Best Slide Rock State Park Photos and 8 Boondocking Locations

Cool off at the natural rock slide and capture some Slide Rock State Park photos of your friends. Life Magazine named it one of the ten most beautiful places to swim in America because of how beautiful it is. Many people don’t think a trip to Arizona is complete without a run down Slide Rock. This area is so popular that it was turned into a park in part to keep people from loving it to death.

Now, the U.S. Forest Service (which takes care of the creek and water slide) and the Arizona State Parks and Trails work together to run it (parking and other amenities). When these two groups work together, this popular attraction becomes a great place to have a picnic, go down the slide, or just relax in the sun. Try to visit when it’s not busy, but don’t be surprised if there are still a lot of people there.

All About Boondocking
All About Boondocking

Also, watch out for those rocks. They are slick!

The Travel Channel’s list of the “10 Top Swimming Holes in the United States” includes Slide Rock State Park. The red rocks in Sedona are like the “ultimate water slide.” The list was made for the channel’s new show, “Top Secret Swimming Holes.”

Slide Rock is below an apple orchard and surrounded by red rocks on Sedona’s Oak Creek trail. It is 80 feet long, 2.5 to 4 feet wide, and slopes down by 7% from the top to the bottom giving you some great Slide Rock State Park photos to snap. The slippery ride is caused by algae on the rocks.

Slide Rock has a half-mile stretch of Oak Creek where you can swim, wade, and slide. Our park is named after a slide that is famous all over the world. It is an 80-foot-long, slippery slope made of sandstone. The slide is known to make people smile and laugh while making memories that will last a lifetime, so plan a trip to Oak Creek Canyon and enjoy this Arizona wonder.

There is a fee to get into Slide Rock State Park. Fees are $20 per vehicle Monday through Thursday and $30 per vehicle Friday through Sunday. $3 is charged to people who walk or ride a bike in. There are no fees for Slide Rock State Park photos.


Want more ideas to round-out your trip to Arizona?
A lot of great ideas are in these posts!


Slide Rock State Park Arizona Pin

History of Slide Rock State Park



Slide Rock State Park was once a 43-acre apple farm called the Pendley Homestead. It is in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley moved to the canyon in 1907. In 1910, he bought the land through the Homestead Act. Because he was a pioneer, he was able to do what others couldn’t and set up a unique irrigation system that is still used by the park today.

This made it possible for Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912. This was the start of a pattern of agricultural growth on the site that has continued since then. Pendley also had a garden and kept a few animals.

Slide Rock State Park is a great place to learn about early farming in Central Arizona because it is one of the few homesteads that is still standing in the canyon. The site was also important to the growth of Oak Creek Canyon’s tourism industry.

When the canyon road was finished in 1914 and paved in 1938, it made it much easier for people to use the canyon for recreation. So, Pendley did the same thing and in 1933 built rustic cabins for tourists and people on vacation.

Pendley’s hard work is still there for people to enjoy today. There are historic cabins to look at, and the creek has the park’s namesake slide for those looking for an adventure or a place to cool off all offering great Slide Rock State Park photos.

Directions to Slide Rock State Park



Location: 21 miles south of Flagstaff, 6 miles north of Sedona on paved road in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. Elevation is 5,000 feet.

GPS (Map): 34°56’41.1″N 111°45’10.9″W

Access: On US 89A, drive 21 miles south from Flagstaff, or 6 miles north from Sedona. You can’t miss it.

Best Slide Rock State Park Photos Spots and Instagram Locations



This evening Slide Rock State Park photos shoot in Sedona, Arizona, checked all of our boxes. Your photo session doesn’t need an amazing sunset to be magical. You just need to have a good attitude and trust your photographic skills to help you have the kind of experience you’ve always wanted.

There are a lot of great places to take photos in Arizona, but Slide Rock State Park in Sedona was the perfect spot for a session  while on our boondocking expedition. So much room to roam and move around, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the views! We were even lucky enough to be able to go into their garden and take pictures of the beautiful flowers growing there.

Slide Rock State Park Photos -Slide and Swimming Photos

Slide Rock State Park features a natural rock water slide located in Oak Creek Canyon just 15 minutes from Sedona and 40 minutes from Flagstaff. Slide Rock State Park was originally the Pendley Homestead but today is known as one of “America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes”. But the crisp creek water is not the only draw to the area.

