their favorite clues (we had over 60!!). Get there early as spots fill up, take water, sunscreen and a towel. We also took our lunch in as its a small walk back and forth to parking lot. Wear shoes with a grip-we saw sooo many people fall as it gets really slippery. We were shocked at how cold the water was but it felt soo good on a hot day. Our 2 youngest rode down the large rock slide on our backs but our 13 year old rode down by himself. I would advise women to wear shorts over their swimsuit as my daughter and I both had rock burns on our rears after riding down several times...totally worth it though! We also completed the Jr. Ranger badge here and not only do the kiddos get badges but they also get a very neat poster. Great family stop!!!
Highlight of our vacation, so much fun. Words of advise, get their early between 8-9 to get parking and a spot for your stuff. Pack a good lunch and water. Plan on walking out the f rec area to use facilities the pits available have not been felt with in a while and are not usable.
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Slide Rock State Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Good for educational opportunities, hiking, and 3 more activities.
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