This is a tale of three canyons. Chances are you haven’t heard of at least one and maybe two.
Here’s what I plan to cover in this trip report, mostly in order:
- Planning The Trip
- Hyatt Pinon Pointe
- Where To Go For Dinner In Sedona
- Grand Canyon Railway
- A Brief Stop At The Grand Canyon, How To Spend 5 Hours
- Antelope Canyon
- Glen Canyon Dam
- Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort And Spa
- Bear Canyon Ranch
I might have to start saying this trip consisted of 4 canyons. Slide Rock State Park is actually located in Oak Creek Canyon and it’s a “must” if you’re traveling through the area on a hot day with kids.
We didn’t know what to expect. Frankly, I hadn’t heard of it until my friend Cliff mentioned it while we were in the area. We had an open day to hang at the pool but decided to take the show on the road. Slide Rock was about a 20-minute drive from the Hyatt Pinon Pointe in downtown Sedona.
We arrived on a weekend shortly after lunch. It was sweltering out. Judging by the crowds, it seemed like Slide Rock is the local area’s version of a public beach. The place was packed! The parking lot was full with a handful of cars waiting in line to get in. We drove down the road a bit and found some official and unofficial parking lots, all full. People were making parking spots wherever they could.
We doubled back to the park entrance and I let Michelle and the kids out of the car while I waited in line. People were leaving slowly but surely. After about 30 minutes of waiting, I paid the entry fee ($30 on a summer weekend) and found a parking spot.
The park used to be an apple orchard. There are some historic cabins on the grounds and buildings around the site. The walls of the canyon make for a beautiful setting.
The walk from the parking lot is a bit longer than you might expect. If you have heavy items to carry, be prepared. There’s a well-stocked market and some changing rooms on the way to the creek. Cell phone reception (at least for Verizon Wireless) wasn’t the greatest which made it a bit hard to find the rest of the family.
They had situated themselves in some shade and a shallow water area to play. There were a lot of people at the park but it still didn’t feel overwhelming. There were some college-aged kids attempting some crazy jumps off the wall under the bridge.
The water at this end of Slide Rock was chilly but nothing compared to what we were about to experience. It’s a short distance to the area where Slide Rock gets its name from, but it can take a while with plenty of rocks to climb over.
If you follow the crowds it’s hard to miss where the slide starts. The water has carved the perfect “slide” through the water. This isn’t just kid fun, either. Assuming you can tolerate the water temperature (beyond frigid!) the slide is a ton of fun. The water isn’t terribly deep. Even though the current moves fast, there’s really no danger except to maybe the smallest of swimmers.
Our kids loved it. Michelle and I tried it once. It was tons of fun but we really couldn’t believe how cold it was. Even with triple digit temperatures we were freezing as we stood there drying off. The kids lasted 3 runs before they were frozen as well. But, they were laughing the entire time.
The Final Two Pennies
There are plenty of places to lay out and grab some sun at Slide Rock. The water temperature in the other areas is warmer but still cool and refreshing. One of the things my wife has taught me about travel is that the kids need down time, even on vacation. I can’t schedule very day from start to finish like a business trip. Slide Rock was a perfect stop for us. After a few hours of fun in the water, the kids were tired but content.
You can find plenty more information about Slide Rock on their website. We definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.
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