Slide Rock State Park is surrounded by famous red rocks and desert scenery. So beautiful in fact, that many movies including “Angel and the Badman” (1946) with John Wayne were filmed there. There are even three hiking trails in the area to explore before you cool off in the water!

These include Pendley Homestead Trail (.25 miles), Call of the Canyon Trail (.3 miles), and Secret Mountain Trail (10.1 Miles). Slide Rock State Park has all the fun of a water park, with all the natural beauty Sedona is so famous for!

Dont Forget the Orchard Photos at Slide Rock State Park

The Apple Blossoms in the Spring and the ripe apples and people picking them both offer great photos for a trip our to capture some Slide Rock State Park photos. The 300 trees have people from all around the Sedona area out to pick some fresh fruit. The other farming stops like the picking shed, the historic equipment and hitoric cabins all offer perfect Slide Rock State Park photos subject matter.

Slide Rock State Park Photos and Hiking



Pendley Homestead and Clifftop Nature Trail

This 1.2-mile trail near Sedona, Arizona, goes out and back. Most people think of it as an easy route, and it takes an average of 30 minutes to finish. This is a popular place to hike and take Slide Rock State Park photos, so you’ll probably run into other people while you’re there. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. Dogs can’t go on this trail, so you’ll have to leave them at home.

Review

Fun little trail! When we went in March, it was cold, but it was still beautiful! We loved the water’s colors, which reminded us of the water in Glacier National Park. A park ranger said that snow melting upstream makes the water look blue-green at this time of year. The red rocks stand out against the clay-colored ground. It would be a lot of fun to take kids there when it’s warmer out, like in the summer. Worth the short, round-trip 1 mile hike!

There are so many great Slide Rock State Park photos to take on the Pendley Homestead and Clifftop Nature Trail inside the park, and we’ve listed two other nearby trails that will give you all the great photos you want.

</4>Secret Mountain Trail Is Great for Rock and Landscapes Photos

Learn about this out-and-back trail that goes 10.1 miles near Sedona, Arizona. It takes an average of 5 hours and 30 minutes to finish what most people think of as a difficult route. This is a popular hiking trail, but there are times of the day when you can still be alone. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. We allow dogs, but they have to be on a leash.

Review

A quiet hike where I didn’t see anyone. Follow the trail with the dashed lines, not the red line, on AT. We could easily follow the trail for 1.75 miles, but then it got hard to see. At 1.75, there is a beautiful view, so stop, have a snack, and head back. As others have said, the trail has a lot of brush, which is why you should wear pants. Beautiful day!

Call of the Canyon Trail Photo Locations

This 0.3-mile trail near Munds Park, Arizona, goes out and back. Most people think of it as an easy route, and it takes an average of 10 minutes to finish. This is a popular walking path, but you can still get some peace and quiet at less busy times of the day. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. We allow dogs, but they have to be on a leash.

This is a paved walkway to the bridge from the Call of the Canyon Day Use Area.

Review

According to wheelchairtraveling.com: Call of the Canyon is an area near Oak Creek trail and Slide Rock State Park on the way to Flagstaff, Arizona. Along the road, there are a few places to stop and buy authentic, hand-made Native American art, jewelry, and crafts.

The part of the trail that is easily accessible is very short, but it does lead over a bridge into the canyon. Some people may be able to go a little further to reach the ruins of a founding pioneer’s cabin, but the path gets very soft.

Slide Rock State Park Boondocking



Rocky Park

Address
Forest Service Road 239
Munds Park, Arizona
GPS: 34.824855, -111.591109
Elevation: 6686′

Management – Forest Service

This free Slide Rock State Park boondocking site is located within the Coconino National Forest’s Mormon Lake Ranger District. The road into the area is Dirt and 3 miles from a paved road. R226 Dispersed is open Spring to fall. You may stay 14 days.

FR226 Dispersed

Address
Munds Park, Arizona
GPS: 34.899088, -111.624227
Elevation: 6706′

Management- Forest Service (Official)

The road into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking area is Dirt and 3 miles from a paved road. Schnebly Hill Rd. FR226 Dispersed is open Spring to fall. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 14 days at Schnebly Hill Rd. FR226 Dispersed.

There are many Slide Rock State Park free campsites along this road East of I17. Many fine for big rigs, this one is our favorite for vans or truck campers. Water and propane available nearby at Munds Park.

Walmart in Flagstaff within a short drive. Killer Verizon 4g. The campsites are cleaner further away from the interstate.

