Explore the most popular trails in Rock Swim Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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. 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.

hiking
3 days ago

Great refresher after the Devils Bridge hike. Fun place to cool off. Jumped off the ledge, slid down the rocks for a ways. Imagine it’s a fun place to bring the family for the day, too.

hiking
15 days ago

nice easy trail

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Fun place to cool off ON A WEEK DAY BEFORE NOON! Otherwise too crowded. Make sure to wear something that covers your bum because the rocks will leave brush burns on your bum. There’s safe cliff jumping and shallow and deep parts. Some shade to get out of the heat. We had a blast, would highly recommend.

hiking
off trail
1 month ago

Sweet spot to go swimming and maybe do a little cliff jumping if that’s what your into. Water is a bit cold but super clean and refreshing on a really hot day. The only downfall is it gets really crowded which makes it a bit hard to enjoy and take in all its magic. But still def a spot to check out.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s crowded over the weekend and the traffic is ridiculous. The parking was $30 for a vehicle with up to 4 adults (and $5 per additional adult), $10 more than usual because it was a holiday weekend... Not worth any penny.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Lots of shade and view of arch is cool. Bring plenty of water. You’ll need it. Only encountered one other couple on trail. Need a four wheel drive with high clearance to get to trailhead unless you want to hike in. Long way from parking. 4.0 miles then trail is 3.6 and then hike back 4.0 to parking. A long day. My Rubicon made it to trailhead in about 35 mins. Tough road!! Do Devils Bridge if you are not up for it.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was awesome! My husband and I walked the trail first and by the time we were done we were hot enough to go swimming in the river below. The water was both cold and refreshing. A very easy hike but can get hot in unshady areas. Bring lots of water and good hiking shoes because the rocks are very slippery!

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was TOUGH! Rewarding views, but don’t go there unless you know what you’re getting into. Great scenery, lots of shade, lots of red rock. But it’s tough if you aren’t ready for it. 5/5

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

Crowded

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I’m sure this is a great trail, if you can find your way across the creek but there is no indication where it’s best to cross and given the water flow we decided to give it away after about 20 minutes of walking up and down he creek. Later we found a couple who had walked the trail. They advised, just get your shoes off and wade across the stream. So, if you are hiking this trail be prepared to wade the stream wherever you see fit then meet up with the trail on the other side.

I was looking forward to enjoying this little bit of trail with my two special needs kids because it was short and easy. When they wanted $20 per car (extra depending on carload), I left in disgust and went to a wonderful trail in Sedona. This is a State Park and even though it's too cold to actually get in the water, the State of Arizona wants to charge you for every penny they can get. (Just a word of warning )

Absolutely beautiful in the fall, looked like we were in Vermont! Hiked the trail November 3, 2018. Fairly easy, parking is not plentiful so get there early.

muddy
off trail
rocky
5 months ago

Great hike in we crossed the creek 11 times, lots of water while we where there, the road in is a nice drive that's easy to moderate but had lots of folks hiking on it to the Devils Bridge hike instead of using the hiking trail all the way to save 30 min. (some don't know some to lazy) but after that point road was clear of hikers.

hiking
5 months ago

We visited in March so crowds were down as the river was rolling but this was an awesome place to stop on a cold and rainy day to play on the rocks near the river- very fun and awesome!

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Definitely a fun trail! Awesome views. Not much of a hike, but fun to explore with family and friends. We went along the river first, and then went back up to the trail itself.

From the Sterling Pass trail...A lot of scrambling on your way up, I hope you are sure footed! Very steep inclines that reward you with stunning views of the hillsides and clear across the creek. Beautiful scenery in any season. Great outlook points. Once you reach the other side it's an easy march to the arch. If you do the arch trail and go out Sterling Pass, bring your trekking poles!

Great spot for a winter day hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this trail in early January on a calm sunny day but entire trail was snow-covered until close to the arch. Although it appears you can drive to Vultee Arch trailhead, unless you have a super high clearance vehicle don’t count on it - if you plan to hike in leave yourself plenty of time. I tried to hitch a ride on the forest road to the trailhead but most cars turned back - I only saw one or two make it. On final 3 miles to the arch I was totally alone seeing no one in car or on foot. The trail itself was gradual and wound through trees a lot - I was wondering if I’d ever gain elevation enough to see the arch. It eventually reaches a fork for Sterling Pass Trail after which you ascend to flat red rocks where the arch is visible a couple of hundred yards ahead. Once at the flat rocks you can continue on to the arch, but in the snow I couldn’t find the trail and was running out of daylight to hike out the long way I came in, so had no choice but to take Sterling Pass trail out (shorter). Don’t make the same mistake! It’s a glute-burning ascent to the saddle followed by a treacherously steep descent - for me on snowy trail in failing light which was scary. Poles totally saved me. Plan accordingly for this one, but worth it if you do. A lot of work hiking it snow-covered unless you have crampons. See my review of Sterling Pass trail for more.

nature trips
7 months ago

Very cool place.

Lovely walk/hike. Need good shoes if you’re going to walk across the water or may end up on some slippery rocks. So many spots to stop and sit and enjoy the scenery or take a dip in the cool waters. Truly lovely. Worth the stop. You can walk a little or a lot.

on Slide Rock Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Busy. November so water was low and cold. Easy walk suitable for all ages. Fat flowing river surrounded by beautiful canyons. Picnic tables with charcoal grills. Could have spent the whole day just roaming around. $10 ample parking.

hiking
9 months ago

Did this a few years back. Nice views of the river.

hiking
9 months ago

Pretty but not much of a hike.

Trail is not well marked from Bootleg Day Use parking area to the connector trail across the creek and up on the ridge. The trail is a bit technical due to all the loose rock.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail for a solid workout in cool weather, cloudy day, early or late start in the hot months. From the Bootlegger Day Use Area in Oak Creek Canyon, you walk down steps to the Creek which must be crossed. After that, it’s all uphill for approximately 2 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain. Once leaving the creek bed, there is no shade until you reach the plateau and conifer forest on the west rim. The trail is generally in very good condition and is easy to follow. As you gain elevation, the views rapidly improve. At the top, you will be rewarded with an excellent view to the south, looking down the canyon towards Sedona. To the north, you can glimpse the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. - I continued along the trail to the East Pocket Knob Fire Lookout Tower. This resulted in a 5.5 Mile round trip hike. The trail is easy at this point. My only complaint about this trail is that once you leave the Creek area and cannot hear the rushing water, you will hear the noise of traffic along Hwy 89A, until you reach the top of the ridge. There was no water after leaving the Creek.

hiking
10 months ago

Slide Rock is beautiful. It can be busy at times. We actually parked far, then just hiked down from where we parked. Found a secluded swim area. Not recommended for everyone to do this as it is a steep, primative hike down.

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