• Stephanie Joy

Swimming Holes, Sandstone Watersides and Shopping: An Afternoon in Sedona

With an air temperature of 102, we decided to head out to Oak Creek and visit Slide Rock State Park for some cooling off time at the natural swimming holes and sandstone water slides, before a shopping trip later that afternoon.

On our last day in Sedona, the temperature began to climb outside. We had been experiencing temps in the upper 80's all week and with the utter lack of humidity, it was really very, very comfortable outside, but we knew that wouldn't last and Mother Nature proved us right on our last full day in Sedona. Fortunately, we had planned a trip out to Slide Rock Park, just on the outskirts of Sedona.

Slide Rock State Park

6871 N. Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ


What is Slide Rock State Park, you ask? Per the bastion of accurate knowledge, Wikipedia, (ha-ha), " Slide Rock State Park is an Arizona State Park located in Oak Creek Canyon 7 miles north of Sedona. It takes its name from a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. Slide Rock State Park is located on Coconino National Forest land and is co-managed by the Arizona State Parks agency and the United States Forest Service. Tall red rock formations that are typical of the region also surround the park, which contains a 43-acre working apple farm."

Since we went on a Wednesday, it was only $20 for a carload to get in ($30 on the weekends) and we found parking rather easily. There is a short walk along a paved road and a flight of stairs to get down to the water hole area and from there on out, you will want to make sure you have tennis shoes or sturdy shoes on, as you are officially off the beaten path. You are going to be walking down a rocky "path" which is more of a find you best footing and keep going until you find a nice place to "make camp" for all your stuff. Some things you will FOR SURE want to have with you:

  • Water Shoes (the ones you can get at WalMart for $8 they will charge you $17 at the park)

  • Bottled Water

  • A Towel

  • Sunscreen

and if you are wanting to make a day of it, some camp chairs and we saw a lot of little pop up tents for people to shelter under when they wanted to relax out from under the very bright sun. there were a lot of people bringing coolers down there and remember that there is NO GLASS and this is a park, so if you are going to bring a picnic lunch, make sure you leave with everything you came with!

Now before I go any further, one thing I have to tell you that is really, really very important:


I totally expected to see penguins and seals frolicking in the water. It was THAT cold. Like your lower legs start to go numb after about 2 minutes kind of cold. It definitely wakes you up. I'm from Florida....what do I know about snow melt, mountain fed creeks? I think the water temperature that day on the sign at the park entrance was 63 degrees. Much colder than my pool back home that is perfect at 85.

I will say this...you get used to it. Very quickly once the numbness subsides. I highly recommend wearing water shoes because the bottom is very rocky and you will like having the extra traction, because the rocks can get VERY slippery (remember it is called Slide Rock for a reason!)

If you'd like to see a video of Jason and Sarah sliding on one of the natural waterslides, you can check it out here, because it wouldn't uplad correctly here for some reason: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoysOfTravel/videos/755178754872112/

We spent about 2 hours here on a Wednesday afternoon and although it was crowded, it didn't feel it. There is plenty of room to spread out and after sunning yourself in the 102 degree heat outside, the water is SUPER refreshing. I even went as far as submerging my shoulders and for any of you women out there, you know that the point where your "under-boob" hits the point of submersion in cold water is the ultimate test in your tolerance for water chill!

I will say that Slide Rock Creek once again proves that kids, no matter the age, don't give two hoots about water temperature. They will swim, cliff jump (yes, there are places you can jump off into the water) and slide until they are literally blue in the face. Personally I couldn't imagine going any earlier in the season, as we were there in mid June and it was freezing.

August would be a great time to go, don't you think?

Once we headed back to the hotel, took showers, got changed and relaxed for a few, we decided to hit up a spot we first noticed on our way into town...

Son Silver West Gallery

1476 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ


This is one of the coolest places I have ever been shopping. I think it can be best described as an Art Gallery that had a baby with American Southwestern Home Decor and then they hung out with the TV show, "American Pickers". I could spend a fortune here and even Jason and Sarah had fun looking around at all the different things they had! I purchased some glazed Mexican tiles with our house numbers & a cast iron frame to hold them to put outside our house (I painted them a cream color, but I'll have to redo, since they will rust too quickly in the Florida humidity). Plus, I added to our art collection a watercolor from a Sedona artist that depicts the place we went hiking the other day.

The metal work done on some of the highly detailed sculptures outside is nothing short of amazing. I swear if I had a place to put it and a budget to afford it, I would have snapped up that glorious metal chicken in a heartbeat because it reminds me of the "Animaniacs" cartoon from the 90's: "He's not a man, he's a Chicken Boo!"

There really is no way I can possible begin to detail everything this "store" has...artwork, jewelry, home furnishings, home decor, pottery, sculptures, to just name SOME of the things here. Go for a couple of hours of walking around checking out each and every inch of the place. I guarantee you will find that perfect something to bring back with you and even if you can't bring it back in your suitcase, they WILL ship for you. Now THAT is service! :)

Coming Soon...the last of the Sedona Adventures. Hiking with our private guide Lawrence on a vortex tour.

About the Joy Family

We're not a normal family. In fact, we're downright goofy, with just a touch of nerdy (well, maybe a lot of nerdy at times)...but we're fun, we care very much for one another and we LOVE to travel.

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