Amenities:

Fire Ring, Pets Welcome

Activities:

RV Parking, Tent Camping, OHV,Biking, Hiking, Horse Trails, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing

Schnebly Hill Road – East of Sedona

Schnebly Hill Rd
Sedona, Arizona
GPS: 34.884144, -111.691895
Elevation: 6281′

Management – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking location is Dirt. Schnebly Hill Road – East of Sedona is open weather permitting. You may stay 14 Nights at Schnebly Hill Road – East of Sedona.

The road from Sedona (Schnebly Hill Rd) is a rough, steep mountain road with switch backs. It is wide enough for vehicles to pass each other but not for RVs to travel on. The first mile is paved. The next 6.5 miles are rugged and rough.

Do not take this dirt road in wet conditions. High clearance required! During five of those miles, you ascend 1,800 feet to Schnebly Hill Vista. I would feel ok bringing a truck camper or van up this road. Trailers and RVs should come from the I-17 exit.

Wildlife Viewing

Willard Springs Exit West

Address
Munds Park, Arizona
GPS: 34.975292, -111.686516
Elevation: 6693′

Management – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

You may stay 14 nights at Willard Springs Exit West. A free dispersed camping area in the Coconino National Forest. There is a designated shooting area nearby. So expect gun shots from time to time.

Verizon cell tower right at the entrance to the area. Great service.

Directions: Easy access. Take the I-17 Willard Springs exit# 326. Follow the paved road west into the forest. The road into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking site dirt after the cinder piles and landfill transfer station.

End of the World – Sedona

Address
Sedona, Arizona
GPS: 34.97968, -111.79097
Elevation: 6824′

Management – Forest Service

This is a well-known free into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking area overlooking the red rock valley around Sedona. The views are spectacular from many of the spots that dot the area along the rim. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Flagstaff on a very bumpy, dusty road. Any vehicle can make it — I’ve seen Prius drivers do it multiple times, even on the roads that are definitely better handled with high clearance and 4×4.

FR – 9549

Sedona, Arizona
GPS: 34.896537, -111.912251
Elevation: 4564′

Management – Forest Service

Free into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking in the Coconino National Forest’s Red Rock Ranger District. First come -> First Camped. Reservations not accepted.

Activities:

Wildlife Viewing

Fr 525 – Loy Butte Road

Address
Sedona, Arizona
GPS: 34.865956, -111.906091
Elevation: 4421′

Management – Forest Service

The road into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking site location is Gravel and 3-10 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 at Fr 525 – Loy Butte Road.

Slide Rock State Park boondocking free camping and campfires allowed zone. Only on this road. Plenty of turnouts off the road to park. 14 day maximum. Fires in a metal container only, fires 100% put out. Road is flat and gravel from main highway. No services (like water or trash pickup) in this location. Dropped pin is about half way in and right next to a nice short hike up a hill.

We tent camped here last week after spending the day in Sedona. We had to drive in several miles because it was pretty full at the beginning and the road is a little rough but we were rewarded with an amazing site. We were able to hike from our spot and felt very safe leaving our things.

There was lots of trash left behind that we cleaned up as much as we could (come on oeople!) In the morning there were several hot air balloons coming up over the mountain. It was breathtaking!

FR525 & FR525C – West of Sedona

Address
FR525 & FR525C
Sedona, Arizona
GPS: 34.833159, -111.908447
Elevation: 3986′

Management – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road into this Slide Rock State Park boondocking is Dirt. FR525 & FR525C – West of Sedona is open Year Round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 Days at FR525 & FR525C – West of Sedona. Travel 3 miles west of Lower Red Rock Loop Road on Hwy. 89A to Forest Road 525. The first 5 miles of FR 525 and all of FR 525C are open for camping

into this Slide Rock State Park dispersed camping is now limited to 8 large designated spots in the region similar to the FR 237. This went into effect beginning of September 2022. Must continue along the road to the designated spot. Old dispersed spots are blocked off with boulders.

This is due to overuse of the area and looks to be a permanent change. I did not stay at one of the new designated spots so I am not sure how crowded they are.

Activities:

OHV, Biking, Hiking, Horse Trails, ildlife Viewing

Paid Camping Near Colorado Bend State Park



Manzanita Campground

Manzanita Campground
5900 N State Rte 89A
Sedona, AZ 86336, United States
GPS: 34.93654302252483, -111.74469548465447

Campsite: $22 per night.
Firewood: $7 per bag (available from campground hosts)

Discounts: Senior and Access Interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Other Interagency passes are not accepted.

Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov. Reservations must be made 3 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance.

At this campground by a creek, you’ll have a place to fish right in your own back yard. Oak Creek Canyon is known for its beautiful scenery, clear swimming holes, beautiful hiking trails, and great opportunities to watch wildlife, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these recreational properties are in high demand. The bad news is next.

This campground is so small that RVs and trailers are not allowed. So small that you have to be more than early to get a campsite here—you have to be lucky.

At Manzanita Campground, there are Arizona ash and box elder trees, gravel beaches, and boulders in the stream bed. Trout are always put into the creek. Birds that sing add a flash of color to the trees. It’s easy to get to. The campground is just a few yards from US 89A, and the pull-throughs are paved.

Cave Springs Campground

Cave Springs Campground
AZ-89A, Sedona
AZ 86336, United States
GPS: 34.99664161414176, -111.73932778465448

Campsites are $22 per night.

Discounts: Senior and Access Interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Other Interagency passes are not accepted.

Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov. Reservations must be made 3 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance.

Cave Springs is one of the most popular places to camp in Coconino National Forest. It is in the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon.

The campground is near Sedona, Arizona, and its famous red rock cliffs. It is in a canyon with trees. The scenery is beautiful, the stream has trout in it, and there are places nearby to swim, hike, and watch birds.

The area is a heavily wooded riparian zone with a lot of greenery. In the upper part of the canyon, you can camp in the shade of a group of ponderosa pines. Many of the campsites are right on Oak Creek. The water in the creek is clear and cool, which is nice on hot summer days.

There are a number of hiking trails nearby for fun. Some go up the sides of the canyon and give good views of the area. Along the creek’s pretty path, there are paths that lead to places where you can watch birds or fish.

Pine Flat Campground

Pine Flat Campground
12240 AZ-89A
Sedona, AZ 86336, United States
GPS: 35.012592105974385, -111.73862883069106
Elevation: 6281′

Campsite: $22 per night (up to 8 people per site. If your party consists of more than 8 people, you will need an additional site.)
2nd vehicle: $10 per vehicle, per night (space permitting)
Firewood: $7 per bag (available from campground hosts)
Discounts: Senior and Access Interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Other Interagency passes are not accepted.

18 of the 56 campsites can be reserved. Call 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639, TDD 877-833-6777) or online at Recreation.gov. See the Camping and Day Use Reservation Policies on Recreation.gov for information on cancelations, refunds, and other details.

Pine Flat Campground is one of the most popular places to stay in the Forest. It is in the beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. The scenery is beautiful, and there are trout in the stream. If you can’t catch any fish, you can always swim, hike, or watch birds. The busy resort town of Sedona is only a short drive away. It’s not a surprise that this area is so busy.

In the upper part of the canyon, you can camp in the shade of a group of ponderosa pines. Many of the campsites are right on Oak Creek, and the ones that aren’t aren’t far away either. There are a number of hiking trails close by. Some go up the sides of the canyon and give good views of the area. Along the creek’s pretty path, there are paths that lead to places where you can watch birds or fish.

Slide Rock State Park Camping Facilities



There are no camping sites inside the state park. Check out the Boondocking and Paid sections for nearby sites.

Slide Rock State Park Photos

Things to Do At Slide Rock State Park



Apple Picking Time at Slide Rock

Slide Rock State Park is full of more than 300 apple trees. Frank L. Pendley planted his 43-acre apple orchard in 1912. He was the first person to use a new way to water the trees. The property became a state park in 1987, and the Pendley Homestead Trail takes visitors by the original trees, the family house, the apple-picking shed, historic farm equipment, and rustic vacation cabins built by Pendley in the 1930s all of which give you the chance for the perfect Slide Rock State Park photos.

In late summer and fall, people enjoy the apples that have been picked.

Devils Bridge

Great trail with beautiful views and vistas that are “safe.” I’m afraid of heights, and I’ll admit that I never got on the bridge. I got all the way to the top and then backed out. But my husband got a great shot, and I stayed far away from the edge to be safe.

When you go to Sedona, you must hike to Devil’s Bridge. Up until the last climb, the hike is easy. You need to watch out. It’s worth it to go through with it. We went early in the morning, so when we went out on the bridge and had our pictures taken, there weren’t many people there. It got more and more crowded.

