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Arizona RVing: End The Desert Hike With a Splash at Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park is a favorite for locals and RVers alike due to the unique combination of hiking through the scenic desert and ending with a splash at the natural waterslides of Slide Rock State Park. The park was originally the Pendley Homestead, a 43-acre historic apple farm in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley arrived in the area in 1907 and acquired the land under the Homestead Act of 1910. Mr. Pendley established an innovative and unique irrigation system that is still in use at the park today. The Pendley homestead is one of only a few still left intact in the canyon and serves as a great example of early agricultural development in Arizona. This particular location attracts all types of RVers. Some enjoy the scenic opportunities, others enjoy the recreational opportunities and still others enjoy the educational/historical aspect of the park. Regardless of your reason for visiting, it's a fantastic spot to add to your next recreational vehicle trip's list of hot spots. 

While the history of the site provides historic significance, the State Park is named after a slippery creek bottom known as Slide Rock that is located adjacent to the homestead. Slide Rock visitors enjoy sliding down the slick, natural water chute, wading and sunning along the running creek.

Getting the RV to the Park:

Take I-17 North to Exit 298 for State Highway 179N towards Sedona. At the 10th traffic circle, take the first exit onto W Arizona 89-A/N State Route 89-A. Slide Rock State Park will be on the left.

What to Do At the Park:

Pendley Homestead – View general info displayed conveniently inside the Gazebo style kiosk and historic farm implements displayed along the Pendley Homestead Trail.

Picnicking – Pack a lunch and enjoy it picnic-style along the trail or in the designated picnic areas.

Hiking – Various hikes are available for those interested in getting warm before cooling off in the water. The Clifftop Nature Trail (.25 mile) offers the best scenic views of the Slide Rock area. The Pendley Homestead Trail (.25 mile) winds through the homestead area and provides views of Oak Creek Canyon walls. The Slide Rock Route (.3 mile) provides main access to Slide Rock. Hikers who proceed past the historic rock cabin on the west side of the creek will come to an historic eight-foot wall. Those who are interested can further explore the more remote areas upstream after negotiating the wall.

Fishing –Oak Creek is periodically stocked with Rainbow Trout. Licenses required. No fishing where swimmers are present.

Swimming – While the most popular swimming location is the 80-foot natural slide worn into the sandstone, there are multiple places to both swim and wade.

Wildlife Viewing – Interested visitors should bring along their binoculars and try to catch a glimpse of local wildlife: Coues White-tailed Deer, Javelin, Coyote, Black Bear, Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron and Black-tailed Rattlesnake.

Nearby Attractions:

Montezuma Castle National Monument: One of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America.

Montezuma Well: A unit of Montezuma Castle. The Well is an aquatic habitat like no other in the world has been a natural oasis for thousands of years.

Sunset Crater Volcano: A series of eruptions sometime between 1040 and 1100 created unique and dramatic geologic features that draw many to the area. The lava flows and cinders still give the appearance of being fresh while trees, wildflowers and signs of wildlife indicate a return of life.

Coconino National Forest: Landscapes within the forest ranges from the famous Red Rocks of Sedona to pine forests and alpine tundra. The area also includes mountains, canyons, fish forest lakes, creeks and streams. It’s one of the most diverse National Forests in the country.

Prescott National Forest: This 1.25 million-acre national forest surrounds Prescott and takes in the Black Hills, Mingus Mountain, Black Mesa, and the headwaters of the Verde River.



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