An eMagazine about wheelchair-accessible events, sports & locations in Arizona

Slide Rock State Park


Slide Rock-2126

It’s beautiful, it’s popular, but Slide Rock State Park is one of the few Arizona state parks that really have nothing to offer people in wheelchairs. As the name implies, Slide Rock Park offers guests the ability to visit a section of Oak Creek that over time has naturally carved a fun and refreshing series of water slides and pools for we mere humans to enjoy. Unfortunately the creek is down there and park is up above.

The park begins on a plateau on east side of Oak Creek, where homesteaders built a farm in the early 1900’s. The park people have put in a nice asphalt trail that leads through the homestead. At the far end of the trail (appx 1/4 mile), there is a set of stairs down to the creek below. Unless you have two good spotters with strong backs, forget it.

Perhaps as a token gesture, and so you do not demand your eight dollars entry fee back, the park people have put in a “wheelchair accessible look out” where you can see how much fun everyone is having below. I was tempted to take a leak.

Off to the side of the lookout, is a narrow dirt trail, which we naturally decided to explore. It follows the side of the canyon and in about 100 yards comes to a rock outcrop. Check your brakes, because one slip and you will get to enjoy the rocks 200 feet below with a great impact.

Slide Rock State Park doesnt offer any wheelchair access to Oak Creek, but the view is scenic.

Slide Rock State Park doesnt offer any wheelchair access to Oak Creek, but the view is scenic.

One good thing about going to slide rock is the drive itself. From Sedona you are in for a real treat as you head up state Route 89B towards Flagstaff. The winding road takes you through the gorgeous canyon with its sheer cliffs of amazing colors. As the road ascends and descends down towards the creek, you wont beleive you are in Arizona.

I’m the type that likes to get my feet wet.  Unfortunately none of the parks have much access to the river.  Red Rock State Park has a great trail,  and if you are adventurous you can forge the river at  Cresent Moon Picnic Area, but the slickest way to enjoy the water as I’m doing below is to continue past Slide Rock Park  towards Flagstaff a few miles.  Along the way you will see numerous driveways leading to cabins and lodges.  Most have a concrete driveway that forges the creek.  So we just parked and rolled right in!

Photo taken from a driveway that forges Oak Creek.  Perfect wheelchair access.

Photo taken from a driveway that forges Oak Creek. Perfect wheelchair access.


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2 Responses »

  1. We traveled to Flagstaff and Sedona this past summer and visited the sites you are talking about. I enjoyed hearing your perspective mostly because you have a good sense of humor about the limited or no access. I’m glad you found the driveway, we did also. I should mention in fairness I’m not in a wheelchair and do have the blessing of being able to hike and climb…thus our reason for visiting the Grand Canyon during my husband’s two week R&R from Iraq.

    I have taken an interest in a trail in Kansas (where we live) that needs major rehabilitation and I don’t know that anyone cares about its condition or inaccessibility. My regular walks on this trail have given me an inspiration to conduct some investigation and possible fundraising in order to do a major overhaul and I believe although hilly could be made wheelchair accessible. There’s no cliffs. It’s just a hill that has sandstone boulders scattered about but it originally had an asphalt surface that has since heaved and buckled over many winters and summers and is now deteriorated to such extent that even older folks who frequently use the trail have to be careful. So I have only gone so far as to take photos during its most overgrown state in the summer months to begin documentation in anticipation of having to make a presentation to County or other government officials at some point. So wish me luck and if you have any suggestions for the trail to pass along…I’d love to have them.

    That was something I was going to do anyway…have a person with a mobility barrier on my advisory group. Can you tell I’ve worked in government before????

  2. Thanks for your info. as I am planning a trip to visit my daughter in Tempe and use a powerchair. It’s frustrating that there are not more and longer wheelchair accessible trails all over the nation. I’ve tried out an all terrain wheelchair called action track chair on a mountain trail in Glacier Nat’ll park it was amazing going overe treeroots boulders. Check it out on the web if you haven’t. I think all national parks should have them.

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Accessing Arizona is primarily designed for people who are looking for wheelchair accessible events, locations and activities. If you have paralysis (paraplegic or quadriplegic), Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Bifida, or if you are an amputee, Accessing Arizona has information about an active lifestyle.
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