But it was fun to watch what people did when they went out to get their pictures taken on the bridge. Everyone was friendly, and they all took photos of each other. There isn’t much space for cars. Someone was waiting on our parking spot when we were ready to leave. If you can hike it, it’s probably not something you want to miss when you go to Sedona.

Palatki Heritage Site

You can enjoy this 0.9-mile trail that goes out and back near Sedona, Arizona. It takes about 30 minutes to finish and is usually thought of as an easy route. This trail is popular for walking and running, but you can still find some peace and quiet on it at less busy times. The trail is beautiful and can be used at any time of year. Dogs can’t go on this trail, so you’ll have to leave them at home.

The U.S. Forest Service keeps the Palatki Heritage Site safe. It is in Red Rock Country. This site has beautiful petroglyphs and pictographs, as well as cliff dwellings that were built by the Sinagua Culture. Volunteer tour guides who have been trained will show people around the site.

Calling ahead to make reservations is a must for visitors. Due to the size of the site, you can’t be sure of getting in without a reservation. Call 928-282-3854 to make a reservation. Here are the hours for Palatki Heritage Site: Every day from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. You need a Red Rock Pass, a National Park Pass, or a Golden Age Pass to get into the park.

Because the roads to Palatki are not paved, bad weather could force the site to close. Visitors should be aware of the weather and, if they’re not sure, call ahead to make sure.

Wheelchairtraveling.com says that Palatki is one of three National Heritage Sites near Sedona that have remains of the ancient Hopi culture. At each National Heritage Site, a barrier-free trail leads to a point of interest, but most of the area is inaccessible unless you can climb stairs carved into the sides of rocks.

Some people might find the Palatki Trail too rocky. A dirt parking lot has spots for people with disabilities. At the Palatki National Heritage Site parking lot, there is a vaulted toilet that is easy to use.

Schenby Hill Overlook

The road starts right outside of Sedona, and as it climbs nearly 2,000 feet on what seems like a million switchbacks, it gives you breathtaking views.

As soon as you leave town, the road turns to gravel and can be very bumpy in some places. You should be able to drive a passenger car up the road to the summit, but you should be careful and keep an eye out for Pink Jeep Tours going up and down the mountain road.

At the top, there’s a parking lot where you can stop and take in the view. You might want to bring a picnic lunch, since the scenery is likely to keep you interested for a long time. You will need a Red Rock Pass if you want to spend time at the top. If you just take a quick look at the peak, you won’t need the pass.

If you are not in a high-clearance vehicle, you should turn around here and go back down the hill. The road goes all the way to I-17, but you need a vehicle with high ground clearance to get there.

Slide Rock State Park

Food Near Slide Rock State Park



The Spot at Seven Canyons

625 Golf Club Way, Sedona, AZ 86336-3029

Review

Even though we’ve lived in Sedona for over ten years, we’d never been to Seven Canyons. Now that the Spot is open to people who aren’t members, we went there. First of all, Seven Canyons is a beautiful place. If you look closely, you can get rid of the golf course and buildings and see a beautiful valley surrounded by red rock.

The restaurant is in the clubhouse, and it has a large window that looks north. The room looks like a private club in the great outdoors. Having high ceilings and rough wood. The food is about what you’d expect from a place where most people are probably golfers who just finished 18 holes.

A lot of starters and dishes that can be shared. There are a few things for dinner. Food was delicious. The service was also excellent. Certainly worth going to see.

Pinewood Bar & Grill

65 Pinewood Blvd., Munds Park, AZ 86017

Review

This is a real Arizona diner and bar, and the people who work there are very nice and will stay open later if they need to for late guests. The best part is that you can walk across the street from the hotel to the diner. Our bartender, Fidel, told us all about the area and gave us great tips on how to see the sights. He also made me the best margarita I’ve had in years.

Canyon Breeze Restaurant

300 N State Route 89a Ste 3, Sedona, AZ 86336-4223

Review

This is a place where you place your order at the counter, not by telling a waitress what you want. Very casual. Very easy-going. They also have three different counters: one for food and drinks, one for ice cream, and one in the back that serves as a bar. After you place your order, you get a pager that tells you when your food is ready at the window.

Compared to other places to eat in town, the prices were a little bit lower. The food tasted great… The BEST bowl of taco salad I’ve ever eaten. My husband liked the burger a lot….. and yes, it is a 1/2-lb. patty! The view is the best!! (fyi… good public restrooms.)


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